The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The-Prisoner-of-Heaven-UKIf you enjoyed the enchanting tale that is The Shadow of the Wind or The Angel’s Game, the second book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, you most definitely have to read this one as well! The Prisoner of Heaven is the third instalment of the series.  The Angel’s game (second book) is written as a ‘prequel’ to The Shadow of the Wind and The Prisoner of Heaven is written as a ‘sequel’. It is said that you can read the books in any order that you want, I personally think that you can switch up the first two, but The Prisoner of Heaven should be read last, in my humble Zafón crazy opinion.

With The Prisoner of Heaven I found myself back in Barcelona, in the Sempere and Sons bookstore with my favorite characters from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. We are now in 1957,  with Daniel and Bea married with a baby son Julian, named after Julian Carax (author of The Shadow of the Wind – here I am referring to the book in The Shadow of the Wind, as I mentioned in my review it’s a book about a book)

Fermin is about to get married to Bernarda. However a man from Fermin’s past shows up unexpectedly and purchase Fermin a very expensive gift, the book The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas  and threatens to reveal Fermin’s secret. The story then starts to evolve around Fermin’s past and why he feels nervous and threatened to marry Bernarda. Daniel, who knows very little about Fermin’s past starts to unveil the truth about him. As we learn about his past, we are again taken back to the 1940’s and being reminded about the terrible events that happened under Franco’s dictatorship.

This book ties The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game together and I’m so glad about that! A lot of my unanswered questions about The Angel’s Game was answered and it sheds some light on the enigma that is Andreas Corelli.  As always, the book was beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Why? Because Fermin is back! Zafón has outdone himself with his masterful story telling ability and when reading the series I always tend to get lost in his fairytale world of forgotten books, love, mystery and betrayal. I can’t wait for the 4th installment!

Some memorable quotes:

“A good liar knows that the most efficient lie is always a truth that has had a key piece removed from it.”

“That’s what happens when people reach old age; nobody remembers they’ve been bastards too.”

“People with a meagre soul always try to make others feel small too.”

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  • Great review as usual. I felt this book was a bit less than the other two though. In my feeling it was more a book written to get every person in the right spot for the last book in the series. It does answer questions from the previous books indeed.

    • The Shadow of the Wind is still the best one I would say. I enjoyed this one and it was a quick read that answered some of my questions. Not as suspenseful as Angels Game or better than Shadow, but the writing was still good as can be expected from Zafon.

  • Great quotes!

    • Thanks! I especially like the last one.

  • grgenius

    Enjoyed the review and thank you for introducing me to a new series! I like the sound of it already. Off to investigate more. Thanks for sharing…and happy reading!

    • Thanks!

      I’m glad my review inspired you to check out the series! You can check out my other 2 reviews, I like the first book best 🙂

  • Loved loved loved. And personally, I believe that if the author wrote it one way, that’s the way it should be read. But I get it, sometimes it differs, and it’s good when you can read out of order, too.

    • I agree, I read it in the order it came out. I also believe, as I’ve said, that the third book should be read last. Switching up book 1 and 2 can be done, but then you will experience it differently. When I recommended the books to my friends, I made sure they read it in the order it came out 🙂

  • I don’t think I’ve read this one! I love that it mentions The Count of Monte Cristo, and those quotes also seem great – perhaps I’ll give it a go 🙂

    • Lucy, I’m sure you will love the series, it’s my favourite! 🙂
      If you’re interested, I suggest you start with book 1 🙂

  • I’ve heard the writing in this series is beautiful – I keep meaning to read it. I really like quotes you’ve chosen. 🙂

    • Thanks! I love this series, it’s really good 🙂

  • I’ve just started The Shadow of the Wind 🙂

    • Woohoo!! 🙂 I’m glad!

  • Isi

    I MUST read The shadow of the wind again and continue with the series.
    I’m glad you liked it, you are making me feel ashamed of not reading as much Spanish authors as you read 😉

    • Yes, my dear, you MUST. You know, I went and searched for that Almudena Grandes book recommendation you made to me and found it in your comment on The Shadow of the Wind. I had to laugh when you said “I feel like you read more Spanish literature than I do!! ” and now you’re saying it again! 🙂

      • Isi

        hehehee
        You happen to read more Spanish literature than me! It is a fact.

      • Isi

        Well, at this point I have to say I have read several books by Coetzee 😀

        • Which ones?

          • Isi

            I’ve read Slow man, Disgrace, and the first of that autobiographical series, but I didn’t like this one so much. Anyway, they all are very though-provoking.
            The next I want to read is Elizabeth Costello.

  • I’ve only read the first one but enjoyed it. second one is sitting on my shelf just waiting for the right moment so its good to know there’s a third one to savour in the future

    • I hope that you read the rest of the series sometime and that you will enjoy it.

  • I must still read this one but you know I loved The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game.Poor Fermin never gets the luck he should. It is also great to know that this book ties the other two together. I can picture one big storyline 🙂 Thanks for sharing your beautiful review.

    • Welcome back to The Book Musings! 🙂
      You have to read this book! And when you do, I hope you will enjoy it. It’s a quick read, shorter than the previous two.

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  • My own review of ‘The Prisoner of Heaven’ for WordPress was in draft form when my attention was drawn to yours. I will go ahead with it anyway, but I just wanted to say that I read ‘The Angel’s Game’ AFTER ‘The Prisoner’, and agree with you that I should have left ‘The Prisoner’ until last.

    • I’m glad you agree, having read it, it’s clear that in some parts Prisoner ties the previous two books together. I will look out for your post on The Prisoner of Heaven, it’s always nice to read someone else’s thoughts on a book.

      • All three are great historical fiction!

        • Indeed they are! They are my favourite series, another is The Millenium series by Stieg Larsson.

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