Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Prince of Mist (The)
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Age Range: 12+
It is the summer of 1943 and thirteen-year-old Max Carver’s father – a watchmaker and inventor – decides to move his family from the city to a small town on the coast. From the moment Max steps off the train, he feels uneasy; the clock in the train station appears to be moving backwards and then there is the malevolent black cat who attaches itself to his younger sister Irina. As they cross the threshold of the old house where they are to live, strange things begin to happen.
The house and surroundings holds many secrets. Max discovers an overgrown garden full of statues behind the house which is enclosed by a metal fence on which sits a six-pointed star. The statues appear to be a circus troop with a large statue of a clown at the centre and Max has the curious sensation that the statue is beckoning to him. The mystery deepens when some old films belonging to the previous owner of the house are found, Irina has a mysterious accident and his older sister Alicia experiences disturbing dreams.
Together with Alicia and their new found friend Roland – whose grandfather Victor Kray has run the lighthouse for 25 years – they begin to explore an old ship wreck that sank off the coast many years earlier during a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man – Roland’s grandfather. During the dive, Max sees something that terrifies him – attached to the old mast is a tattered flag with the symbol of the six-pointed star, the same one he saw in the garden of statutes.
As the story slowly begins to unravel, the shadowy, sinister figure of the Prince of Mist appears — returning to settle an ancient debt. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure that will change their lives forever.
Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s fast paced story telling has the ability to send chills down your spine and there are some truly scary moments. He is certainly an expert at building up the suspense and making the unimaginable seem quite feasible with his vivid descriptions. As well as the fantastical thriller elements Zafón also includes the themes of lost innocence and coming of age, a burgeoning romance and the ultimate battle of good versus evil.
Zafon is probably best known for his acclaimed international bestselling novel The Shadow of the Wind published in 2004. Before he wrote this bestseller, he had already published four books in Spanish for young adults. The first of these, The Prince Of Mist was originally published in Spain in 1993 and has just been translated into English for the first time. It has been expertly translated by Lucia Graves whose translation is just as flowing as Zafon’s other two novels published in English.