Agnes and the Forbidden Mountain
Agnes lives in a virgin forest tribe of Magreys. Each tribal member is born with an exceptional gift. As soon as the Magrey discovers and masters the gift, there comes the time to perform it during a Full Moon Celebration and to promise not to misuse it and to share it with the whole tribe.
The only catch is, the Magreys must manage to do so before their twelfth birthday, otherwise they turn into Shadows.
Agnes has just celebrated her eleventh birthday. And apart from others, she still does not know what her gift is.
Therefore, she sets out on a dangerous journey to the Forbidden Mountain. To the very same mountain, from which her daddy didn't return five years ago.
Hard cover or ebook.
Dreamy illustrations by Czech Artist Alisha Zalesak.
Reading age 8+.
For both girls and boys.
Switch on English subtitles!
How the book came to be
In November of 2019, I was getting ideas that urged me to share the story with other people.
- How to sensibly manage the time here on Earth which is so comically short?
- How to listen to your heart?
- How not to cling to things as everything is only borrowed in our lives?
- How to find happiness in everydayness?
- How to wake up the kindness to your own body?
- How to take care of your soul and not let others hurt you?
- And how to find the reconciliation with your own mortality?
I wished to write a book that:
- could be read by children and adults,
- was so interesting that the reader couldn't put the book down,
- was wise, but not overwise,
- could make you laugh and cry.
And that's how Agnes came to life. A girl from the Magrey tribe living on the island of Baulu. Tiny and wild, talkative and brave, carrying a seed of uncertainty within her, which beautifully ties the story together.
"I strongly believe that enhancing and pampering our own unique skills is the right way to make the world around us a more beautiful place." ~ Veronika Hurdová
Kind words from readers...
It's the best book I have ever read. The story has completely changed my perspective on life. The book will touch your heart and change your views forever. It is full of love, respect, encouragement and wisdom.
At first glance it's a kids story. I thought I could read this superficially. But when I kept re-reading passages, I noticed the deep truth in the book. A fabulous book for children and a great book for parents as well.
God bless! The book is SO amazing! Thanks to Veronica and these books, I have been riding my biggest wave of self-love and kindness. Agnes and the Forbidden Mountain has the power to transform you!
have read Agnes and the Forbidden Mountain twice, and the second time I kept discovering more to the story. I read many philosophical books, books about religion and personal development, but this book is truly phenomenal! Everything is summed up in one story, which I have never seen before. It's uplifting and I wanted to both laugh and cry when reading the book.
My 12-year-old daughter read the book yesterday. She set out on the journey, cried and laughed along with Agnes. When she was later writing her diary, she wouldn't even reveal to us what Agnese's gift was. So that others could experience the thrill of reading this book. She said this was the best book she had ever read and that she would return to this story many times in the future.
I dove into this book and devoured it in one go. Perhaps, because you have to read with your heart and not your eyes. Thank you for this great, amazing, loving, sensitive, and wise book with a deep point. It is beautifully illustrated, a treasure of treasures. I personally fully recommend this book.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a wonderful experience. For the humour, the wisdom and for the tears at the end of the book. My 32-year-old son died two years ago, and this book has really helped me cope.
Every page I turned, made me pray the book would never end. I'm sad that this story came to an end, but I'm still full of wonder. I'm not in the mood to read any other book. I will keep this one in my head forever.
I'm a primary school teacher and I try to keep my students engaged by reading books with them. I have just read this book with my second graders, we discussed what we learnt and liked. The children were very excited!
I have just finished reading with my 7 and 10-year-old children. Even though I have been reading bedtime stories to my children every night, I am a Montessori educator and a very selective reader. I have not read a book nearly as fascinating as Agnes in the past 10 years.
Wow! This story is amazing, and I can't express in words how great it is. I have 2 children (2 and 4.5 years old). We don't read much, but this book is moving, beautiful, catchy and exciting. Thank you for such a wonderful book!
