Posted on | February 19, 2012 | 5 Comments
The Shadow of the Wind is one of those books that I absolutely loved, and although my second experience with Zafón didn’t have quite the same happy ending, the desire to read his works didn’t really come to a complete halt. I picked up The Prince of Mist, a book aimed at children, at Greenwich Market, just the other day, and started it feeling quite positive.
The Prince of Mist is Zafón’s first published book, albeit the English translation came much later. Thirteen year old Max Carver is forced to say goodbye to city life, as his idiosyncratic father decides that the entire family must move away to a house by the sea-side, during the War. It’s safer, after all. However, no location is ever mentioned.
The book starts off slow, with the Carvers moving to their new home, which isn’t all that it seems on the face of it. In the mysterious garden behind the house, Max discovers creepy statues of circus characters, . Investigating the history of the house, he discovers that the house was abandoned by a couple after their son died. In the shed, there’s a projector and some old home-made movies. One of the movies is set in the mysterious garden, and once over, his sister, Alicia, claims to have sene the clown before – in her dreams. Something’s a-creepy. Something’s amiss.
When Max befriends a local boy, Ronald, the pace picks up. While the budding romance between Alicia and Ronald is one story-line, the parallel story is what grips the reader. When the boys go scuba-diving by an old shipwreck, Max and Alicia learn the legend of the ship, the crew and its story. And the fact that no bodies were found.
Curiouser and curiouser.
The story, in itself, ends with more questions than answers. Some of the plot developments are all-too-convenient for the story, but perhaps that’s me being unfair, for it is a children’s book. The suspense is built throughout, sometimes a little too melodramatic; a little too hyperbolic. But – perhaps, that’s what good fiction is.
I did enjoy the book, and like before, I will actively seek out more of Zafón’s works.