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Review: The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Prince of Mist
When Max's family moves to the beach to avoid being caught in the city during a war, they don't realize that worse trouble is going to find them.

First of all, I think the name Roland should be retired from fiction forever. It is impossible for me to read it without seeing The Gunslinger. When the character is supposed to be a normal seventeen-year-old boy, you see the problem I had.

Anyway, I found it hard to pinpoint the age group of this book's audience. I didn't realize it wasn't for adults until I started reading it. The writing itself is easy enough for a middle-grade book. But there are a few things that happen that pushed it up into YA territory for me. I don't have kids though, so maybe I'm just naive about what kids read. If I'm not, I'm afraid this will struggle to find the right market.

Not realizing this wasn't an adult book, I was disappointed when I didn't find Ruiz Zafón's gorgeous prose inside. I just adore his writing.

The story itself was suspenseful and engaging. I was curious what was going on almost from the beginning and found myself reading more and more just to try to get to the bottom of things. I think kids who aren't too afraid of things that go bump in the night will enjoy it.

As an adult reader, there were a few things that happened that I just didn't buy. I don't know any seventeen-year-old boy who is going to willingly start hanging out with a thirteen-year-old. Not without seeing his sister first. :-) I don't think the kids would have been left alone like they were. And I had problems with the storyline surrounding Roland.

As always, hats off to Lucia Graves for an excellent translation.

I had problems with the book. So what? I'm definitely not the target audience. I think kids reading it will probably mostly accept it for the spooky story it is and enjoy it.

The Prince of Mist will be published May 4, 2010 in the US.
It looks like it will be May 27, 2010 in the UK.

Thanks to Book It Forward Tours at Dark Faerie Tales for letting me borrow this ARC.

YA Addict gave it 4 stars.
Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick enjoyed it.
Tempting Persephone loved it.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón's website

The Prince of Mist website with a different book trailer.

Jennifer G.


  1. Oh my. Hmmm. Having read two of his other books and loving them when I saw this book pop up I immediately put it on my wish list and have been waiting for it's release... to be honest, now I think I will wait until I get to read a few more reviews! Thank you for your honesty about the book!

  2. I seem to be in the minority. Maybe my expectations were too high. I really missed his good-enough-to-eat writing though.


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