Review – Devil's Lair February 17, 2012Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Fantasy.
Tags: "book review", "book reviews", books, david wisehart, devil's lair, fantasy, historical fiction, kindle, reading
by David Wisehart
Devil’s Lair is an epic fantasy set in Dante’s Inferno.
A medieval knight leads a quest through Hell to recover the Holy Grail from the Devil. The knight, Marco da Roma, is joined by: Giovanni Boccaccio, an expert on Dante; William of Ockham, an English friar; and Nadja, an epileptic with the gift of prophecy. As the Black Death sweeps through Europe, these unlikely heroes confront the Devil–and their own demons–to forestall the Apocalypse.
This historical fiction/fantasy novel is slow moving with lots of religious intonations. Good and evil weigh heavily on the questers. The friar, William of Ockham, is the quests real leader in spirit as it’s his faith that sees them through their doubt that Hell even exists.
I warn you that they don’t even reach Hell until a little more then halfway through the book. A lot of the story is about the journey to Hell and about the difficulties that they encounter on their way there.
A lot of the book centers on God and his love. So if you don’t want to be preached at, this book probably isn’t for you. The friar is constantly espousing the virtue of God’s love to those who have doubt in their hearts. There’s a lot of theological debate as well. This theme got a bit a tiresome after awhile.
There are some bawdy and evocative bits as well, but they’re few and far between. I can count them on one hand.
The character development in the book was well done. You got to know the main figures on the book quite well and in a short time you got a good feel for them. From the rough, amnesiac Marco de Roma to the poet who was desperately hoping to hold on to better times, Giovanni Boccaccio and the pious friar, William of Ockham. Also the naive and pure Nadja.
I did have a problem with Nadja. It seemed like she was put on a pedestal as the only woman in the group. She had her problems, but for the most part she was a bit too pure and a bit too naive.
The climax of the story had a good twist. I was quite surprised in the end and it was a good surprise. Although one portion of the climax did leave me wondering if that was all there was. I can’t say anymore without giving away a huge spoiler.
On the whole the book was well-written and I really wanted to like this book. Instead it just bored me with it’s tedious and endless repetition of the merits of good vs. evil and it’s unceasing preaching of the author’s brand of religion.