It isn't very often I have guest reviews on the blog. Actually, I don't at all but today, my wonderful fiancé John is reviewing for me. This was one of his own books but I have sneakily asked him to write a few more reviews for me, seeing as he's reading from my pile at the minute anyway!
About the book
The Prisoner of Heaven is the third book in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The paperback was released on 7th March and the book is 320 pages long.
Plot Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julián, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city’s dark past.
His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940s and the early days of Franco’s dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love, and will ultimately transform their lives.
What I thought
I can't tell you how excited I was when I heard about this book. This is the third in the Cemetery of Forgotten books series, set in and around the Sempere and sons bookshop in Barcelona. The two previous instalments were The Shadow of The Wind and its prequel The Angel's Game. This is my favourite series of books and Carlos Ruiz Zafon is my favourite author. I read this book in one day and I loved every page.
The Prisoner of Heaven is both sequel and prequel to The Shadow of the Wind (it will make sense if you read all three) and is also a sequel to The Angel's Game. The 3 books in this series are written as stand-alone, interconnected stories, designed to be read in any order. They share characters, locations and events but I'd recommend reading them in publication order - The Shadow of the Wind first, then The Angel's Game, then this one. It will give you a richer, fuller reading experience and I also think The Shadow of the Wind is the better of the three so a good place to start.
As I said, The Prisoner of Heaven is a sequel to The Shadow of the Wind and events follow on from that book. Daniel Sempere is married and has a son and all looks good for him - until the past catches up with him. I am deliberately not going into plot details because the less the reader knows the better. Trust me.
Compared to the previous two books, The Prisoner of Heaven is actually a pretty short and non-complex story. It fills in some blanks from the previous books and helps those two books slot in together. It adds some scope to it. This book also sets things up nicely for the fourth, concluding part, which Carlos Ruiz Zafon had better hurry up and write!
I can't recommend this series enough. They are magical, gothic, supernatural, mystery, thriller, horror, comedy, historical, haunting stories. The characters are fantastic and I just love them. The Prisoner of Heaven is as fantastic as the others - but make sure you read them first.