Cover Image: The Labyrinth of the Spirits

The Labyrinth of the Spirits

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Member Reviews

This is the fourth book in this series which started with Shadow of the Wind, Each can be read individually although there are references to other events and many of the characters are the same. In this novel, a government official has gone missing and Alicia Gris is called upon to investigate the mystery surrounding this. She works for some sort of private agency assisting the police. She is a fascinating character with many flaws but you are 100% behind her as she seeks to discover who has been threatening this man and why he has a banned novel hidden in his room. What she uncovers is quite a conspiracy with many twists and turns. On the way, the story includes Daniel Sempere and his family and the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I really enjoyed this novel and it made me think and concentrate! I would highly recommend the series and particularly the first and last books within it. Thank you to Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I read and enjoyed earlier books in this series and so wanted to love this one too. My feeling is that it is far too long. I didn’t begin to enjoy it until after half way – the equivalent of slogging through a whole book of average length. I found many of the characters intriguing and wanted to know more about them and their inter-relationships, which is what kept me reading. It shed some light on the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and what happened to prisoners. Altogether though, for me, the book could have been half the length and would have been more appealing and approachable to the average reader.

Three stars on Amazon's review scale, two on Goodreads.
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This is book number 4. Please read them in order,or you will be totally confused and unable to appreciate the complexity and brilliance of this series.
This book returns us to the Cemetery of forgotten books,an eternal city,comprising a labyrinth made up of staircases,tunnels and arches,made up of all the books of the World that await a new owner.
Set in Franco's Spain,this ties up all the loose ends from the previous three books and informs us of the extreme violence,corruption and pure evil deeds that were performed by this government. To be intelligent,artistic or a wordsmith,was to be an enemy of the state,and the murders and torture that were carried out in underground prisons and dungeons are vividly described in great detail,gruesome but necessary. However,there are stories of great love and friendship and loyalty,plus the late introduction of a wonderful female character named Alicia Gris. She is cunning,and full of intellect and has suffered excruciating pain from a war wound,that makes her determined to find justice and get revenge in her own way,is she a positive female role model,or a dangerous loose cannon?. That all depends on whose side you are on,but she demonstrates that the pen is mightier than the sword!! 
There are scary and tense descriptions of chases and murders,it is a flowing read that conveys the excitement of the chase and so many mysteries that are now explained.
To conclude,this is a most unusual quartet of books,probably gothic in style,full of strong and determined characters,that have all suffered either individually,or by seeing family destroyed,and this has made the all determined to make amends and bring the perpetrators to justice. Truly a dark period in the history of Spain. I think I was intrigued and dismayed in equal measure throughout these books. I absolutely love these books. I have posted this review to Goodreads today.
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An absolutely brilliant book which envelopes you in the story with the most beautiful use of language. You feel by the end that you actually know all the characters involved. I would highly recommend this book to all readers.
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No novel – NO novel – needs to be this length.  This is an Eton Mess of a book – a melange of crusty police procedural, and mish-mash of soft meta archness.  And you really have to be a Ruiz Zafon fan to enjoy the mixture.  As for me, I never loved the first couple, and have hardly seen a copy of the third, in this series.  If this is the closing section it's a whopper for the devotee, but a struggle for anyone else.  You'd find it easier to nail the Mess to the ceiling…
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A truly fascinating book which I couldn't put down once I had started it.  The characters and their stories draw you in, they feel real and in no way imaginary.  I did feel at times that the plot dragged a little, but it soon picked up each time and I couldn't wait to find out the where the mystery was leading, and what happened to each of the characters.  I had to read a few parts a couple of times to get the story straight in my head as it could be a little convoluted, but that just added to the enjoyment.  I had not read the earlier books in the series but I intend to do so and then probably re-read this story so that I can put it into context.  I carried on thinking about this book long after I had finished it. A truly masterful piece which I fully recommend.
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This is the final work in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet of which each book works well as a stand-alone. The series began with the compelling, if not addictive, "The Shadow of the Wind" about fifteen years ago which was set in around 1945 Barcelona. In "The Labyrinth of the Spirits" the reader is taken further through Franco era Barcelona. Unanswered questions from the previous three books in the series are answered (sometimes a bit gruesomely) in later times. 

