When college students Elliot Fleming and Vesta Lloyd agree to join English Professor Rydar Colson's production of Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2, they do not know what to expect. Sacred Shadows and Latent Light follows Elliot and Vesta as they prepare for what they assume will be little more than an enriching extracurricular challenge. However, when student reporter Ermine Jackson goes beyond his journalism professor's instruction to lobby the university for a second director, he initiates a campaign to cancel the plays and remove Shakespeare from the university curriculum--and Colson from campus. Between Colson's production and Jackson's crusade, the campus steadily divides, leading to unexpected allegiances, betrayals, questionable accusations, and threats of physical violence. Throughout their time admiring, questioning, resenting, and defending Colson and his production, the characters discover when and how to stand up for their convictions, all the while examining different views on the extent of free speech, the place of the canon in higher academia, the safety and representation of women in society, the growth of "cancel culture" on a changing university campus, and how much is truly involved in what and how one reads.