Debut Queensland author
Don Horsfall has done himself proud with his first novel. The Empyrean Quest is part story and part mystical personal development journey.
The self-help aspect of the book, however, does not detract from the story. I recently read another self-help fiction book, Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One, which I enjoyed immensely and learnt a lot from, but it read in many parts like a work of nonfiction that had been fictionalised.
If you know of Dr John Demartini, human behavioural specialist and educator, you may recognise some of his concepts in Don’s book. These include contemplation of our life direction and purpose and of destructive patterns we may have in our lives. Dr Demartini has written the foreword to The Empyrean Quest.
Beau Sterling is a bright young Sydney lawyer set to take over the family law firm run by his domineering father. His whole life feels laid out before him, including his future marriage to a beautiful socialite. He seems to have no control over his own future.
Then he experiences the double betrayal of his fiancée and his best friend, and what had been a vague sense of unease escalates into a personal crisis. He sets off on a journey to gain perspective, starting in New Zealand and meeting Ellen, a fascinating American woman who has travelled the world seeking the answers to ‘life’s big questions’.
New Zealand adventure
They hike through remote parts of the South Island and Ellen learns that Beau is a keen sailor. She persuades him to join her as crew aboard a yacht sailing the South Pacific. On their mutual quest for answers and meaning, Beau and Ellen develop deep feelings for each other.
In the last third of the story, their yacht is wrecked and part of the crew heads ashore, reaching a mystical lost island. After much adversity, during which part of the group returns to the yacht, Beau and Ellen are guided to a village inhabited by evolved people from a different realm. The couple is led through personal challenges that unravel their deepest traumas – of which the reader has not been aware until then. This leads the pair to discover answers to some of life’s ‘big questions’ and ultimately, to achieve healing.
The Empyrean Quest is an immensely readable story of just over 200 pages. It will appeal to a wide adult audience that enjoys books such as Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield and The Magician’s Way by William Whitecloud.
Don Horsfall, The Empyrean Quest, 2018, Don Horsfall, Australia. Available in Kindle and paperback.
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