Friday, November 16, 2012

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

In The Prisoner of Heaven, it's Christmas in Barcelona, 1957. Daniel Sempere's close friend, Fermin Romero de Torres is about to get married. Everyone is happy until a stranger visits Daniel's bookstore and leaves an ominous item behind that threatens to reveal a long kept dangerous secret. This leads Daniel and Fermin into the past, the 1940s, where the events that are revealed will change them and everything they know.

Since I haven't read the first two books, I don't have frame of reference or background information on the story or its characters. I read the book as a standalone volume and thoroughly enjoyed it. Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a very talented storyteller and has created the most wonderful characters. His writing is lyrical and very descriptive.  I like all of the characters in the book, but I especially liked Fermin.

The book takes the reader on a journey to dark and ominous time and place; the early days of Franco's dictatorship in Spain. The story was interesting and very compelling; I had a hard time putting the book down. I loved every minute of it.

The story definitely wasn't a pleasant one. Some of the details of prison life were harsh and terribly gruesome. It was almost hard to read at times. However, there are some lighter moments that brought a smile to my face.

This is the third book in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. The first two books are: The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game. The beginning of this book says that the books can be enjoyed in any order. Since I've yet to read the first two books, I'm hoping that statement is right. From reading other reviews of this book, the stories of all three books are closely linked and interconnected. I'm sure that I'm going to want to reread this one after I've read the other two books.

New Words:
sumpter (page 29): pack animal
putative (page 30): generally believed to be
anaemically (page 44): weak
rapacious (page 85): greedy
emolument (page 178): ointment
quixotic (page 207): idealistic

I have the first book, The Shadow of the Wind on my to-be-read bookshelf, but I've yet to read it. I've heard such good things about it, so I'm hoping to change that soon.

Highly recommended.  I can't wait to read more of this author's work.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the HarperCollins website.

For more information about the author and his other books, please visit Zafón's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins for this review copy.

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Harper (HarperCollins), ©2012. ISBN 9780062206282(Hardcover), 278p.

1 comment:

  1. I've read both of the two previous books but I did it in reverse order so I would definitely say you don't have to read them in order. He's a great writer and this sounds like another great book. Thanks for reviewing it.


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