Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: The Prince of Mist

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

released: May 4th, 2010

hardcover, 214 pages

intended audience: Young adult

source: library


A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret . . .

It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they’ve recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning. With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist— a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends will find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever.

Review: I read most of this book with a kind of quiet fascination. Its a fast read, beautifully written, but with a fluid pace that lets the story unfold piece by piece, like an old fashion mystery. In the midst of that were moments of sheer terror that left my mouth gaping open and my spine tingling. Mr. Zafon certainly knows how to write a spooky scene. Creepy shadows in the sea, statues that can't seem to stay put, film reels made by a dead boy, untouched keys that creak and turn in their keyholes...I had no idea just how eerie this book would be.

The story surrounds the Carver family, who has just moved to a small town by the sea to get away from a large city being hit hard by war. While we get to know each of the five family members in turn, thirteen-year-old Max is at the forefront of the story. I loved the dynamic of this family, supportive and kind to eachother---even the eldest, Alicia, who comes off a little angsty at the start, shows a few different sides to herself as the story goes along. I really liked Max, he was curious, brave and determined. When he meets Roland, a boy from the town, they quickly fall into an easy friendship.

The eerie things start to happen almost immediately once they move into the house. Max finds a walled garden full of creepy statues not far from his house, and that is where the mystery all begins.

There were some plot points that I felt were missing or incomplete here, and some things that came across as just a little too convenient or cliche . While I am the first to admit that clowns can make the creepiest of evil creatures, there is no arguing that the "scary clown" scenario is just a bit cliche!

Still, an excellent read---definitely pick this one up when your in the mood for a spine-tingling tale!!

Visit Carlos Ruiz Zafon's website here! (The site is in spanish)

Purchase The Prince of Mists at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository


  1. I was totally curious about this when I saw it at Borders a few months ago. I mean just look at that cover!! I'm not a fan of being scared, but the cover definitely intrigued me!

    Great review, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to take on this one lol.

  2. Huh..clowns.. Okay. BUT great review, and I am very intrigued by this book.