The Shadow of the Wind (Spanish: La sombra del viento) is a 2001 novel by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and a worldwide bestseller. The book was translated into English in 2004 by Lucia Graves and sold over a million copies in the UK after already achieving success on mainland Europe, topping the Spanish bestseller lists for weeks.
Ruiz Zafón’s follow-up is a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind, published in Spanish in April 2008 by Planeta. It has been acquired by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and a hardback English edition was published in June 2009. The title is The Angel’s Game and it is set in Barcelona during the 1920s and 1930s. It follows a young writer who is approached by a mysterious figure to write a book. The Angel’s Game was also translated into English by Lucia Graves.
he novel, set in post–Spanish Civil War Barcelona, concerns a young boy, Daniel. Just after the war, Daniel’s father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it, and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. That night he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author, but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange man – calling himself Laín Coubert, after a character in the book who happens to be the Devil – who has been seeking out Carax’s books for decades, buying them all and burning them.