An attack by bandits in the middle of the night leaves a young boy with no memory of who he is or where he is from. Nursed back to health by the devoted monks in a Benedictine abbey, he takes the name Alexander, or Xan for short. Aided by the kindly Brother Andrew, Xan commits himself to finding out who he really is. Does he have a family? Are they still alive? And who--or what--is the shadowy figure creeping around the abbey in the dead of night? Awards: 2021 Illumination Book Awards, Gold Medal: Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction2020 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Gold Medal: Young Adult Fiction - Mystery2021 International Book Awards, 1st Place: Religious Fiction2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Bronze Medal: Religious Fiction2021 Catholic Media Association Book Awards, 3rd Place: Escapism2021 ACP Excellence in Publishing Awards, 3rd Place: Young Readers


This historical fiction story launches young teen readers on a mysterious journey that robustly entertains, while also affirming solid Christian values and virtuous living. The vivid characters and exciting storyline motivate readers to eagerly anticipate what they will find in the next book. This creates a great opportunity for even reluctant readers to get drawn into the series.


Team Virtue



Consistently seeking to do what is good


Creative problem solving


Making small sacrifices to work with others


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Loyola Press: Shadow in the Dark Resources

The Publisher page for this teen novel offers helpful resource downloads that can be used in the home or classroom. Read More

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Table of Plenty Podcast Author Interview: Tony Kolnec

This audio interview gives a bounty of information about Tony's author journey. The discussion also gives a great peek at the enjoyable fictional and historical elements that make this book such a great read for young teens. Read More

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Shadow in the Dark: Goodreads

Explore the array of reviews that give insight into the value of this book. Read More

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