PRISONER OF HEAVEN is the third book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books library, which includes The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game. The books can be read in any order, as they compliment one another, but none is needed to understand the others. That being said, I do wish I had re-read the other two books before diving into this one.
Before I get started on my review, I feel I must say a little something about the my experience with Carlos Ruiz Zafón's books. All of them, each and every one, are among my favorite books of all time. They offer everything - rich characters, vivid locations, heart-pounding mysteries, and they are all centered around the love of books. If you have yet to discover this author, do not hesitate!
PRISONER OF HEAVEN opens at Sempere & Sons bookshop in 1957 Barcelona. A mysterious man comes into the store asking for Fermín , Daniel Sempere's closest friend. The man buys the most expensive book in the shop without asking for change, entering an inscription for Fermin, thus opening up the dark and troubled secrets of 1939, the Prison of Montjuic Castle, an imprisoned writer, and Daniel Sempere's own mother.
Readers are taken on a journey to unlocking the long-buried secrets of The Prisoner of Heaven, a character whom readers of The Angel's Game already know. Fans will enjoy the interweaving characters, stories and the living, breathing setting of Barcelona we have grown to love through Zafón's other books. New readers will also be offered the gift of a simply amazing book.
When THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN arrived at the bookshop (of course I had pre-ordered a book from one of my favorite authors) the first thing that struck me was how short it was. Coming in under 300 pages, this companion was half the size of the other two in the set. For this reason, I was worried it might not be quite as epic as I had hoped. However, since I had already read the first two books, there was no need for superfluous back stories, since we already knew them. For this reason alone, even though each of the books in this set can be read in any order, I highly recommend that readers pick up The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game first.
And for this same reason, the three books being essential parts of the whole story, I wish I had read the companion books more recently to really pick up on all the intricate details that would tickle at a memory of a previous book, but I wasn't always able to place how or why I knew of a person or place.
I adore anything written by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, including The Prisoner of Heaven.
For anyone who is new to this author's work, I highly highly highly recommend this set of novels, but I must insist that you begin with The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game before reading The Prisoner of Heaven.
For those of you who have already read The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game...what are you waiting for??
Synopsis: (from publisher)
Once again, internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge, set in a dark, gothic Barcelona, in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them.
Barcelona,1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the dark early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives
Carlos Ruiz Zafón website (includes his Top Ten Things)
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My Review: THE SHADOW OF THE WIND
My Review: ANGEL'S GAME
About the Book
About the Author:
Carlos Ruiz ZafÓn, author of two critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling novels, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work, which also includes prizewinning young adult novels, has been translated into more than fifty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles