The Fifth Mountain Novel By Paulo Coelho. The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho was originally published in Brazil in 1996. Set in the Middle East during the turbulent 9th century, The Fifth Mountain is inspired by an event in Coelho’s life that opened his eyes to the reality that tragedy is not a punishment but a challenge. It begins when the beautiful, evil Phoenician Princess Jezebel, wife of Israel’s King, decrees the death of all prophets who refuse to bow down to the pagan god Baal. Elijah, ordered by an angel of God to flee the country for Zarephath, takes refuge in this strange land with a young widow and her son. When Elijah finds love with her, it seems that perhaps, after all, God has intended for his faithful, willing ascetic prophet to have some human happiness. But this happiness is short lived, and when Elijah sees his dreams shattered, he must once again find the strength to create a new life for himself. A gripping and moving story of how one man surmounts tragedy and inspires a city that has been destroyed by war to rebuild itself. The Fifth Mountain is Paulo Coelho at his best.