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Uncovering the Hidden

Explore the historical foundations

of Qapar with author / historian

Ian J. Christopher's discovery of the

Elias Koenig Archives




Aimyn il'Urieth,

Memory Leaf: Greyglade


"The Glen Hollow Chronicles" a new multi-volume epic that is in early stages of development by author

Chris J. Bennem. Book 1, Shadows of the Tree of Light, has just been submitted for acceptance as the thesis for an MFA at St. Francis College. 

Book 1: Shadows of the Tree of Light
Let’s get something out of the way, just so there is no confusion: this is not a book. It is the memory of a book.

For most, memory is just the first step on the path toward forgetting. The beginning of a road that lengthens like a shadow, stretching away from the events that gave it birth until it is nothing more than a fading trail of vapor. But here, memory is preserved, immutable moments untouched by time. Don’t ask me how we managed this. Not yet. There will be ample time for disappointment and recriminations later, especially here where time means so little. All you need to know is that in this place, during the long sleep between lives, the span that some call the Forgetting, your task will be to remember: to remember all those that gave their lives to this place, so that you may carry them from one world to another. From the land of the dead to the land of the living. To properly understand their stories, however, you will need to understand mine. You see, we are unlocking a library of sorts, and the key is the memory of the first book preserved within it. 

 So we’ll begin where my memory of the book begins, on the night when I was first introduced to it. On the night when I first met Shakila.

​from the Prologue

So begins Shadows of the Tree of Light, an epic fantasy story-within-a-story, but whose memory is it, exactly, and to whom is it being told?

It all starts with Taraji, a young archivist in a near future spiraling toward a climate apocalypse that her mother helped precipitate. It continues with the tale her sponsors have hired her to compile: a fanciful chronicle set in a world where immortals are formed of two souls sharing one body, where trees can overshadow mountains, and dragons overshadow cities. In this story, Aimyn, a mother with mysterious abilities and an even more mysterious past, must protect her children from her estranged sister who has been sent to eliminate the heir of an empire, but wants nothing more than to destroy the family Aimyn has built. Youngest of the children is little Rho, who sees fae spirits, and possesses other abilities he will need to master if he is to help his mother protect the family that is now being threatened because of him.

As Tara slowly pieces together the mystery of Rho and his mother, she must uncover the truth lurking behind this seemingly unimportant story, the truth her mother long concealed from her, a truth which may unlock the secrets to saving her own endangered world.

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