Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Article first published as Book Review: Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón on Blogcritics.

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the third book in the Forgotten Books series. The first two books, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game have been international best sellers.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter.

  • 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062206281
Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
My rating for The Prisoner of Heaven5
Buy this book in paper or electronic format

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (website) is also set in Barcelona, much like the other books. This time though the story toggles between the 1940s and the late 1950s .

This book is almost impossible to put down, if you liked the first two (especially The Shadow of the Wind), you will love this book is it keeps the same storytelling and most of all, the same wonderful sense of humor. The book is shorten than its predecessors, the structure, which as mentioned above still follows a past/present thread is more clearly defined. In the previous books the thread was intermingled and took some getting used in order to follow properly.

Out of the three books, this one is the least self-contained. I would actually recommend reading the other two, especially The Angel’s Game first because The Prisoner of Heaven ties up a lot of loose ends which can only be understood in the reference of the back story and familiarity with the prior books.

I forgot how much I liked the fabulous character of Fermin Romero de Torres, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite literary characters. A romantic at heart, linguist in mind and a dreamer by trade, Fermin’s outrageous and often hilarious observations leave me in envy and awe with a thirst for more.
I remiss not to mention another one of the author’s unsung characters, the city of Barcelona which is revealed, throughout the series in all her grit and glory in both sun and shade.

One could not also forego Zafón’s tributes to previous masterful storytellers. From obvious Dumas to Cervantes, Dickens to Hugo these masters would be proud of the homage paid to them (in purpose or just in this reader’s mind – does it even matter?) in another masterful tale.

The great narrative, prose and wonderful comedic timing continue in the strong tradition of the Forgotten Books series. I read many translated books and I have to say that this series is probably the finest translated (even though I don’t read in Spanish). Usually there are things amiss in foreign books, be it the cultural references, the style or jokes. However, translator Julia Graves hasn’t missed a beat (and if she did, I couldn’t tell), the story flows smoothly without the reader having to stop due to misunderstandings.

Related Reads:
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea are content with their life and their beautiful new baby, Julian and that their good friend,  Fermin Romero de Torres is about to get married. But when a strange walks into Sempere’s book shop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret about Fermin, their happiness subsides.

Daniel and Fermin go down a path which they might never come back, and if they do, they will never be the same. The story jumps from Barcelona 1957, to 1940 – a terrible time in Spain’s tumultuous history to reveal, piece by piece, more about the characters which we thought we knew.

Buy this book in paper or electronic format


  • Give­away ends: July 24, 2012

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: name as email

TLC Book Tour for The Prisoner of Heaven  by  Carlos Ruiz Zafón :


    Zohar – Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours

BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read The Prisoner of Heaven? If so link up your review below:

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