The novel is not only wonderful storytelling, it is also beautifully translated into wonderful English prose. For me, at times the plot dragged a bit but, nevertheless, I strongly recommend reading it, especially to those who have enjoyed the other three in this series.
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If I could give this novel more than five stars I most gladly would. It invaded my every waking hour and some of those whilst I slept! The Labyrinth of the Spirits is the sumptuous, extraordinary and downright breath-taking final book of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet. Quite frankly is it magnificent. I was transported to the labyrinths, alleys, houses and secrets corners of Barcelona during the Franco regime. This is a story of murder, passion, secret police, plots, sub-plots, mystery and, of course, books.

The new protagonist is the intriguing and beautiful Alicia Gris. As a child during the civil war, her life was saved by the indefatigable Fermín Romero de Torres and twenty years later, although damaged by the war, she is back in Barcelona working as an investigator for the Spanish secret police. She comes back into the life of the Sempere family and with their help uncovers one of the most awful conspiracies to have ever taken place in Spain.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a masterful story teller and he has created a truly haunting novel. Do be aware that there are some pretty gruesome scenes but they are not gratuitous. This is a superb end to a truly marvellous series.
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This is well written,or translated,but it failed to grip me. It recreates a period of Spanish history but it jumps about and fails to anchor its stories. It has a fanciful and unconvincing beginning too.
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If I could give this book a one word review it would be 'Genius" I really don't know what else to say as there are no words when the ones in the novel are so wonderfully written and brilliantly evocative.

But here goes:
I have been so excited for this novel to come out in the English speaking world. I admit I had read it before in Spanish as well, I couldn’t wait for it to come out in the UK, but kudos to Lucia Grave who translated it! Brilliantly done and in a way which totally captures the magic of the original and even adds a little magic of its own.

You do read this with a bit of sadness however as it’s the final novel in Zafon’s The Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet but you are in for one heck of a treat. Best to start with Book One - The Shadow of the Wind which is  one of my favourite books of all time if not the favourite.

We’re back with Daniel and the Cemetery of Forgotten books and the Spanish cover has a young boy gazing into the shop window which I found to reflect how I felt about reading this book. You gaze like an excited child dying to go inside and experience the magic. I was not disappointed.

It’s not just a revisit however for there is more of Zafon’s magic in the Gothic city of Barcelona. Meeting Zafon’s latest creation, Alicia Gris, was a memorable moment. She has to be one of the most extraordinary characters ever to be captured on the pages of a novel. And an epic novel at that.

Daniel is now a young man (running that most exciting of bookshops Sempere and Sons) and is now married with a child of his own. but this makes his search for his own mother even more urgent and enter Alicia who will be a part of this final journey for the truth

I read it slow -painstakingly slow infact as once I was back in this world I didn’t want to leave it. I now feel bereft, but all my questions and worries about Daniel and co have been answered and addressed. I was particularly excited to read about how Fermin arrived in Barcelona and his backstory to the present day!

It's a captivating conclusion, a maze like series of puzzles and clues which suit the setting of the maze like streets of Barcelona. Some new exciting and mysteries locations in the city appear here too.

Oh what else can I say? This is not just a novel you have to read but a journey you HAVE to go on. 

This HAS to be a film. It’s such an epic immersive and brilliantly written read.

I was spellbound reading this. Excited to return to the Cemetery of Books, back with old friends and meeting new ones. The gothic streets of Barcelona are the perfect setting for the maze of secrets and puzzles contained within the plot.

