Review: The Shadow of the Wind

Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Lucia Graves (translator)

Publisher: Penguin Books

Rating: 5/5

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

Wow. This book was absolutely brilliant. It was so beautifully written especially considering this is a translated novel. I can’t wait to reread this in Spanish and uncover the even greater beauty this book must have in it’s original tongue.

Not much more to say her except that this was a phenomenal read. It was a beautifully and richly crafted book with surprises at every corner. The descriptions in this book were so well written and crystal clear that is really felt as if I was there watching everything. Absolutely magical

If you haven’t read this, I highly, highly recommend.

SPOILERS:

I’ve never read a prologue that captivated me as much as this one did. The unique description and voice of Daniel just grabbed at me and I was hooked. I said this before but the writing style was just so beautiful it made reading the book that much more enjoyable. On every page there was a quote I wanted to highlight and stick on my wall.

The prologue, especially, was full of them. Every two lines or so I’d pull back and marvel at the beauty of it. Maybe, because, as a lover of books I could relate so intimately to what Daniel was feeling as he entered the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. It was such a pleasure to read

Moving away from the prologue, I loved the flashback from other character as they recounted what they knew of Julian Carax. I loved the way the story slowly unraveled itself and the pieces came together.

I loved (how many times have I said ‘loved’ in this review already? 100 times? 245?) Daniel’s voice and his exploitative nature. I also really loved  Fermin. To me, he was such a strong character and represented iron will and endurance. He went through so much and still managed to be cheerful and optimistic. He barely ever showed the pain he felt.

I didn’t understand the part about Carax and Penelope being related. I feel like it wasn’t really expanded upon and I would have like more on that.

I love how the story came full circle. Literally. We ended right where we began. At the cemetery of Forgotten Books.

Poor Julian. He was such a broken character, it really hurt me to see him like that.

When we started on Nuria’s letter, I worried I’d be bored as it was a pretty long segment in her perspective, but I was more intrigued than ever. When we found out the identity of Lain Coubert I was amazed. I realized that Julian was Lain Coubert when Nuria came back to her apartment after going to visit the Aldaya mansion. Julian had just found out Penelope’s tombstone and that of their son, of whom he had never known of. I didn’t know before and I feel I should have. The irony of this, though, was so amazing. The very man who wrote those stories combing the earth for those same books to destroy them. It stunned me but seemed absolutely fitting.

Again, a remarkable read.

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