Altars of Tomorrow is the final installment of the series chronicling the life of Deacon Coburn. Those who have been reading from the first pages of Days of Purgatory know that Abell is a master storyteller. His descriptive narratives can pull the reader into a scene such that one can almost feel explosions rock the narrow canyon town of Creede or hear the quiet rippling of the Rio Grande while riding horseback along the riverbank. Historical accuracy envelops the storyline as the saga comes to a somber yet joyful conclusion.— Joe Screnock, Overcomers BOD Chairman
In Altars of Tomorrow, Abell grapples with the grand themes of love, faith, family, and loss within the gritty vicissitudes of life. In doing so, he keeps a steady and sober eye on the tides of eternity as the ebb and flow of entwining plotlines transport intriguing characters to the same destination. An equal measures blend of melancholy and hope brings the series to a heady conclusion, in which a satisfying send-off is provided for Deacon Coburn, an uncompromising protagonist brought to vivid existence by a consummate and unflinching storyteller.—William D. Hastings, author of Behind Prison Walls, and Candy & Blood
Set in and around the boomtown of Creede, Colorado in 1892, Altars of Tomorrow is the final chapter of the Deacon Coburn narrative that began in Days of Purgatory. It is a poignant story that explores the triumph of hope and redemption in the context of human frailty.
Worn down to a ragged frazzle, the River Brethren man from Conoy Creek arrives in town after being in the saddle for nearly eight months. He discovers his daughter now has two rough and tumble sons running along a thin line between shenanigans and delinquency. Coburn comes to the aid of a victim of their mischievous pranks, extending tender mercies to a soul-scarred man whose mind was broken at Chancellorsville. The mystery of Lucinda Enochelli is drawn to a surprising completion when she delivers Coburn a document from his past.
The ensemble cast of characters are woven into reflective subplots imbued by the tension that comes from confronting questions about life and death, and the contrast between the temporal and the eternal. The words of Sally Twosongs serve as a ribbon wrapped around the ambiguities to provide a bedrock foundation on which to stand: “The Creator’s plans and purposes are beyond our ability to reason or comprehend. As it has always been and always shall be.”