Like a good fantasy novel – but without the occult trappings? Check out “Toward the Gleam”

Ignatius Press has just released Toward the Gleam by T. M. Doran which is described by renowned Catholic author, Michael J. O’Brien as “ingeniously inventive . . . startling, moving, horrifying at times, and ultimately consoling.”

The story is set in the time period between the two world wars when, on a hike in the English countryside, Professor John Hill takes refuge from a violent storm in a cave. There he nearly loses his life, but he also makes an astonishing discovery – an ancient manuscript housed in a cunningly crafted metal box. Though a philologist by profession, Hill cannot identify the language used in the manuscript and the time period in which it is was made, but he knows enough to make an educated guess – that the book and its case are the fruits of a long-lost, but advanced civilization.

The translation of the manuscript and the search for its origins become a life-long quest for Hill. As he uncovers an epic that both enchants and inspires him, he tracks down scholars from Oxford to Paris who can give him clues.

Along the way, he meets several intriguing characters, including a man keenly interested in obtaining artifacts from a long-lost civilization that he believes was the creation of a superior race, and will help him fulfill his ambition to rule other men. Concluding that Hill must have found something that may help him in this quest, but knowing not what it is and where it is hidden, he has Hill, his friends at Oxford, and his family shadowed and threatened until finally he and Hill face off in a final, climatic confrontation.

Dolan says that even though the 20th Century was littered with dehumanizing ideas that produced much human misery, “it was also a century that boasted counter-cultural ‘giants’ who did everything in their power to thwart these inhuman ideologies. This is a story about these giants and their grand adventure to oppose that dark tide.”

Michael O’Brien says that as this story unfolds, readers will be asked to reconsider what they thought they knew and loved so well.

“Flashes of recognition will occur as famous figures appear, identified only by their first names,” O’Brien says. “As the plot develops, a vast landscape of drama emerges, reaching across time, probing the reasons behind the rise and fall of civilizations, our own and also another that we have considered to be myth-or fiction. The author’s whimsical sense is a fine one, though he does not show his hand too early on. His wisdom is fully evident throughout. This is a dark mystery tale, a gripping adventure, and in its own unique way a comedeia, plunging us into the war in the heavens and the wars for souls. Ingeniously inventive, it is startling, moving, horrifying at times, and ultimately consoling.” 

You can find out more about this book at Ignatius Press.

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