The Prince of Mist
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A short and dark YA novel that captivates the reader through Zafon’s use of atmospheric descriptions, gothic themes and adventure that leaves the reader on tenterhooks. Max and his family have moved to a small village on the coast to escape their war-torn city life, however, as soon as they arrive, mystery, death and a sinister tale reawaken, and they have swapped the danger of war, for the unknowable danger that lurks in the mist.
With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and his sister Alicia begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of the death of the former owner’s son of their new house they have moved in to. Max, Alicia and Roland embark on an mystery which concerns that death, eerie statues and a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist—a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. This adventure marks an end to their childhood and will change each of their lives forever.
Having read some of Zafon’s work before I went into this book with high expectations, which were not met in this creepy and gothic YA story. One aspect of Prince of Mist which was particularly good was the pacing of the story. The progression of events were quick and there were to the point, which was complimented also with short chapters leading me to race through this book.
A few criticisms of mine concerning some aspects of the story:
0 The central conflict is ill-defined, Cain’s origins are not explored or explained, nor is what happens to him in the end explained either. Plenty of unanswered questions.
0 The ending lacked a sense of significance and it passed all too quickly.
0 The absence of the parents for three days to be at the bedside of their other daughter was a poor inclusion, as it is unlikely that parents would leave two children at home on their own.
All in all, the story was an intriguing one, and it was a refreshing change in terms of YA literature. Rather than having the same kind of story we all see in this genre, it was good to read something eerie and dark, and didn’t have the same tropes that we read all too often. For those wanting to read YA, and fancy something slightly different, give it a read!
Genre | YA
Published | 1993
Goodreads | 3.64