By Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves
Published by Orion Books
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, better known as the author of The Shadow of the Wind, is the pen behind The Prince of Mist, a 1993 mystery and horror novel that earned him the Edebé literary prize in the young adult fiction category. Labelling it as a YA book only, however, would be a great mistake.
The story follows Max Carver and his family to a small coastal town that, at least during the war, will be their home. Following their arrival at the station, Max, his two sisters and his parents are met by what can only be described as dark forces. A clock moves backwards, a cat coldly observes them. Is it just Max’s fervid imagination? The answer becomes more evident as more discoveries are made. The house that the Carvers moved into holds many secrets, as does the old lighthouse keeper.
In Zafón’s typical style, this book grabs the reader’s attention from the very first page and never lets it go. One could complain that the compact format of this narrative leaves many questions unanswered but this could also be considered the beauty of this little gem.