After reading “The Alchemist”, I had to read another Coelho. Would it have been the same if I had started with this one. Certainly not. Even though the subject is somewhat related, I couldn't link with the characters. A young girl who wants to become a witch or a magician and is willing to give up the love of her life for that.
Even though this is also a quest for the meaning of life, it didn't speak to me the same way. There must be a reason it took 18 years that this book was translated into English (although, having said that, it usually takes a little longer for foreign books to be translated into English but Paulo Coelho is an internationally highly acclaimed author).
Maybe it is not fair to compare this to a masterpiece as “The Alchemist” but it's difficult not to do that. If it had been written by another author and my expectations hadn't been that high, I might actually have loved this book.