Condemned to burn in the eighth circle of Dante's Hell,
Odysseus, legendary thief and liar of Homer's Odyssey and
Iliad, decides he is going to break out. His adventure begins
with a prayer to Athena Parthenos, who appears to him bear-
ing gifts: his armor, his famous bow, a mysterious leather
pouch, and seven unusual arrows. She then sends him on
a quest through the Underworld along with Diomedes, his
friend from the Trojan War who had been sharing in his eter-
nal punishment. To complete their escape, the goddess warns
them, they must recover their squandered honor and learn to
use "the eighth arrow."
At turns exciting, humorous, and edifying, this action-
packed epic follows Odysseus and Diomedes as they journey
through all the circles of Dante's Hell, where they encoun-
ter various characters from Greek mythology, ancient his-
tory, and Renaissance literature, including Helen of Troy,
Cerberus, Penelope, Homer, Harpies, Centaurs, and eventu-
ally Satan himself. With witty banter and wily stratagems,
the two Greek warriors fight their way through the obstacles
that stand between them and redemption.
The Eighth Arrow is a thoroughly entertaining jailbreak story. Full of allusions to great works of old, it is also gently educa-
tional, and as such it can be read as a guide or a companion
to Dante's Inferno and the works of Homer.