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Book Title: Fate, In the Dungeon of Doom

Authored by Peter Okonkwo

Year of Publication: 2021

ISBN 979-8-7152-1327-3

Following on from his debut poetry collection, Ecstasy of the Dead, talented young poet and writer, Peter Okonkwo returns with this, his latest offering and follow-up anthology, titled Fate, in the Dungeon of Doom. Much like its ominous, mysterious title would suggest, this book confronts some difficult subjects, investigating matters such as human fate and destiny, a family tragedy through the disappearance of a young man named Kwame, and many more issues as well. 

In the first section, Peter explores the nature of fate itself, digging into the discussion of fate versus destiny, and queries whether a man is able to alter it, or whether it is a predetermined thing. The poems herein debate the topic of fate, and examine the uncertainty of it. From the titular poem itself to the strongly written Whose Fault, Fate or Mine? This opening act is introspective and philosophical, and raises some interesting questions on how much a man is really in control of his own life. Is Man the architect of his own destiny? Can he ever truly hope to change or sway the path laid out before him? Both of these are questions that the author seeks to answer.  

Following his musings on fate, Peter delves into the story of a young Nigerian man named Kwame, and the reverberations his sudden disappearance has on his family and friends. Kwame’s tale is explored through narrative poetry, in which his mother and sibling question where he has gone to, and prayer to powers above for aid. This section of the book is filled with raw emotion, as Kwame’s mother Vanessa, and his younger brother, Etean make pleas for his safe return.  

Vanessa and Etean’s anguish can be felt in Peter’s words, their pain and torment over his unexpected vanishing is both tangible and emotionally effecting. Poems such as Etean’s Letter to Kwame, and Vanessa’s Prayer are raw and heartfelt pleas from his family as they grow increasingly despondent over his absence. Some of these poems are direct continuations of those found in the author’s earlier collection; Ecstasy of the Dead, and it was interesting to see this mystifying story developed further. I for one am eager to see how this story is continued in Peter’s upcoming novel, titled Etean’s Destiny.  

In the final act of this collection, Peter offers his thoughts and musings on a wide variety of topics, touching on themes of karma, poverty, and what it means to be a poet. These later poems feel very personal to the author himself, and in my opinion, they encapsulate and reflect his drive and passion for this medium perfectly. This varied selection serves to illustrate Peter’s ability to approach all manner of subjects, and write effective and thought-provoking slices of poetry on these issues.  

This is just a brief overview of the works complied within this collection. There are many more besides, for you to check out for yourselves. All in all, Fate, in the Dungeon of Doom once again proves the author’s ability to touch upon just about any topic imaginable and explore it through his written word. Peter delivers another poignant, emotional, and engrossing selection of poems and narrative verses.  

Once more, Peter Okonkwo proves himself to be a versatile and talented writer, and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. I would recommend keeping an eye on this author as he continues to shape and develop his craft, and would recommend this book to all fans of poetry that offers mental stimulation, food for thought, and real heart at its center.

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Ngiga
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