The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

“Barcelona, 1945: The city slowly heals from the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find more of the author’s works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.” – Jacket copy

My husband was the first to buy a copy of The Shadow of the Wind this winter, then I read his copy and then seemingly everyone I mentioned it to, was feverishly reading through their own copy. Whenever I’ve been asked for book recommendations since, this is right at the top of my list. And bonus: it is non-gender-specific in its appeal! Woot!

The Shadow of the Wind is such a beautifully written piece of gothic literature. The story itself speaks to the eternal power of the written word and its ability to transform and inspire its reader. Essentially, it is a book about books and a story within a story. And like so many of the books I tend to be drawn to, the central mystery weaves through history and spans generations.

Why does this particular book by Carax seem to wield so much power over its readers? What about the author has inspired someone to destroy every trace of his writing? What is the connection between Daniel and the author? Who was Julian Carax? And why is Daniel being followed everywhere he goes as he tries to uncover the past? These questions will consume you as you devour this book. It is a completely original story with complex characters and winding and unpredictable twists. As a reader, you take the journey with Daniel through Julian’s mysterious past and become just as invested in unmasking the truth.

This tome is full of unusual characters and bookish intrigue. Part mystery, tragic romance, and fantasy, and part gothic horror – The Shadow of the Wind is positively addictive.

the shadow of the wind cover

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