My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Search of the Golden City is an interesting novel written in the style of mythic fiction. The form is established in the fist six sentences: “He was born in a cave. The owl watched intently as it heard the mother crying out in pain. From inside flowed multitudes of color as the new being came into life. The owl knew that the new one would be a listener and a seer. He would have the power to change people's minds. Knowing this, the owl called its brother the eagle who took upon itself the task of protecting the newcomer.”
The story is the tale of Akim , a peasant who leaves home to learn the trade of furniture manufacturing. Akim apprentices with a hermit named Asteodor, whose teaching goes way beyond carpentry. Among other lessons he imparts, he tells Akim that “...everything is alive. Nature always talks to you, but you have to learn how to communicate with her if you want her to assist you. The second thing that you must always remember is that life gives you back what you put into it.”
Akim continues to learn from Asteodor and to use his own special abilities to help others, until his reputation grows to the point when he is called on to help the king of the land. When he falls in love with someone above his station, the two young people must search for “The Golden City” to find a place where their love can thrive. They travel in three ways, physically, through dreams, and in trances, yet all their journeys hold equal weight – and danger.
The short biography in the “About the Author” section at the end of her book, expresses well why this book is fascinating. “Experiences early in Mia's life have led her to search for true healing. In the process she discovered the shamanic way: a relationship with the essence of all things. In the worlds that opened up to her through shamanism, she found the stories of the unconscious that often take expression in myths. Through her writing she hopes to give the reader access to these otherworldly realms.”
Although the plot is important, in this type of book the real substance is found by considering the lessons the characters learn on their journey and by looking at their experiences as metaphors. Mia Lutsch hints at this when she says, “All the central parts of his being – his heart, his mind, his body, and most importantly, his will – felt cloudy and blocked as he fought the metaphorical demons.”
Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul, White Horse Regressions, and Hopatcong Vision Quest
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