After Daniel finds a book titled “The Shadow of the Wind” in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and realizes that a mysterious figure was looking for this book and others written by Julian Carax, he decides to investigate the identity and motives of this individual.
“The Shadow of the Wind,” written in 2001 by Spanish novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafon and translated into English by Lucia Graves, is a work of art.
Zafon has the ability to fascinatingly describe intricate events through creating vivid imagery. This allows the reader to easily imagine the story’s different acts and to see the events unfolding as if they were occurring in front of his or her eyes.
Moreover, the plot and sub-plots are connected in a brilliant way, capturing the reader’s attention and maintaining his or her interest through constant twists and surprises. In fact, this novel is neither a classic detective story nor a predictable love story. Instead, it is a mix of drama, love, and even comedy. Zafon employs the time dimension in a very unique way, one that results in deep character growth over the course of the pages.
The novel is full of puzzles that need to be solved, but in the end, everything gets revealed. Once a riddle is solved, readers are left stunned and intrigued by its intricateness. The plot is so exciting that as I was reading, I had to close the book to take some time to rethink and review it in order to internalize the storyline and ensure that I was keeping up with all the story’s intricacies.
The theme of love in this novel is both diverse and meaningful. It is love that transforms Julian from a student to a writer, and later on, to an insensible man. In Daniel’s case, it is experience that makes him mature enough to find his soul mate. It is love that forces Nuria to support Julian, even though he was, in reality, no longer the same person. To be more accurate, this love is realistically coupled with emotions like sadness, insistence, and cruelty, rather than simply happiness and glee.
“The Shadow of the Wind” is a highly recommended read, as it is one of those valuable novels that touch upon the philosophy of life, the complexity of love, the cruelty of hope, and the nature of people who may have become crazy, upset, unfair or immoral because of events that shape their lives.