Page Number: 487
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2005
My Rating: ★★★★★
Where do I begin? This is by far my favourite book of the year so far and I have already bought the second in the series so I can quench my obsession with Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s gorgeous writing.
The story begins in Barcelona just after the Spanish Civil War, a young boy named Daniel lives alone with his Father and helps run the family bookshop. One day Daniel’s Father takes him to a place knows as ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ – a labyrinthine place completely packed with beautiful and rare books. Daniel is allowed to spend some time there and pick out one book that he can to keep, this is how he come across ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ – a gripping novel written by one Julian Carax.
After falling in love with the book Daniel sets out on a mission to find out more about it’s illusive author, he also discovers that a mysterious cloaked figure is hell bent on destroying any remaining books by Julian Carax, including the one that Daniel now owns. We are then thrown into an epic adventure with twists and turns at every corner, Zafon tells such a brilliantly thought out story that you won’t want to put down!
The themes explored in this novel are too many to list but some more prominent ones include; forbidden love, murder, adultery and family ties. Zafon spins such a intricate tale that won’t fail to surprise! I laughed, I cried and also found myself longing to be working alongside Daniel as he uncovers the mysteries surrounding ‘The Shadow of the Wind’.
Zafon’s writing has to be one of the most beautiful I have ever read. I was constantly finding myself sitting back from the book just to take in the profound nature of what was written on the page. I was taken aback by the flow and poetic feel that permeates this novel, this all the more surprising as this book was originally written in Spanish, I can’t even begin to imagine how striking this novel must be to those who can read it the way the Zafon intended it to be.
The characters were fantastically built up, my favourite would have to be Fermin, Daniel’s partner in crime, who aids his younger friend in his quest – Fermin has to be one of the most intellectually funny characters that I have ever read.
The conclusion of the story was great and I can’t wait to read the next in this brilliant series of books. A definite five out of five and I highly recommend to anyone who is a lover of books and literature surrounding books!