The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This was my third time reading this novel and I was completely blown away all over again. In the Shadow of the Wind we meet Daniel whose father is a bookseller and mother has died. Daniel finds solace in a book he comes to own, The Shadow of the Wind and sets out to find more novels by the author Julian Carax. What he discovers is that there is a mysterious man in a mask who is hunting down every novel written by Carax and burning them, intent on destroying his memory. Daniel’s quest to find out the truth about Carax and this mysterious man turns into a gothic thriller that leaves the reader wanting more.


The writing is a real highlight of this consuming gothic tragedy. The prose is rich and evocative, a delight for the reader to peruse. The Shadow of the Wind is thrilling with an intricate plot that slowly comes together over five hundred pages leaving you speechless when it all falls into place. This novel has the most romantic, whimsical setting: the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which copletey appeals to the avid reader. Just imagine a cavernous room in the catacombs of Barcelona filled with shelves and shelves of abandoned books, the last refuge keeping them from falling into the abyss and being lost forever. Convinced yet?


The characters are perfection. You have your tourtured protagonist you can help but empathise with, Fermin Romero de Torres, one of my all time favourite fictional characters (he is seriously entertaining),  a terrifying and rabid villain and of course our masked and mysterious figure in black. Who he is, can you figure it out? There are many twists and turns throughout the novel, some that you will never guess (and one that you probably will). In my opinion this is a masterpiece of modern literature and a must-read for all book-lovers. Do not hesitate in picking this one up. I give the Shadow of the Wind five books kept safe in the Cemetery of Forgotten books.


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