After several strange occurrences, Mr. Vane believes his
library is haunted. It is not until he is acquainted with the
mysterious Mr. Raven that Mr. Vane learns of the magical world that
lurks within his reach. Upon visiting this world with Mr. Raven, Mr.
Vane encounters incredulous beings, some good, some dangerous. He
witnesses many extraordinary things and eventually, his hazardous
journey leads him to find love and face death; ultimately he must decide
between the two. This story is heavily influenced by Christian themes,
as readers must wrestle with the concepts of death and salvation
alongside Mr. Vane. This whimsical novel is a dark fantasy tale written
for adult readers. Of his fantasy stories, George MacDonald claimed to
write not necessarily for children, but for the child-like. MacDonald
has been said to be one of the most influential fantasy writers of the
19th century, having inspired writers such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.
Tolkein, and Madeline L'Engle.