Monday, 19 March 2018

The Prince Of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


The Prince Of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
First published in Spanish as El principe de la Niebla by Editorial Planeta in Spain in 1992. English language translation by Lucia Graves published by Little, Brown in 2010.

One of my 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge reads

Where to buy this book:



How I got this book:
Swapped for at a campsite book exchange

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1943. As war sweeps across Europe, Max Carver's father moves his family away from the city, to an old wooden house on the coast. But as soon as they arrive, strange things begin to happen: Max discovers a garden filled with eerie statues; his sisters are plagued by unsettling dreams and voices; a box of old films opens a window to the past. Most unsettling of all are rumours about the previous owners and the mysterious disappearance of their son. As Max delves into the past, he encounters the terrifying story of the Prince of Mist, a sinister shadow who emerges from the night to settle old scores, then disappears with the first mists of dawn.

This young adult horror story was Zafon's first published novel and it reads like a classic adventure tale similar to those I remember from my early teens. The unidentified setting was originally intended to be southern England. Its descriptions are detailed enough for me to be easily able to envisage the immediate surroundings of the village and coastline, while remaining vague enough on the regional location that the book could be imagined into many locations. In the convenient vanishing of parental influence and other genre staples, there are nods to Famous Five-type stories, but I liked that Zafon certainly has his own tale to tell here. Our three teenage heroes, two boys - Max and Roland - and one girl - Alicia - must contend with a recalcitrant lighthouse keeper and the violence of nature, before they even start to fight back against the malevolent Prince of Mist. I didn't like the inherent sexism of Alicia's role seeming primarily to be bait and to need rescuing, but other than that I enjoyed reading this novel. It's a light tale and a fun afternoon's diversion.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon / Young adult books / Books from Spain

4 comments:

  1. I have been wanting to read this author for a while now since I ran into The Shadow of the Wind on GR and saw that rave reviews 300K plus ratings!

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    1. Shadow Of The Wind is amazing!
      This one's a lighter read because it's YA, but still good :-)

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  2. A bit of the usual, a bit of uniqueness, that's usually a pretty good combo. I wouldn't have guessed horror from the cover though, tbh! Glad you liked it.

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    1. It's not at all gory horror, but does get very tense in places

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