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The Shadow Lamp

(Bright Empires #4)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,235 ratings  ·  120 reviews
The quest for answers—and ultimate survival—hinges on finding the cosmic link between the Skin Map, the Shadow Lamp, and the Spirit Well.

The search for the map of blue symbols began in a rainy alley in London but has since expanded through space and time and includes more seekers.

Kit, Mina, Gianni, Cass, Haven, and Giles have gathered in Mina’s 16th
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published September 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,235 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the series
Shelves: science-fiction
In recommending this book to series fans, I'm intending to underscore the fact that if you haven't read the previous installments, this is not the place to start; this series is one that absolutely needs to be read in order. Even for reading the Goodreads description (which sets up the premise pretty accurately), if you haven't read the first three books, the characters and things referred to will be mostly meaningless to you. How well you liked the previous three volumes will also be fairly pre ...more
Deborah O'Carroll
Firstly, THIS MAY BE MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE SERIES YET. Hard to say, because they’re so good, but you know. Just so much is HAPPENING in this! (Speaking of which, it’s increasingly difficult to review these books as the series goes on, without spoilers, but I’m continuing to do my best.)

Questing, beloved characters who are so fun to read about, adventures on the high seas and across many times and places, and something about the end of the world... all make an excellent, gripping adventu
Tracey Dyck
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
Absolutely fabulous! This book really raised the stakes, and I must get my hands on the final instalment ASAP.
Madeline J. Rose
Initial Response
These...just keep getting more and more intense... O__o

Kit, Mina, Gianni, Cass, Haven, and Giles have gathered in Mina’s 16th-century coffee house and are united in their determination to find a path back to the Spirit Well. Yet, with their shadow lamps destroyed and key pieces of the map still missing, the journey will be far more difficult than they imagine. And when one of their own disappears with Sir Henry’s cryptic Green Book, they no longer know who to trust.
Raymond Just
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a longtime Lawhead fan, it is with a heavy heart that I check only two stars on the ShadowLamp. The fourth (I believe) book in the Bright Empires series, it became rather painfully clear in this installment that Stephen has bitten off more than he can chew. The cast of characters has become so large as to be unwieldy, with insufficient time spent with anyone to form a connection or investment as a reader. And there is a terribly large amount of exposition in Shadowlamp, with characters rambli ...more
Andrew Leon
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Seeing that this is book four, I'm not even going to try to do this without spoilers. I'm not sure there's a good way to even try. I will, though, be as general as possible, so any spoilers may not make sense anyway. Except for one, which will be a huge spoiler, so, if you even think you might want to read this series, when I get to the part where I'm talking about the new conflict, well, you'll probably not want to read that part.]

The elapsed time span in this novel seems to be much
Christa Kinde
Book 4 of 5, and still going strong. The disparate timelines are beginning to converge, and meetings between the various players mean that important information can finally be shared. A couple of small twists took me by surprise (always nice as a reader), and I'm eager to read the final installment. Onward!
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I was enjoying this book. until there was a massive philosophical semi-religious rant half way through. That just went on far too long.
I care about the characters and the continuing of the story plot. Without getting the authors views forced on me.
Janet Sketchley
A diverse cast of characters assembled from various times and places on Earth, a mysterious quest, powerful enemies, inter-dimensional travel to multiple Earths... The Shadow Lamp is an intriguing tale of adventure where even the smallest detail can have great significance.

This is a novel where the objective omniscient point of view works very well. There are too many plot threads for readers to benefit from a more intimate, deeper point of view, and somehow the omniscient approach gives
Branwen *of House Targaryen*
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Our very bodies are made of the elements forged in stars that were born and lived and died in far distant galaxies billions of years ago. We are, literally, stardust."

"Truly, there was no chance, no coincidence. From the lowliest atom in a grain of sand at the bottom of the deepest sea to the most far-flung galaxy, the universe, the entire created cosmos, was a seamless, unified, and interwoven whole."

First of all I want to just say how grateful I am for the five page summary at the start of this novel/>"Truly,
Christian Fiction Addiction
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Stephen R. Lawhead returns in fine style with his fourth installment to the "Bright Empires" series. Written with his usual dramatic flair and vivid descriptions, "The Shadow Lamp" is an action-packed adventure of the best kind. Kit and Mina return along with fellow ley travelers Gianni, Cass, Haven and Giles, continuing their search for the skin map and the path to the Spirit Well that Kit observed. I have enjoyed the whole series so far, and love how this book finds good continuing its clash w ...more
Marti M
Jul 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Well. I thought this was the last book in the series. Apparently the fifth one comes out this coming September, and that will be the last book.

