The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Bestselling author Kim Jin-myung explores enigmatic world of 'pungsu'

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : June 24, 2023 - 16:00

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"Pungsu War" by Kim Jin-myung (Eta Books)

"Pungsu War" (working title)

By Kim Jin-myung

Eta Books

Bestselling author Kim Jin-myung, known for the historical epic series “Goguryeo,” has turned his attention to the unique culture of “pungsu,” or geomancy. The novel encompasses the significance and value of pungsu, which cannot be fully explained using scientific language, while shedding light on forgotten historical events. Starting with the question of whether a future can exist without the past, the author connects the country’s past and future.

The story begins with a mysterious message delivered to the South Korean president. Eun Ha-soo, an administrative official in the presidential office, is assigned the task of tracing this enigmatic message, but she cannot find any clues behind the eerie proclamation that reads, "The curse's prophecy will come true."

In search of answers, Eun seeks out college acquaintance Lee Hyeong-yeon. Starting from a shaman's shack and meeting monks and geomancy experts along the way, the two become absorbed in the quest to decipher the message. Looking at seemingly unrelated events, including scattered historical accounts, lost territories and the pressing issue of Korea's demographic cliff and Korean-Japanese relations, Eun and Lee find themselves delving deeper into a labyrinth. The story intertwines history, politics and mystery with the elements of pungsu and shamanism, prompting a reflection on the distorted history, while the author questions our perceptions of history.

Meanwhile, “Goguryeo” is being adapted into a blockbuster television series, with a budget of some 100 billion won ($77.2 million), according to a report from Yonhap News Agency in 2021.