Hats off. From the beginning until the end, the book was amazing, smooth paper, practical bookmarks, wonderful illustrations and a truly touching story. The book touched my heart more than I thought it could ever have.
The book is often compared to
Harry Potter or The Little Prince.
Agnes rules in the Czech Republic!
The book has been converted into an audiobook and became the most selling audiobook in the category of youngsters and kids in 2021.
A play is currently being written based on the story of the book, directed by Iveta Dušková.
Teachers use the book as an educational material and psychologists use it to aid in therapies.
The book has become the inspiration for summer camp games and adult mental wellbeing courses.
In 2022 an interactive exhibition based on the story is going to be realized, directed by Adam Skala.
It placed 3rd in the category 12y+ in the "Bystrouška" competition of audiobooks.
Songs based on the Agnes' story have been recorded by Czech musician Marie Tilšarová.
The book itself is interactive. The reader must solve tasks prepared by the Spirit of the Mountain alongside Agnes.
A sneak peak
"I shall warn you. What you have chosen will be no walk through a rose garden."
"I am not afraid," said Agnes firmly, firmer than she was feeling, and she bent her head to show her forehead to the shaman.
"You really are like your great-grandfather," Ezra smiled and put his warm palm of his left hand on Agnese's forehead.
The hunched thin men and women around her couldn't stop laughing. When after a long time even the last one stopped, their spokesman took his word: "You are saying you are over four THOUSAND days?"
"Well... yes! If I am counting right, it should be almost accurate. What is so funny about that?"
"Didn't you make a mistake? Didn't you want to say four days?"
Now it was Agnese's turn to laugh: "If I was four days old, I wouldn't be able to come here. I would be most probably laying in a hammock sucking on my thumb. But why is it so important? Why does it count how many days old I am?"
"That is very, very crucial, young lady," the little man croaked in a pitchy voice and raised one of his bony fingers to stress out the importance of his words. "According to how many days old you are, you will be added to an appropriate work group."
"To an appropriate work group?" Agnes asked, all puzzled.
"Yes, yes exactly. Well, there is no need to idle unnecessarily. You came right on time!" the little man shouted and started sorting others into groups. He examined the forearms of everybody and to Agnese's shock he made a small cut in their skin with a sharp little knife. Until now, Agnes hadn't noticed that each of the little people had arms full of rows of scars of different age. Some of them had just a few, some of them had almost no free space on their forearms to receive another cut. And the more scars they had, the more bent and dried out they seemed.
"What are you looking at?"
Agnes was so absorbed in looking at herself, she didn't notice another figure appearing behind her. She lurched alarmed and without turning she shifted her sight to a corner of the mirror, where she saw a big figure hovering, its face hidden in a hood. The Spirit of the Mountain let himself be seen once again.
When she got over the scare, Agnes answered sloppily: "I am looking at myself. You should try it as well."
"There is nothing to look at," Gorm answered abruptly.
"I disagree. There is always something to look at," Agnes opposed.
"Are you sure? Even when you are dressed in a black coat and your face is hidden in a hood?"
"Well... maybe not. But you should try to take that coat off. You must wash it from time to time, don't you?" Agnes joked.
"I will have to disappoint you."
"What a pity. I bet you are handsome underneath it. And I am not disappointed!" Agnes said resolutely. "I am not disappointed because I have obtained many good tips how to take care of myself to look and feel good."
"Is it so? Do you like yourself?"
Agnes nodded. "Yes, I do." And she added after a while: "Actually I don't understand how come I couldn't[NH1] see it before."
Gorm nodded his head satisfied and then he lifted his hand in the same manner as Meda and snapped his fingers.
"Huh? You also know the trick with snapping your fingers?" Agnes wondered, because she had never seen Gorm snap his fingers before.
"No, I can't" the Spirit of the Mountain replied, "it just seemed more interesting this way."
"I see. And what exactly have you done?" asked Agnes.
"Why don't you come out of this cave and have a look yourself?"