Synopses & Reviews
Prologue"Something that is of great importance to me?" J. thought for a few moments before responding. "Magic."
"No, something else," Paulo insisted.
"Women," J. said. "Magic and women."
"They're important to me, too," he said. "Although marriage has slowed me down a bit."
It was J.'s turn to laugh.
"A bit," he said. "Just a bit."
Paulo filled his master's glass with wine. It had been four months since they had seen each other, and this was a quite special night. Paulo wanted to talk for a while longer, build the suspense, before giving J. the package he had brought.
"I used to imagine the great masters as people who were far removed from the world," he said to J. "If you had answered me that way a few years ago, I think I would have abandoned my apprenticeship."
"You should have done that," J. said, sipping at his wine. "And I would have found a beautiful woman disciple to take your place."
They drank the entire bottle of wine as they sat talking in the restaurant located on the top floor of J.'s hotel. They spoke of work, magic, and women. J. was euphoric about the huge contract he had just negotiated for the Dutch multinational for which he worked. And Paulo was excited about the package he had brought with him.
"Let's have another bottle," Paulo said.
"In honor of what?"
"Your coming to Rio de Janeiro. . . . The beautiful view from the window over there. . . . And the present I've brought you."
J. looked out the window to see Copacabana beach sparkling below. "The view deserves a toast," he said, signaling to the waiter.
When they were halfway through the second bottle, Paulo placed the package on thetable.
Looking at J., he said, "If you were to ask me what is important to me, I would say: my master. It was he who taught me to understand that love is the only thing that never fails. He who had the patience to lead me along the intricate paths of magic. He who had the courage and dignity, despite his powers, to present himself always as a person with some doubts and with certain weaknesses. He who helped me to understand the forces that can transform our lives."
"We've had a lot of wine," J. said. "I don't want to get serious."
"I'm not talking about serious things. I'm talking about joyful things. I'm talking about love."
He pushed the package to J.'s side of the table. "Open it."
"What is his?"
"A way of saying thank you. And of passing on to others all the love you taught me."
J. opened the package. It contained almost two hundred typed pages, on the first of which was written "The Alchemist."
Paulo's eyes were gleaming.
"It's a new book," he said. "Look at the next page."
There was an inscription written in longhand: "For J., the alchemist who knows and uses the secrets of the Great Work."
Paulo had anxiously awaited this moment. He had been able to keep completely secret the fact that he was writing a new book, even though he knew that J. had really liked his previous book.
"This is the original manuscript," Paulo continued. "I'd like you to read it before I send it to the publisher."
He tried to read the expression in his master's eyes, but they were impenetrable.
"I have meetings all day tomorrow, J. said, "so I'll be able to read it only at night. Let's have lunch two days from now."
Paulo had been expecting a different reaction.He thought that J. would be happy, and moved by the inscription.
"Let's do that," said Paulo, hiding his disappointment. "I'll be back in two days."
J. called for the check. They walked silently to the elevator. J. pushed the button for the eleventh floor.
When the elevator stopped at his floor, J. pushed the Emergency button to hold the door open. Then he approached Paulo and said, "May the Lamb of God protect you," making a sign on the forehead of his disciple.
Paulo embraced his master and said good night. Resetting the button, J. stepped out of the elevator.
"Why didn't you make copies of the original?" he asked, as the door began to close.
"In order to give God the chance to make it disappear, if that was his will."
"Wise decision," Paulo heard J. say as the door closed. "I hope that the literary critics never discover where it is."
A Magical Tale About Forgiving Our Past and Believing in Our Future
The enchanting, true story of The Valkyries begins in Rio de Janeiro when author Paulo Coelho gives his mysterious master J., the only manuscript for his book The Alchemist. Haunted by a devastating curse, Coelho confesses to J., "I′ve seen my dreams fall apart just when I seemed about to achieve them." In response, J. gives Coelho a daunting task: He must find and speak with his guardian angel. "The curse can be broken," he replies, "if you complete the task."
Rising to the challenge, Paulo and his wife, Cristina, drop everything, pack their bags, and take off on a forty day adventure into the starkly beautiful and sometimes dangerous Mojave Desert where they encounter more than they bargained for. A masterful blend of the exotic locales, dramatic adventure, and magical storytelling, for which Coelho′s fictional works are renowned, this true-life account is at once a modern-day adventure and a metaphysical odyssey.
Travel into the searing Mojave Desert, uncover fabulous mysteries, and witness a fateful meeting with guardian angels in the suspenseful and compelling tale of Paulo Coelho's unique spiritual journey. At once modern-day adventure and metaphysical odyssey, a love story and a supernatural encounter with angels, The Valkyries is about forgiving the past and believing in the future.
A classic masterwork of spiritual tension and realization from Paulo Coelho, this powerful story of one mans battle with self-doubt and fear is now available in a beautiful new package from HarperOne. An essential volume alongside Coelhos other bestselling and influential books, such as The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, Brida, and The Winner Stands Alone, the searing and unforgettable narrative in The Valkyries asks the questions most central to all literature—and all of humanitys quest for understanding. Why is it that we destroy the things we love most? And how can we learn to let go of the past and believe in the future?
About the Author
The Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theater director, actor, lyricist, and journalist. Coelho wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music, such as Elis Regina and Rita Lee, yet he is best known for his work with Raul Seixas. Together they wrote such successes as "Eu nasci há dez mil anos atrás" ("I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago"), "Gita," and "Al Capone."
His fascination with the spiritual quest dates back to his hippie days, when he travelled the world learning about secret societies, oriental religions, etc. In 1982, Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1985, he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves, since he considered it "of bad quality." In 1986, Paulo Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.