Kogaionon is the sacred mountain of the Dacians (nowadays approximately the region of Romania), where the cave of the supreme god Zalmoxis is hidden. The ancient Dacian god of the sky, the dead, and the Mysteries, Zalmoxis taught the Dacians about immortality: ‘He taught them that bodies were coffins of the souls, which are caged birds, yearning to break out and stretch their wings.’ Every several years, human sacrifice – the ritual of the messenger – would take place in order to ensure the continued prosperity of the people.
Sabina Lungeanu’s story begins with Daos and Oroles, two young men, the best of friends, both in love with a beautiful girl named Cotiso, and both participating in the ritual of the messenger, whereby only one of them will be awarded the highest of honours – to die in the name of Zalmoxis.
Mythology, like a thick veil of mist, envelops this tale of brotherhood, love, and loyalty. We follow the tale of Daos from his youth until his very old age, down the winding path of curse, love, and loss. He has a complicated and strained relationship with his father Charnabon, who has never recovered from the early death of Daos’ mother. Daos chooses to become a healer in an attempt to compensate for the inability to help his own family, however, loss follows him throughout his life. It is only in the end that the story makes a full circle and he gets a well-deserved reprieve.
In the Shadow of the Kogaionon is a wonderfully exciting and poetic journey, and if you like mythology, adventure, lyrical writing, and a dash of romance, you will definitely be in for a treat!