Review: Valley of the Thracians by Ellis Shuman

Valley of the Thracians, by Ellis Shuman

Valley of the Thracians, by Ellis Shuman. Image courtesy of Ellis Shuman.

Valley of the Thracians is a suspense novel set in Bulgaria, written by Ellis Shuman
Retired Professor Simon Matthews travels to Bulgaria in search of his presumed-dead grandson Scott. Professor Matthews is a likeable character, full of charming tenacity. My favourite scenes are when he becomes cantankerous, post-physical exertion, they were laugh out loud moments.
He finds a mysterious ally in the form of Sophia from Sofia, an expert in Thracian antiquities. To my discomfort, Matthews trusts her readily on his quest to find Scott.
Even though Matthews is in a foreign land without the blessing of his family, discovers shocking revelations about Scott and suffers substantial injury, his journey for the truth never falters. His focus lends itself to a fast-moving plot, in a gorgeous setting. The theme of family is very powerful.

Valley of the Thracians is an enjoyable read with twists and turns aplenty. I especially recommend this book to those who love to travel and visualize luscious settings.

Stunning roses can be found throughout Bulgaria.

Stunning roses can be found throughout Bulgaria.

Descriptions of Bulgaria are so vivid I now find myself hunting for my passport. Here are three things I learned from Valley of the Thracians that tempt me to visit:

  • The Thracians

The who? Exactly my response. Shuman weaves an intriguing picture of their history as a group of ancient militant tribes. Bulgaria is home to many ancient artifacts and tombs of Thracian Rulers, and it’s Valley of the Kings makes an appearance in the novel.

  • Rakia

Rakia is Bulgaria’s national drink, with a normal alcohol content of 40%, although home-made varieties may be stronger. Gulp.

  • Roses 

I like flowers. So what? Bulgaria is full of roses and produces the lion’s share of the world’s rose oil.

While the tale of Valley of the Thracians is complete, my introduction to Bulgaria has just begun.

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