The setting is Barcelona, just after the Spanish Civil War. Daniel Sempere is ten years old when his father takes them to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There, Daniel picks Julian Carax The Shadow of the Wind. Daniel is enthralled with the tale, but, when he goes to find more books, he discovers that a mysterious individual has been destroying all copies of Carax’ books. Daniel instantly decides to protect his copy of The Shadow of the Wind and begins to investigate the mystery. His investigations lead him into a tangled web of murder, intrigue, and secrets.
This book was amazing! Carlos Ruiz Zafon does a superb job of weaving multiple story-lines together into a cohesive, action-packed unit. For me, one of the joys of reading this book was seeing these Julian and Daniel story-lines play off and affect one another. Another strength is the characters. Daniel, the supposed hero, is an extremely likable and active character, yet he is as much caught up in the situation as he influences it. Julian is also well done, as is several members of the supporting cast (Fermin is a favorite), and the villain is superbly creepy.
Zafion also has a great writing flair. He is able to create a mood of great terror, but his pen is able to produce great humor as well. There was more than one occasion while I giggled out loud. In short, this book is a bibliomystery of the first order, and I highly recommend it.