Paola Giometti is from São Paulo, Brazil. She graduated in Biology and gained a Master’s degree and PhD in Natural Sciences. Furthermore, she’s the author of six books and has organised and worked collaboratively on several collections of short stories. The Code of the Eagles is her third solo book and was released by Engrenagem publishing house in 2016. Together with The Destiny of the Wolves, it forms the Tales of the Earth series, in which the author combines both her academic and real-life experiences to portray nature as accurately as possible.
The Code of the Eagles tells the story of Hankpa, a baby eagle who’s captured by indigenous villagers after his first flight from the nest. From then on, he lives with the tribe’s other eagles, while learning to hunt and follow the code of the eagles, a sort of ancestral law that brings humans and eagles together in a pact of mutual aid.
The story actually begins with an old man, who takes his great-grandson on a walk in the mountains. The boy is spending his last days at his parents’ house before moving to the city to continue his studies. During the hike, the great-grandfather begins to tell the eagle’s story and, from there, we dive into Hankpa’s first-person account of his adventures.
Without a doubt, this is a very captivating book that deals light-heartedly with important issues, such as growing up, friendship, loneliness and strength. It’s very easy to identify with Hankpa. As we follow him growing up and see how his attitude changes, we are led to self-reflect and think about our own pathway through life and how it has made us who we are.
As for me, I never liked animals or nature much. My family came from the countryside and I always spent time on my aunt’s farm as a child. But each time I was there, I remember I wondered what it would be like to live in a big city – full of cars, buildings and people – and be able to amble around shopping centres or wear fashionable clothes, just like the girls in TV series.
I currently live in a city and have access to all the opportunities a large urban area offers. However, I sometimes find myself remembering the time when I lived in the countryside and the people I lived there with.
This is what The Code of the Eagles shows: that growing up is painful, but also unavoidable. The pain comes not only from the difficulties we encounter as we get older, but also because of the goodbyes we have to say along the way.
However, in life, every end is a new beginning. Nothing stays the same; everything changes. And, of course, not all changes are bad. As we learnt from The Lion King, this is the circle of life, which we are all a part of, whether we like it or not. Giometti’s book also demonstrates this, and in a very beautiful way too. Just like in fiction, in our own stories, memories are what we’re left with. We’re also left with the certainty that, although many things no longer exist, they did exist for long enough to be part of many incredible moments.
Written by Minas Nerds (Text available in Portuguese): https://minasnerds.com.br/2017/01/25/o-codigo-das-aguias-fabulas-da-terra-de-paola-giometti/