The Arcane Society was born in turmoil, when the friendship of its two founders evolved into a fierce rivalry. Nicholas Winter’s efforts led to the reaction of a device of unknown powers called the Burning Lamp. Each generation, the Winters man who inherits it is destined to develop multiple talents—and the curse of madness.--Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick, Copyright ©2010 by Jayne Ann Krentz, published by the Penguin Group
Plagued by hallucinations and nightmares, the notorious crime lord Griffin Winters is convinced he has been struck with the Winters Curse. But even as he arranges a meeting with the mysterious Adelaide Pyne, he has no idea how closely their fates are bound, for she hold the missing lamp in her possession.
Their dangerous psychical experiment makes them the target of forces both inside and outside the Arcane Society. And though desire strengthens their power, their different lives will keep them apart—if death doesn’t take them together.
Griffin possesses the Burning Lamp, an object created by his ancestor Nicholas, but it cannot be used without the skill of a powerful dreamlight reader. Griffin must find such a person, and soon, for the family curse is starting to come out in him. Adelaide Pyne, known in London society as as “The Widow,” is that person. She agrees to work the lamp for him, but before she can, Griffin is shot. Adelaide helps him heal from his wound and, once he is stable, they employ the lamp to stabilize Griffin’s powers.
But that is not the end of the story.
Griffin is a crime lord, known as the Director of the Consortium, and he wants to know why he was shot. He also wants to know why two men broke into his home and attempted to steal the Lamp and kidnap Adelaide. The men carried canisters that emitted a strange, sleep-inducing gas which allowed them to get past the dogs and the men guarding the house. They also carried mysterious red crystals that they used to channel their psychic energy. Adelaide recognizes the crystals from an incident in her past. Who created the crystals? How do they enhance the user’s psychic powers? Where did the gas come from? Who created it? Why? Why? Why?
Griffin forms an uneasy alliance with Caleb Jones, a member of the Arcane Society and founder of Jones & Jones Investigations to track down the mastermind behind the crystals (and the answers to all those whys). They must act quickly, for the fate of their futures, as well as the future of the Arcane Society, is in their hands.
This second book in the Dreamlight Trilogy answers some questions raised about the history of the Burning Lamp that were raised in the first book, Fired Up. Other questions, such as “where does the lamp wind up in the future?” and “why doesn’t the Midnight Crystal light up when the lamp is activated?” will be answered in the third and final installment, Midnight Crystal, which will be released August 31, 2010.
I give this story THREE STARS.