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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Keisha is excited about the action movie she just watched with her mother. But, as they walk home, she confronts her own action peril, an evil force, a wicked portal, and someone who kidnaps her mother right before her eyes. No one believes her, except for another girl, just a few years older than Keisha. Verona is from another dimension, known as the world of the Inferno. As Verona creates a portal to go to find Keisha’s mother, Keisha begs to go with her. Against Versona’s better judgment, Keisha accompanies her new friend, and the adventure against the fiery powers of evil begins. That’s not all – she’s soon to discover that she has her own source of magic because her father is actually Dante Alighieri.
Adults may recall studying Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, a story about a journey into Hell. There are also games that reflect on Inferno’s battles of good versus evil. T.R. Tells’s young adult novel, Keisha and the Rise of the Legacy, the first book in the Inferno Verse series, takes a young girl on her own riveting and often frightening journey into Hell. She quickly learns that magic and monsters are real, but she doesn’t realize right away that she was meant to be a champion against these evil powers. The plot begins with Keisha’s mother’s kidnapping and the journey to Inferno in the hopes of saving her. With a compelling descriptive narrative, believable dialogue, and great character development, this story will appeal to young readers who enjoy a grand adventure. There are some ghastly, frightening scenes, but nothing more dire than one finds in other books and other forms of entertainment. Like the epic original, this story, modernized and softened for the younger audience, is definitely a classic in its own right.