Dazzlingly brilliant.
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I have always resisted Zafron .. and in fact it took me a while to set aside what seemed to me obvious tropes of this melodrama..the scarred, damaged central figure of Alicia, and the set pieces of the tough guy protector, Vargas, who is a softie inside, and the cold blooded mentor ..the cruel bad guy with an enticing, lonely daughter .. admittedly before halfway I felt it drag .. the often used magic book and dangerous search for it is not entirely woven in to signify Alicia which might be useful.. After cruel smooth government guy disappears, a cruel soul-destroying event happens in Barcelona which has big impact on the charges .. an image of his abuse in prison cell will not leave me any time soon. But this writer is a terrific storyteller in melodrama stakes (if obvious) And the creation of Alicia, his central character is fresh and smart .. and I began to be utterly involved .. really sneaky (still slow though!) In this detective story...
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A very long read and at times very slow paced. This is the 4th in a series and although I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the 1st, I do wish I'd read the whole series in order to fully appreciate this book. That said, the book is undeniably a fantastically well written book.
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When I requested The Labyrinth if Spirits I didn’t realise that it was the 4th and the last book in the series. I have read also the first in the series The Shadow in the Wind. But, it was about 15 years ago.
The is a beautifully written book set in Spain. Zafron describes places in Spain that I have never even heard of.  It has likable characters, full of love and sadness and the story keeps you wanting more. I must confess I did not finish this book. Not because I didn’t like it. But, I want to start from the beginning of the series with The Shadow of the wind and give reviews that this book and the author deserves.
Thank you Orion publishing and NetGalley for a copy of this book.
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A fine symphony of words based on Spain after the civil war with Franco in power and centred on Barcelona with its people trying to go back to normality. It has rich themes with poetical passages that depict the highways and byways of Barcelona together with a secret mystical Cathedral like building that houses the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There are stories within stories of a family of book sellers, people recovering from wounds as a result of the bombing of Barcelona, young love, and a secret agent charged with an investigation into the disappearance of a prominent government minister. What with treachery, murder and brutal torture together with scintillating dialogue the book provides a most satisfying read.
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A fitting conclusion to the series that started with The Shadow of the Wind.  The different strands are brought together and it has the same intricate detail and mesmerising sense of Spain as the previous books. It is a hard book to review without giving away plot details or minimising the complexity, but definitely worth reading.
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Wow what a book! I think to do this book justice you should read the other books in the series, of which I haven't. That said, I really enjoyed the story, so many puzzles and interlinking events!
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The Shadow of the Wind left a lasting impression on me when I read it on publication 17 years ago (and on subsequent re-reads). The next novels in the sequence, The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven, had the same effect. And now I can add The Labyrinth of the Spirits to that list. For those of you who have been holding out for this, the final novel in Zafon’s The Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet, you’re in for a treat. And for those of you who haven’t been fortunate to read his novels yet, I strongly recommend you start. Right now.

Described as, “…an intricate and intensely imagined homage to books, the art of storytelling and that magical bridge between literature and our lives”, The Labyrinth of the Spirits combines the genres of fairy tale, thriller, romance and detective stories to provide an extraordinary reading experience.

It was a genuine treat to welcome my old friends, Daniel Sempere and Fermin Romero de Torres, back into my life, and have the opportunity to revisit the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, still one of my most favourite fictional places of all time. Even more delightful was meeting Zafon’s latest creation, Alicia Gris, one of the most extraordinary anti-heroes ever to be captured in the pages of a book. Seductive, tortured, sensitive and  cruel, Alicia is a tour de force.

In Labyrinth, Daniel is now a young man, running the Sempere & Sons bookshop in 1950s Barcelona, sharing this life with his loving wife and son. Yet he still frets over his mother’s death and feels the shadows from his past, and hers, threatening his happiness. When Alicia enters his life, and re-enters Fermin’s, the stage is set for the final chapter in Daniel’s search for the truth about Isabella Sempere.

Dazzled, obsessed, haunted… this could describe many of the characters in The Labyrinth of the Spirits, but  definitely describes me while reading it; I could not put this book down!
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This book is an addictive novel as well as a history lesson in Spain! I have learned so much about Spain, things I didn't knew before.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot by saying anything but I loved the way how the story was pulled together, I felt like it was doing an embroidery or placing  puzzle pieces, as the description say it's a masterpiece. If you like historic novels with a blend of mystery that slowly unfolds, then this is a book you must read.
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Well, what a whirlwind. Carlos is an amazing storyteller. How he devises plots and characters of such awesome.magnitude is beyond me. The Labyrinth of the Spirits is the conclusion to a splendid epic that has me asking for more. Beautifully written, it brings back characters from previous novels and adds quite a few new ones to a land of book dealers and evil doers. A stonking good read.
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Beautiful writing - a long read, with familiar characters, and an eye-opener in the history of Spain that I never knew before .
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