It's wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they've recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners' son, who died by drowning.
With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the strange circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called the Prince of Mist--a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden--an adventure that will change their lives forever.
Originally published in 1993, Ruiz Zaf n's (The Shadow of the Wind) first novel, unavailable in English in the U.S. until now, is a melancholy horror tale that explores the implications parents' choices can have for their children. During WWII, Max and Alicia Carver, 13 and 15, move with their family to a coastal Spanish village and meet an older local boy named Roland. As the three spend their time diving and exploring the town, they become aware that an unsettling force is lurking nearby. Visits to Roland's adoptive grandfather fill in the story of the Prince of Mist, who has been bargaining for souls for decades. As the children learn more about the mysterious figure, they find themselves in greater danger. In gorgeously translated prose, Ruiz Zaf n maintains a sweet, believable relationship among the characters when dealing with mundane concerns (a conflict over cleaning out a room full of spiders could be taken from any contemporary family film), but still conveys a sense of adventure and danger. The bittersweet ending suits the theme and setting, offering both hope and tragedy without any pretense of fairness. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great Read for Patient People
Not really much until the last few pages. I wish I could rate this 3 1/2 stars. Mystery and wonder fills the air... until you can't breathe and you find out everything. The Prince of Mist could get great sales even if it was priced higher. It would make a great movie. Way to go, Carlos Ruiz Zafon. :)
Despite being labeled "children's fiction", this book is an excellent read for all adults. If you enjoyed Shadow of the Wind, this book too with mesmerize you. It's haunting tale will keep you wanting more... Even after you finish.