Title: The Prisoner of Heaven
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Review: I so enjoyed Prisoner of Heaven! It is my understanding that it is part of the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ series. I haven’t read these other stories in the series, but I intend to now. Lucky for me, the books intertwine but stand independent of each other. The Prisoner of Heaven takes you on an exquisite journey as you follow Daniel and his friend Fermin. It is written from Daniels perspective, but the meat of the story ends up actually being about Fermin’s life years prior as told to Daniel by Fermin himself. I was drawn in by the mysterious man with one hand and was aching to find out how Fermin became the man he is. From a crazy prison cell mate to an abusive governor set out to make life miserable, the story engrosses you on every page. It takes place in Spain in the 1940’s through the 1950’s. I was constantly surprised and loved every minute of action throughout.
Zafon’s talent shines in this novel. Lately I have been reading books written by subpar authors and Prisoner of Heaven was like a breath of fresh air. Finally someone who can write a novel! I found myself time and time again impressed with how well it is written. It is riddled with insightful tidbits here and there that I absolutely adored.
I actually had a pencil handy to keep track of some the quotes I loved. Here are a few:
“One mustn’t dream of one’s future; one must earn it.”
“Destiny doesn’t do home visits, you have to go for it yourself.”
“A mad man is one who considers himself sane and thinks that fools don’t belong in his rank.”
“This moment, this instant stolen from time and from God, was worth all the days of misery that had brought us to this place and many others that were doubtless waiting for us on our return to life.”
This is an intensely fascinating book and an incredibly written story. It has everything I could want in a story; revenge, love, action, good vs. evil, unexpected surprises around every corner and it showcases what is/should be most important in our lives. I literally smiled at my husband when I finished it and said “Wow that was a good book!” Go out and pick it up.
Publisher: Published July 10th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published 2011)
Quick Review: 5 out of 5 stars
Why I Read It: Sent for review
Where I Obtained the Book: from the publisher/ TLC Book Tours.
Synopsis: 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.
Full of intrigue and emotion, The Prisoner of Heaven is a majestic novel in which the threads of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game converge under the spell of literature and bring us toward the enigma of the mystery hidden at the heart of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a collection of lost treasures known only to its few initiates and the very core of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's enchanting fictional world.
“Gabriel GarcÍa Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." —New York Times Book Review on Shadow of the Wind
Author Biography: Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Angeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.
His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las luces de septiembre (1995) and Marina (1999).
In 2001 he published the novel La sombra del viento ("The Shadow of the Wind"), his first "adult" novel, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Since its publication, La sombra del viento has garnered critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous international awards. Ruiz Zafón's works have been published in more than 40 countries and have been translated into more than 30 languages.