102 Followers
96 Following
sunshinejenn03

sunshinejenn03

The Prisoner of Heaven

The Prisoner of Heaven - This review is also posted at The Bawdy Book Blog.Carlos Ruiz Zafon continues to write amazing, lyrical prose in The Prisoner of Heaven, the third book in the Shadow of the Wind stories.It’s 1950s Barcelona and Daniel Sempere is now a man with a wife and a small baby. He’s still at his father’s bookshop, Sempere & Sons, along with his long-time pal, Fermin, when a stranger walks in one morning, buys the most expensive book in the store, and personalizes for Fermin…from Fermin. What follows next is the unraveling of a story Fermin would like to forget, and Daniel desperately wants to know, so he can better understand his own past.I absolutely adored The Shadow of the Wind. Books about books are captivating and enthralling. The Prisoner of Heaven is no less so, and Zafon manages to capture all the mystery and intrigue of The Shadow of the Wind and expand on his characters and their pasts in The Prisoner of Heaven, while dabbling in a larger touch of humor. When I say that Zafon is a magnificent writer, I mean every word. It is so easy to get lost in his words, and in the pages of his books. He is such an amazingly prolific writer.Have I waxed enough poetic yet?As I said, he expanded on his characters and their stories. In The Shadow of the Wind, I was very intrigued by Fermin. What was his story? He just appeared one day and befriended Daniel, but there was something more to him, I just knew it. The Prisoner of Heaven focuses heavily on Fermin, where he came from and how he got to Sempere & Sons. It’s heart-breaking and hopeful, and I felt deeply for him. Here is a man that wants nothing more than to start over, marry his Bernarda and his past at Montjuic and beyond continues to haunt him.And while Fermin takes center-stage in The Prisoner of Heaven, Daniel is not left out. He’s still the main character, even if he has taken a back seat to his own story…because this continues to be his story. Everything circles back around to him. He’s also grown from the young boy who was enamored with the beautiful, well-read women in The Shadow of the Wind, to a young man very much in love with his wife, Bea, and their young son, Julian. It was wonderful getting to know the adult-Daniel in The Prisoner of Heaven; he’s tempered with wisdom and age, but he hasn’t lost that boyish charm!His father, Senor Sempere, remains the stuffy older Sempere, but now Daniel can see the wisdom in him. And we, the reader, get to know what’s behind that stuffiness: a private anguish at the loss of his wife, Isabella, so many years before and how it came to that.There are other characters in The Prisoner of Heaven that are apparently introduced in The Angel’s Game, book two in this set of stories (I’m hesitant to call it a series, because each book can stand on its own rather well). I’ve never read The Angels Game, and I don’t think that it’s necessary for this book, although I sort of wish I had, because there are tie-ins to it (characters, books) throughout The Prisoner of Heaven. But I didn’t feel lost without it. I saw an obvious opening for another book in the ending to this one, and I’m looking forward to it so much, if not for Zafon’s writing, then for the sinister plot I know is to come.If you haven’t read Zafon’s work yet, I must insist you do so as soon as you can. The Prisoner of Heaven is a beautiful, poetic masterpiece.*This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.