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The Shadow Lamp

(Bright Empires #4)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,350 ratings  ·  123 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-century coffee house an
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published September 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,350 ratings  ·  123 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 adventure. Lik
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.
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
Lovely Day
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.75 ⭐️

I found this one to be a lot more boring and seemed to have a lot more scientific jargon that went past me.

The part I did like about this book is that, with each book, the faith/Christian/God aspect seems to be increasing! 👍🏻
Madeline Rose
Initial Response
These...just keep getting more and more intense... O__o

High Lights
- I don't have words. Really.
- Kit and Cass are a thing. And I loves it. A LOT.
- Mina is MY FAVORITE. :D She's just so take-charge and awesome.
- There are some BIG stakes that get raised in this book. And I'm slightly terrified. Just slightly. I may or may not be afraid to read the last book...
- Gianni is hilarious. I don't even know why, I just love him so much. I mean, (view spoiler)
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 shorter tha
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! ...more
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 the fee
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"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 th
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 seem
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. ...more
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 will b
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
While other reviewers have already mentioned, this book takes a bit of a turn. However, in my humble opinion, the road doesn't lead us far from our original destination, the skin map.
The search continues but another harrowing catastrophe is on the brink. The destruction of the universe. The two, in my medically addled brain, are not so separate. (I'm on meds for a sinus infection). One must have one to grasp the other, or so it would seem. If Kit had not had ley travel to witness AFP (the man wh
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 d ...more
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 future exists to
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
One more book to go in this series and I can't wait! I loved this book even more than the rest.

Now that I know these characters pretty well, it's easier to follow them along on their journeys. Whether they are going to a place forward in time or back, it's all fascinating!

And what struck me in this book is a theological discussion that occurs about life and death...or rather, death and life. There is a difference. Those kinds of discussions have always fascinated me and I enjoy becoming part o
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. ...more
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. ...more
Timothy Goldsmith
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
More of the same for Stephen Lawhead,
The hunt continues for the "Skin map", but as the different characters near their destination, the prize is more than just a map of the different "way lines" throughout the world, or even discovering the mysterious "Spirit Well". No, some start to realise that the existence of the Universe itself is at stake!
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 ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi_fantasy
I'm really enjoying this series. ...more
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.
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*
mike helbert
Could not get into this. Took it back to the library.
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Stephen R. Lawhead: The Shadow Lamp 5 12 Apr 12, 2014 09:52PM  

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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. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned

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)

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