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It Was an Age of Expectation In the years leading up to 1844, the entire globe, it seemed, was experiencing religious fervor. Both the Bible and the Qu'ran hinted at the coming of a Promised One who would cure the ails of the world. During these years, two twelve-year-old best friends in a desert village in Persia, dream of becoming great mullas and being first to recognize the Qa'im, the Promised One of Islam. But for Ali, son of the local mayor, it is not to be. One night his mother, an English girl enslaved after her missionary parents were killed, packs up Ali and after a breathtaking escape returns to London. Suddenly wealthy, Ali becomes "Ollie" and is Christianized, educated, and brought into the family business, the London Times. Unfortunately, a series of heartbreaking tragedies befall the young man in England and America. As he bitterly rages against God and sets out to persecute those who carry out "His cruel purpose," the best friend he left behind becomes a trailblazer of a new religion that threatens Islam and is savagely persecuted by a brutal Persian regime. The startlingly different paths of these two best friends finally converge, with each on opposite sides of a climactic battle that will alter the lives and beliefs of millions forever.