The Dark Tower by Donal Foley. 2016; 248 pages. Available from Amazon.com for $11.99 plus shipping; paperback.
A previous article (The Wanderer, December 21, 2016) attracted attention to Donal Foley’s series of adventure stories The Glaston Chronicles. The first of the fictional series termed The Secret of Glaston Tor has now been succeeded by its sequel The Dark Tower, which again features an American boy Matt Bergin and his English cousins, Luke and Annie Martin. Annie is always accompanied by her faithful dog, Toby.
Once again, we have a story of the never-ending spiritual battle between good and evil, featuring a fascinating plot, enthralling characters, suspense, excitement, and the ever-present danger of the occult.
Safe from their time-traveling exploits in World War II-occupied France, our young heroes find themselves drawn into another 21st-century adventure, this time in Switzerland, and involving their old adversary, Emil Schwarzen, now an aged and extremely wealthy entrepreneur who styles himself Lord Edgar Blackly.
Lord also of his castle which is connected to a mysterious Dark Tower with its dungeons, Blackly prides himself on refusing to believe in such concepts as good and evil: “Or rather I choose not to believe in them….I have my own spirituality.”
His spirituality not only flows from his declaration of moral relativism but is clearly rooted in an obsession with the occult and the dark power of the Devil. So it appeared to the youngster’s ally, the young priest-exorcist Fr. Richard Peters, who soon discovers that Lord Blackly is the Grand Master of a secret order of witchcraft-occultists intent on utilizing the stolen relics of the ancient Ark of the Covenant to destroy the Catholic Church and its influence in British society.
The search to retrieve these lost relics is full of suspense and there is a surprise ending regarding the fate of Lord Blackly and his villainous grandson Julian.
In the struggle against the Devil (yes, he is real) our young heroes are seen to utilize all the weapons that the Church provides, prayer (especially the rosary), Confession, and attending Mass to seek God’s protection.
Much of today’s literature for young people, of course, ignores the invisible world of the supernatural and does little, if anything at all, to lift their minds and souls to God and the things that are eternal. A world dominated by ideological liberalism has, in effect, eliminated from the minds of countless youth thoughts of God, Christ the King, and His call to regain the culture from today’s relativists and hedonists.
Donal Foley’s The Dark Tower is another welcome contribution to reclaiming literature from the grip of the latter.
Another fine Catholic author, Thomas Storck (in his From Christendom to Americanism And Beyond) has reminded us of the extent of liberalism’s success in seeking “freedom from the restraints imposed by Christian teaching” via a threefold assault on Christian culture: first on the level of Christian economic morality; second on the level of the political rights of God; and lastly on the level of the human person himself.
(This review appeared in the online edition of the Wanderer on 31 July 2017: http://thewandererpress.com/catholic/news/featured-today/a-book-review-a-second-thriller-for-youngsters/)