Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is one book that I picked simply because it had wonderful reviews from other book bloggers. They spoke highly about the book and so I definitely had to get the book.



“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a captivating book. It’s a story within a story. At 10 years old, Daniel Sempere finds a book buried in the cemetery of the forgotten books. The book is The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. He picks the book by chance not knowing that his life was about to change forever.


Daniel is captivated by the book and stays up all night turning pages until the last one. Intrigued, he starts looking for answers concerning the author.



However, he quickly finds out that there is a lot of mystery surrounding the author. He also discovers that there is someone who has been going around burning all books by the author. In fact, he soon realizes that the book he holds may be the only remaining copy in existence. The person who is destroying the books is Lain Coubert. However, Daniel knows that this is the name of a character in Julian’s book. Lain Coubert is the devil. All this adds to the mystery about Julian Carax and his books.



“The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving that person forever.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind has really interesting characters. I liked the protagonist, Daniel Sempere who we got to see grow up even as he became dedicated to his search for answers. He met Gustavo and Clara Barcelo and fell in love with Clara at such a young age and then goes through his first heartbreak. Daniel is endearing, his naivete and ineptness in matters of the heart makes him makes his relatable and as a reader I found myself rooting for him. His dad was not so prominent in the narrative but his presence could still be felt especially his love for his son. I liked the character of the enigmatic Fermin Romero de Torres who had a weakness for women. Fermin starts out as a homeless man but soon finds his way to Daniel’s life and ends up becoming his best friend.

The Shadow of the Wind is mainly about Daniel’s attempts to find answers as he also secures the last book by Julian Carax. In his search for the truth, he encounters people who want to keep the truth buried. He also finds people who hold a vendetta and threaten his life. Daniel ends up making enemies especially in the form of a sadistic, cruel police inspector.

The story is multi layered and takes on different angles. There are also a number of narratives that help readers link the whole story. Each of the key characters brings in a little piece of the main story until finally, all the pieces come together to reveal the whole picture.


The main theme in this book is love. This becomes evident through the multi-layered narration of Daniel and Julian’s lives. The Spanish civil war is at the background of the story but it does not overshadow the current events.




The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is quite an interesting book. It’s big but it is so interesting that I hardly noticed the volume of the book. It’s an engaging narrative and the language used is so beautiful. I found so many great quotes that I kept rereading. This is one book that I wouldn’t mind rereading just so I can get lost in the streets of Barcelona, the mysteries of Carax and the beautiful use of language.

“Bea says that the art of reading is slowly dying, that it’s an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind


Title: The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Pages: 505
Rating: 5 Stars

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