The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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.
The Prisoner of Heaven is Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s latest book, the third in his series that includes The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game. In my opinion, this book doesn’t disappoint. While not as magical as The Shadow of the Wind, it is not as dark as The Angel’s Game. It’s a good compromise between the two, but it reads less like a third novel in a series, so much as stand-alone companion book.
If it’s been awhile since you read either book, I would recommend rereading them before you pick up this one. While The Shadow of the Wind is fresher in my mind (because it sticks in my mind so much because of its fabulousness), I hardly remembered the plot points of The Angel‘s Game. This definitely lessened my enjoyment of the book, as The Prisoner of Heaven pulls threads from both into its narrative.
I fear that offering more in this review will spoil it for those who haven’t read it and who haven’t read the other two books in the series. I can say that if you’re a fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon and/or his Shadow of the Wind series, don’t miss this one!