I only forced myself to finish this series because I thought I would at least get to find out what happened in the end, but i was wrong. Sadly.
The characters are two dimensional at best, and there is absolutely no character development from anyone at any point in the series. Plus there are more characters and plot lines going on than the author can
C.J. Darlington
Another fantastic entry in this series. I absolutely love how Lawhead weaves spiritual with science and discusses some really deep, scientific issues (which I'm fascinated with). But that isn't to say the plot doesn't move (it does!) and the characters engage (they do!). I enjoyed this jaunt through the dimensions with all the characters we've come to love. Now I'm itching for the finale, Book 5, to release next year.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
More story progression, more interesting ideas/theories than the last 3 books of the series.
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

The search for the map of blue symbols began in a rainy alley in London but has since expanded through space and time and includes more seekers.
Kit, Mina, Gianni, Cass, Haven, and Giles have gathered in Mina’s 16th-century coffee house and are united in their determination to find a path back to the Spirit Well. Yet, with their shadow lamps destroyed and key pieces of the map still missing, the journey/>
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
p. 323 "We believe that the universe was created in order to produce conscious agents who can share in the apprehension and appreciation of Divine goodness, which is the nature of God: Divine beauty, which is the delight of God; and Divine truth, which is the wisdom of God....p. 325, He desires the perfected, harmonious, and joyful unity of all Creation in Him for the purpose of engaging in the ongoing creative activity of a redeemed and transformed universe forever."

p. 328 "The futu
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book 4 of the Bright Empires series, The Shadow Lamp continues to weave an intricate plot through time and space and the multi-verse. Lawhead skilfully fills in some gaps and brings the main characters together, while introducing a couple of new ones. Some interesting theology/philosophy/cosmology is discussed concerning the nature of the reality and expansion of the multiverse. And just when I thought the pace was flagging, the stakes are significantly raised. The cosmos itself is in imminent dange ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed anytime the overall plot progressed, but thought that the multiple story lines were not clearly linked and at times unnecessary. The increasing number of characters makes me feel less connected to any of them and it's hard to develop much sympathy. But now that I'm into the series, I want to finish it, even though it's not my favorite series by Lawhead.
Karisa Bailey
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This series is dragging. As the author keeps adding new charcters, and continues to juggle all the old ones, it has become clunky and unwieldy. Some new "theories " are introduced, which are interesting, but I keep hoping that some progress will be made on the skin map....there's not even a hint of that as we move into the fifth book.
Bernie Anderson
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The inter-dimensional romp continues. This has some absolutely beautiful prose at the end.

There’re some bits that feel a little contrived ... but all in all I’m enjoying this story.

Also be sure read Lawhead’s essay at the end. Fascinating.

Ready to begin the final installment.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some things in this book were to set up the next book, but that's kind of its downfall. It really just hohums along with no real finish
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi_fantasy
I'm really enjoying this series.
mike helbert
Could not get into this. Took it back to the library.
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: via-audio-book
*religion intensifies*
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
So the story gets a bit weirder and weirder but of course I need to know where this all ends so I have already started book 5. We shall see.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are too many characters whose stories disrupt one another. It is like a salad without sauce. Why the extensive philosophical speech? I like Lawed better when writing historical novels.
Victor Gentile
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Stephen R. Lawhead in his new book “The Shadow Lamp” Book Four in the Bright Empires series published by Thomas Nelson continues the search for the Skin Map.

From the back cover: The quest for answers—and ultimate survival—hinges on finding the cosmic link between the Skin Map, the Shadow Lamp, and the Spirit Well.

The search for the map of blue symbols began in a rainy alley in London but has since expanded through space and time and includes more seekers.

Renn Shearin
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
The Shadow Lamp by Stephen R Lawhead is the fourth book in the Bright Empires Series and leaves you no closer to knowing what is going to happen in the epic conclusion (The Fatal Tree: Book 5, releasing in September 2014). I have read Lawhead's Song of Albion series and his King Raven series, but none of these compare to the complexity and confusion that I find myself in when reading the Bright Empire Series. And I still cannot decide if I like the confusion or the series yet. I only the final n ...more
Dave Courtney
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
(3 and a half stars)
The promise upfront is that the fourth in the latest series by Lawhead would begin to provide some answers to the characters and circumstances set in play in the previous two outings. I noted one of the shortfalls of the second book as an overly ambitious onslaught of new characters. While each one is connected, it became somewhat of a chore to keep track of who was who, who was where and who was doing what. The good thing about the fourth installment is that it does ma
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Stephen R. Lawhead: The Shadow Lamp 5 12 Apr 12, 2014 11:52AM  

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Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Mos

Other books in the series

Bright Empires (5 books)
  • The Skin Map (Bright Empires, #1)
  • The Bone House (Bright Empires, #2)
  • The Spirit Well (Bright Empires, #3)
  • The Fatal Tree (Bright Empires, #5)
“time is short and life fleeting and that nothing matters except that which is eternal.” 0 likes
“For the Creator, the past is never lost, never beyond recovery—because it can always be reclaimed by weaving it into a wider pattern of ultimate goodness so that even the most horrendous disasters of life may come to play a significant part in achieving the intended purpose of Creation. In this way, the past can be redeemed.” 0 likes
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