Before I begin this review I want to make it clear that I have no idea what Dante’s Inferno is. From what I’ve gathered from the prologue, that was excellently written by Mr. Paffenroth, is that Dante was an Italian poet who was exiled from his town. After he was banished, he wandered around Europe and wrote a poem about his travels. There was a time when no one knew Dante’s whereabouts. Paffenroth wrote Valley of the Dead to fill in those blurred lines. I am writing this review on the book that was presented to me, I will not compare Dante’s Inferno with Valley of the Dead, mostly because what you just read is all I know on the subject.
Dante was exiled from Italy. It is unclear exactly why he was exiled, but some things were mention to the effect that he was accused of bribery. So, Dante begins wandering Europe. In his travels he comes to a town where the plague has gone berserk. The bodies of the dead are walking and attacking the townsfolk. Dante finds a young, attractive and very pregnant peasant girl named, Bogdana. Dante stares at her, as she does something that was not very lady-like at all. She was bashing the heads of the dead as they ransacked her village. After exchanging a few panicked words with Bogdana, she and Dante flee the village. A strong bond quickly grows between them.
Not long after, the two come to another village where an angry mob has formed and are about to execute a woman. But standing between the woman and the mob is a soldier by the name of Radovan. Dante comes to the woman’s defense, but quickly worries that the mob will soon turn on him and Bogdana. They begin to leave and are halted by Radovan, saying to not leave him as the woman’s only defender. That’s when the dead begin to storm the town, and the three of them flee further into the valley.
They stop at a nearby monastery where they meet a monk named, Adam. Brother Adam tells them about a passage that leads through the valley and over the mountains. As a sworn duty from God, Adam decids to follow the travelers and show them the road out of the valley of the dead.
I feel like I’ve already said too much so I’ll stop there. Valley of the Dead was an extremely well written book. Like I said before, I have no clue exactly what Dante’s Inferno is about so I entered this book with knowing that I was taking it at face value. Kind of what I did with the book Paul Is Undead. I knew nothing about Beatles history, but I read it for what it was. There are so many good things I want to say about Valley of the Dead, one of them is how interesting the story was. I love reading books that are not from my time period because of the character interaction. It’s different from what I’m use to in day to day life.
All of the characters were wonderfully thought out. Each one had good characteristics that really made them stand out from one another. Sure, Dante was our lead hero, but the other characters were equally interesting. There was one scene that really stood out for me and that was the part where Dante was bribing a man to let them pass through a pathway. I work for a pawnshop so I know how to make deals with people, and that scene was spot on.
With the superb writing, interesting characters and fascinating time period, I will have to give Valley of the Dead 5 Undead Heads out of 5.
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