Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

I received The Shadow of the Wind in a Christmas book club gift exchange a couple years ago, and I can now say without hesitation that it is the best book I have read this year, by far. In fact, it's the most fantastic book I can remember reading in a very long time. Written by Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. Once I read it, I was not at all surprised.

The novel is set in post-Spanish Civil War Barcelona and follows a young boy, Daniel Sempere, to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, abandoned titles lovingly preserved by a select few. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax which he reads that same night and becomes absolutely engrossed. But when he attempts to look for other books by Carax, there are none to be found. Instead Daniel discovers that someone has been seeking out Carax's books and burning them.

The novel is actually a story within a story. In his quest to discover Julian's other works, Daniel becomes involved in tracing the entire history of Julián Carax. He begins to unravel a doomed love story from nearly thirty years earlier. As Daniel uncovers the secrets of the past they begin to blend into the adventures of the present, and the reader is left constantly wondering what could possibly happen next. I thought the story was completely haunting and engrossing, and it twisted and turned right up until the very last page. The story, descriptions, and characters were all so well written. I was so, so sad when it was over.

However, I found out that Carlos Ruiz Zafón published a prequel in 2009 called The Angel's Game, which I can't wait to get my hands on. Seriously, I can't believe I let this book sit on my shelf for so long. It was so sensational and I've been talking about it to everyone I know... give it a read, I promise you won't regret it!

1 comment :

  1. Ooooh, sounds good! I'll have to check it out. I've been looking for some new books to read :-)


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