I picked this book from my dad’s library in one of my visits to Panama. Actually, I picked book number 3 without knowing it is a 4-book series and started reading it. Soon enough I realized that I needed to stop and get books 1 and 2 immediately. I remember I was on a weekend getaway in Austin with my family and insisted I needed to go to the bookstore to get the books right away, I could not wait until we got back to Houston the next day. I got the book number 1 at the bookstore and bought 2 and 4 online. I was one happy girl.
I must disclose that I read them in Spanish which is my native language. I do read both in English and Spanish, but for this particular series, since I started in Spanish I decided to continue in Spanish.
The book was mesmerizing. I submerged myself in the Barcelona of 1945 following the end of the Civil War, and at the beginning of the first chapter, I was captivated. As I imagined myself inside the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”, a secret library hosting millions of forgotten books and where you have to choose one book out of all the books to take with you, I was hooked in the storytelling and drawn to the main character Daniel after he chooses the book “ The Shadow of the Wind” by Julian Carax.
The book is a fictional gothic drama, beautifully written, filled with mystery, intrigue, and characters that you simply can’t put down. The characters are so well defined, and bring the story alive as each of their past is revealed. The city of Barcelona is described with great detail, and with a tangible love for the city, its restaurants, its streets, its avenues, and its people.
The author’s storytelling draws you inside the narrative, as a witness of the unraveling storyline, making you complicit of every discovery, every new clue, and every new plan. Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a unique writer with a capacity to make you witness the emotional rollercoaster that each character goes through the story.
Additional Information as found in Goodreads
Paperback, 487 pages
Published: January 25th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 2001)
Original Title: La sombra del viento
ISBN0143034901 (ISBN13: 9780143034902)
Series: El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1
Literary Awards :Barry Award for Best First Novel (2005), Gumshoe Award Nominee for Best European Crime Novel (2005), Borders Original Voices Award for Fiction (2004), Dilys Award Nominee (2005), Humo’s Gouden Bladwijzer (2006) Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger for Roman (2004), Prix des libraires du Québec for Lauréats hors Québec (2005), One Book One San Diego (2015), Premi Llibreter de narrativa Nominee (2002)