The Prince of Mist
I first read about this book in a small pamphlet by the bookseller Indie Bound more than a year ago and immediately knew this was a book I had to read. I loved The Shadow of the Wind and was excited to discover that Zafon had written a young adults story. The pamphlet said that the book was being published in May 4, 2010. I checked the advanced readers copies at the bookstore where I work, since I was not in the mood for waiting what was only a month before the book’s release. Sadly we had no copies, so I waited.
Two months went buy and I saw in the bookstore computer that we had ordered two copies. They were late to arrive. More time went by and they still were late. Instead of worrying about the book I went forward with reading other books and soon forgot about this book. Then, this past winter, I remembered it while reading another book. I again checked the order form at the bookstore; still two copies had not arrived. I asked the owner of the bookstore and she said that she did not know what was preventing them from being delivered. I then decided to check the library, which to my great surprise had the book. Immediately I went and looked for it, but it was not on the shelf under Z for Zafon. I thought that someone had checked in out and decided to wait.
Again, more books distracted me until again I was reminded of this title. I checked the order form, which now we were expecting two copies of the paperback edition. (It takes one year for a book to be released in paperback.) As the date of May 4th came and went the book still did not arrive. I refused to wait any longer and checked back with the library that told me that it had accidentally been filed under Rui for the author’s middle name Ruiz. I check and I could not find it under Rui.
The reason why I tell you this is because the author’s other and perhaps most well known book, The Shadow of the Wind, is about a boy who finds a book in a used bookstore and learns that this is one of the last copies remaining after a vengeful villain sets out to destroy all the books the author ever wrote. In my head I imagined a sinister person going around and taking all the copies of this book and casting them into the mist. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I think some coincidences are fun and I had a great time not being able to read this book, The Prince of Mist.
It turns out the book was put on display elsewhere in the library. Finally, I had the book.
If you can find the book I would recommend it. Though it is not nearly as good as The Shadow of the Wind it is still worth the time as the imagination in the book is fun and creepy. There is one scene in-particular that reminded me of the movie Poltergeist. I’ll say no more and leave it as a surprise. Where the book is weaker is the character development and the over all structure of the book. Zafon says on his website that this was the first novel he had ever published and for that I applaud him since I have read some other ‘first novels’ that have been well below the authors later talent.
It is a book to read out loud either alone or with listeners.