Wyvern - kindle ebook by A. A. Attanasio

KDP Countdown Deal: November 16, 2014 through November 23, 2014


Like the legendary wyvern, this historical novel is envisioned as a living amalgam of opposites: I intended an engrossing story of classical proportions and timing, which can be read exclusively for event. And I wanted to create a verbal talisman of ideas, metaphors, and soul. The storyline is a tribute to life and adventure, while the theme persistently expresses the deathward perspective of the soul.

The protagonist, Jaki, trains in the jungles of Borneo as a soul-catcher. He is our guide through the realm of the dead — the past — embodied here as the 17th century. He’s a worthy guide, because the past enwombs us even now as we live out the ideals and prejudices of our history, our living dead.

“Nature loves to hide,” teaches Heraclitus, the wyvern of philosophers, who preached the unity of opposites. So, we must enter the darkness of the individual mind, distant from the ghostly glow of history, to find human nature.

Within the individual — within Jaki — is a darkness of unknowing, the black night of blood, which holds all our screams and instincts. This is darkness not of rest but of intensity. All origins are here. We begin wrenched, swayed and enchanted like roots pulled deeper into darkness by the same strength that pushes us toward light.

From Jaki’s teacher, Jabalwan, a ‘wild man of Borneo,’ Jaki becomes familiar with this night, the ancestor of all dreams. Throughout the novel, he never loses touch with this depth, and that keeps him bound to freedom.

Pym, the pirate who kidnaps Jaki, is the consummate Enlightenment hero. His single vision is the craftiness of mind, the power of strategy. It surmounts all threat — whether of the elemental forces of sea and wind or of empire — to fight for, sing about, and build an empire of his own — which then becomes his prison and death.

Jaki inherits and extends that vision by combining mind with soul, the root-pull of the earth. He fuses Pym’s reason and Jabalwan’s instinctive consciousness. As a modern man, he tethers his dreams to history, to the impersonal powers of the age, exploring and exploiting the world. And as a soul-catcher, he personalizes the source of being, investing his wakefulness in our everlasting moment of perishing and becoming.