I honestly don’t know where to start for this review- this book is brilliant, gripping, fantastic and addictive. I’ve heard it described as a book for booklovers, but I don’t think that this does The Shadow of the Wind justice. I loved it so much that I went out and bought The Angel’s Game by the same author before I’d even finished this book!
The Shadow of the Wind is translated from the Spanish and follows Daniel, a young motherless boy who is taken by his father to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is to pick a book and treasure it forevermore. Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, an author who he can find out very little about. Carax’s books are disappearing, being bought by someone who chooses to burn them all. Despite being offered a substantial amount of money, Daniel protects his book and because of it, makes new friends such as Clara and Fermin. The book follows Daniel as he grows up and tries to find out more about Carax, which leads to events with shadowy characters and a fantastical backstory that will have you endlessly repeating ‘just one more chapter’. Although the ending solves most of the characters’ problems, it’s not cheesy.
This book has some great Gothic elements and would appeal to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights fans (don’t worry, there are romances in this book too). The translation is fantastic and Fermin has a lot of truly funny one liners. The imagery of the buildings and the feeling of Spain in the post-war era is tangible- I feel like I’ve visited Daniel’s book.
The Shadow of the Wind would have to rank as one of the best books I’ve read this year.
9.5 out of 10.