Four unlikely teenagers are summoned to quest for the salvation of a perpendicular world. Elli Adams and her friends Beatriz, Jamie, and Alex must overcome their own personal challenges of blindness, self-confidence, and Down syndrome as they struggle together to fulfill their mysterious calling as Bairnmoor's last prophetic hope. Join them on an adventure through singing forests and stardust valleys full of mystical, glorious, and ferocious creatures, all of which test their resolve in the face of overwhelming adversity. James Eckblad's novel wrestles with the age-old questions of good and evil and the nature of the heroic life. The story offers a fresh and challenging perspective on how one can have faith in the good against every indication that evil is thriving, if not prevailing, and how every child--and so all of us--can be immensely more than we are, and all we were meant to be. "With Elli and her friends we enter a convincingly imagined 'other world' of unforgettable creatures, piercing beauty, and exciting dangers. And in joining their heroic quest through this strange world, we discover, too, bracing portrayals of universal themes: choice and courage, freedom and destiny, good and evil. Stories of other worlds, it is said, may both delight and instruct; as with all good fantasies, Blackfire sends us back to our own world, refreshed and renewed." --David J. Gouwens Brite Divinity School "This is a terrific story. The plot is riveting, and its unlikely heroes are people you care about. Woven throughout is a meditation on the nature of the conflict between good and evil, the meaning of faith, and the importance of the choices we all must make. To read it is to grow." --David Johnson Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary "Blackfire invites readers into a world of the familiar and fantastic. In this tale, we journey with those who could be our neighbors next door as they confront the daunting task of saving the world from ruin. Along the way, we gain insight into the ongoing human struggle to counter forces that lead to destruction and embrace those that lead to blessing. In tones reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, Eckblad composes a tale that will appeal to young readers open to discovering essential truths about the world, and themselves." --Karl Kuhn Lakeland College James Daniel Eckblad has served as both a pastor and a trial attorney, with degrees in theology and law from Yale University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, respectively. His writings range from tales and short stories to short plays, and his papers and articles on law and theology have been included in various journals and symposia. Blackfire is his first published work of fiction. He lives and works in Chicago.