The Gold Hunter: The Goldfinder Series, Book One
by Philip Atlas Clausen (Goodreads Author)
Cristina Munar’s review
Dec 18, 2019
really liked it
** spoiler alert ** The Gold Hunter: The Goldfinder Series, Book One
I have sensed that this book will be a rare gem like the title. With the use of imagery, philosophy with a dash of humanity and the backdrop of history, the reading experience will be one for the book. Did I ever feel that the novel will take a long time for me to digest? Yes. With intricate details of California, the Indians (and a glimpse of Scotland), the author meticulously embedded those historical/ metaphysical clues for the intelligent reader to piece together and to create a journey towards believing on her/his ability to decode hidden lakes and invisible caves figuratively or literally. It became too much to bear…not to allot time for some reflective thinking after browsing the chapters. Did I ever give up? Nope. Thank you for the vote of confidence from the writer and fellow readers and reviewers. After all, the reader like me could easily identify with the main man, the young, dynamic Petr John Valory, but without a letter “e”on his name to save ink? For economy’s sake? Who in the world would ever decide on giving someone an incomplete identity? (Many to mention-pangs of reality). So that when Magya and John did that, I just made up excuses or reasons to interpret at the end of my reading journey. And the ending turned bitter as the plot ricocheted and spiraled to a great unknown. I ended up hating Magya and loving John. Could you blame me? This novel made me appreciate the harsh deaths the Indians suffered at the time where only the fittest could survive or how I finally understood John’s invisible thread of love and concern for his children, or Annabel’s life purpose of becoming a “man” imitating her ‘brother’, Petr and following him as if it was the only way to be one. So when they were broken apart by one mystical battle of obedience and loyalty, neither one of them survived the curse of reincarnation– of reliving the misery and pain of your past life all over again. Did I struggle with the fear of not ever reaching the last page and sigh, I made it? Undoubtedly. But because I enjoyed tearing Petr Valory’s character apart and putting them together with fresh outlook at what kind of human fabric he was made of, I never thought of giving him and The Gold Hunter up. This novel was written for historical fantasy lovers and for those who have the knack for metaphorical imagery and aesthetic symbolism. How many times I found myself comparing the falcon to Petr or the doll to Anabel? Sharing the same fate in the same time when touched by a realization that hey, they were never meant to be siblings by blood but lovers by fate. I loved the feeling that somehow I am criticizing the way the story progressed to many violent outbursts by all faces of evils.Evils that were just lurking in a California- man killer– whether it be Magya’s escape and /or abandonment or John’s undeserved death or Dain King’s devilish ambitions. Or the sickening dread that Annabel and Petr from the very beginning I read them pledging with each other, were in an incestuous relationship. It was a flipping kind of crazy to stop myself as a reader from judging how these characters react on their fate, wishing silently that Petr will make a name for himself and find love greater and safer than what he was feeling for Annabel.He was just seventeen. but his journey towards becoming a man and providing for his now non-existent family will only remain a dream he wished on the day of his birth. Or rebirth probably? The novel opened with a happy tone of being alive despite the tragical romance surrounding Magya’s failure and John’s inconsistency. But then again the foreshadowing techniques employed by Philip Clausen were sprinkled throughout the pages that you might as well just be prepared that something will happen when finally the characters, on a beautiful, bright California Sunday, were able to find a goldmine paying the higher price–their life.
Petr’s dreams to build a white house for his Mama or a good horse for Annabel and a saw mill for his Papa turned to a nightmare of being trapped to the sins of the past in a never-ending dominance of human greed and weak heart. Gold Lake was a dream that turned into a nightmare.