Strengths: Ruiz Zafon always tells original stories that have you captivated.
Weaknesses: This is meant to be a young adult book, but I found it a bit scary!
Why I read it: Loved The Shadow of the Wind.
Rating: 8 out of 10
If you liked this, try: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I absolutely loved The Shadow of the Wind with its Gothic elements and action-packed plot, so I eagerly bought this book when I saw it on sale. What I didn’t realise is that The Prince of Mist is intended for a younger audience and is a fairly quick read. However, the content of the book in my opinion is definitely not for children as it’s quite creepy and scary!
The story opens with similarities to The Shadow of the Wind, in that it is wartime in Spain and the protagonist is a young boy, Max. Max and the rest of his family move from the capital to a seaside town, but not all is as it seems. In the garden, there are strange statues that appear to be changing their poses daily. Max and his sister Alicia meet up with local boy Roland, who likes to dive down to a shipwreck that sank in mysterious circumstances. Their younger sister is later involved in a strange accident where the house seems to be playing tricks on them. However, Roland’s grandfather knows a lot more about how the ship went down and what’s wrong with the house Max lives in…
Once again, the translation from the Spanish brings out some beautiful prose and Carlos Ruiz Zafon certainly tells a intricate and detailed stoty (although not quite to the level of The Shadow of the Wind). However, I found this story quite scary as an adult (the changing of the statues to live beings was scary, as well the deals that Dr Kane was doing with young children)! Perhaps it is because the creepy Gothic angle may just have the possibility to happen…
I found this to be a very quick read and I hear that there could be a sequel in the works. Would I read it? Probably not – I’ll stick with the adult tales as the plot is less scary and more detailed.