The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Release Date: January 25, 2005
Pages: Paperback (487pgs)
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Description: Barcelona, 1945—Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.
Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by one Julián Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last of Carax’s books in existence.
Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love, and before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julián Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
Review: This book was recommended to me, and when I read the description I was excited to start reading. I would highly recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a mystery. This book starts with a 10 year old Daniel going with his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he gets to choose one book that will become his. Daniel discovers The Shadow of the Wind and from that moment on this book becomes his life.
While reading this book I was very impressed with the character description. I have never read a book where the author provides a lot of background on a each character, and it is cohesive with the story. I fell in love with every character in the story, the good and the bad guys. I developed sympathy for the bad guy in the story and how he became that way.
There is a great mixture of mystery, history, and love in this story. As we follow Daniel in this story, I couldn't help but get lost inside. I truly felt that I was in Barcelona 1945. I could picture everything as it was happening, and the imagery Carlos gave in his story was fantastic. I can't wait to read the rest of his novels and get lost in his next mystery.