Book Reviews

The Labyrinth of the Spirits: From the bestselling author of The Shadow of the Wind (Cemetery of Forgotten Books 4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

No ImageBuy Now

List Price: £9.99


Kindle Edition: 832 Pages.

Published: 18 September 2018 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson



As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague his soul despite the moving efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermín to save him.

Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined spreads its tentacles from the hellish regime. That is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She is the one who will lead Daniel to the edge of the abyss and reveal the secret history of his family, although at a terrifying price.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits is an electrifying tale of passion, intrigue and adventure. Within its haunting pages Carlos Ruiz Zafón masterfully weaves together plots and subplots in an intricate and intensely imagined homage to books, the art of storytelling and that magical bridge between literature and our lives.


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Love at First Page - I Was Hooked

I loved this book. I was gripped by it from start to finish. It is several years since I first read "Shadow of the Wind" and here we are several years & books later with exactly the same feeling.

Set against the fascinating & complicated background of Franco's Spain this is a book which never stops. Alicia Gris is commission to find Valls, a missing government minister. What she actually finds is an amazing web of intrigue where people aren't who they say they are and her past comes back to haunt her. All the old favourites are here with the Sempere family, Fermin and The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

It is Zafron's writing that captivates. The book starts with a bang & although not full of James Bond style action has plenty to keep the reader gripped & not wanting to put the book down. Everything just comes to life from the pages and is so vivid. The vocabulary & detail is a real pleasure to read. From the desolation of being imprisoned during the war, the devastation of the bombing of Barcelona through every emotion to the smile of four year old Julian Sempere. I just couldn't put this book down and it caused a couple of late nights!

The plot itself is intricate and full of twists and turns. It has been a while since I read the previous books but they came back to me and filled in the extra background I needed. Don't even contemplate reading this book without having read the previous ones. The plot is well woven and a real web. You need to keep your wits about you & remember well who is who. Some people may find it helpful to write a cast list as they go along.

Alongside the rather dark story there are lighter characters - who can fail to love Fernadito as he rushes to do Alicia's bidding? He knows he can't have her but can't break away from that crush! However, despite the moments of lightness, this is a dark story and I am sure it has at least some roots in reality - the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath was a terrible time.

I have really enjoyed this series of books. One day I shall go back and have a binge read of the four together. I suspect there is plenty more for me to get out of them that I missed the first time round.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

<< previous | next >>