The Prince of Mist

( 71 )

Overview

A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret...

It's wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village. But from the minute they cross the threshold of their new home, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners' son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to ...

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The Prince of Mist

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Overview

A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret...

It's wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village. But from the minute they cross the threshold of their new home, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners' son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the strange circumstances of that death and discover the existence of 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. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden—an adventure that will change their lives forever.

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  • Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    Carlos Ruiz Zafón  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally published in 1993, Ruiz Zafón’s (The Shadow of the Wind) first novel, unavailable in English in the U.S. until now, is a melancholy horror tale that explores the implications parents’ choices can have for their children. During WWII, Max and Alicia Carver, 13 and 15, move with their family to a coastal Spanish village and meet an older local boy named Roland. As the three spend their time diving and exploring the town, they become aware that an unsettling force is lurking nearby. Visits to Roland’s adoptive grandfather fill in the story of the Prince of Mist, who has been bargaining for souls for decades. As the children learn more about the mysterious figure, they find themselves in greater danger. In gorgeously translated prose, Ruiz Zafón maintains a sweet, believable relationship among the characters when dealing with mundane concerns (a conflict over cleaning out a room full of spiders could be taken from any contemporary family film), but still conveys a sense of adventure and danger. The bittersweet ending suits the theme and setting, offering both hope and tragedy without any pretense of fairness. Ages 12-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
When Max and Alicia's father decides they must move from the city to a small coastal town in England to be safer from the war, the family is less than excited. Thirteen-year-old Max is distraught at leaving behind friends and familiar places, and older sister Alicia withdraws even more into herself. The suspense begins the moment they arrive at the village train station when a large cat adopts their younger sister Irina and then seems to be keeping an eye on the family once they move into their new beach house. The house and grounds also seem to be watching and maneuvering family members in mysterious way. While exploring town, Max becomes acquainted with Roland, a young man who will be going off to war in the fall. Roland introduces Max to diving in the bay and shows him a wrecked ship, the Orpheus. Once Alicia and Roland meet, a tentative romance is begun, but events really begin to spin out of control when Irina is rushed to the hospital after an apparently accidental fall down the stairs. Alicia, Roland, and Max discover that they are being haunted by the same images of a malevolent clown, a statue that seems to move in the overgrown garden, and even some old family movies discovered in the garden shed. Roland's adoptive grandfather, the self-appointed lighthouse keeper Victor Kray, reveals under pressure the story of his escape from the wrecked ship. Kray had been in pursuit of an evil man named Cain who was responsible for the death of a childhood friend, and originally believed Cain had died in the shipwreck, but now he is not so sure. Cain, also known as the Prince of Mist, has come back to reclaim a promised prize, the firstborn child of the beach house's former owner. The child, Jacob, was believed to have drowned when he was seven years old, but Max discovers from viewing the old films that Jacob is in fact Roland, whom Kray has been attempting to hide and protect for years. This suspenseful story provides quick reading from beginning to end, with a believably brave young male narrator who will have particular appeal to boy readers. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
VOYA - Lynn Evarts
When Max's dad convinces the family to move out of the city to a house on the ocean to escape World War II, the family is less than enthusiastic. The family grudgingly moves, but unfortunately, the house has secrets, as do the grounds, and Max and his sisters Alicia and Irina begin to experience odd events. Max can see an old graveyard from his window, and the mystery further deepens when he investigates and finds that the statues are not as they appear. After Irina falls down the stairs in a freak accident, Alicia and Max are left to fend for themselves. During one of their trips to town, Max meets Roland, the son of the lighthouse keeper. The three soon become friends, and Roland shows Max and Alicia the wreck of the Orpheus, a ship whose flag contains the same unusual symbol Max sees in the cemetery. As the skies darken and the ship resurfaces, will the three teens escape with their lives? Zafon is a master storyteller. From the first page, the reader is drawn into the mystery and suspense that the young people encounter when they move into the Fleischmann house. The mists and the angry, stormy sea further add to the story's intensity. As the lighthouse keeper and his grandson's story is slowly revealed, the suspense becomes palpable. This book can be read and enjoyed by every level of reader, and teachers who are looking for a good read-aloud will keep the audience on the edge of their seats with this tale. Reviewer: Lynn Evarts
April Wulber
There is a war going on and Maximillian Carver, a watchmaker, decides to move his family. Eight years ago, he fell in love with a house on the beach, and he is finally moving his family there. When they arrive and strange things begin happening, Max (the son) chalks it all up to being shaken from the move. When Max and Alicia meet a local boy and go diving with him, there is a turning point in Max's thinking. He hears local legends about the dead son of the previous owners. When they discover that their younger sister, Irina, suffered an accident in their home on the beach, they know something is up. Perhaps the house really is haunted. While Max and Alicia's parents are at the hospital with Irina, they are working with their friend Roland to solve the case. Reviewer: April Wulber
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Max, Alicia, and Irena are vexed when their father transplants the family to an old house in a seaside town. It's 1943, and with World War II raging, Mr. Carver believes his family will be safer away from the city. However, he is unaware that the move places his family in grave danger from diabolical, supernatural powers. Irena, the youngest child, is critically injured in a bizarre accident. Max and Alicia befriend Roland, grandson of the enigmatic lighthouse keeper. The family gets caught up in an aura of secrecy that involves a shipwreck, drownings, strange dreams, old debts, and animated garden statues. Spanish novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafon's story (Little, Brown, 2010) is slow to take off, but once it does, there's plenty of adventure, suspense, and mystery along with a touch of romance that entwines with the creepy, malevolent forces at play. At times, the dramatic orchestration and sound effects overpower Jonathan Davis's well-done narration. Still, young adults will enjoy this audiobook.—Patricia McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA
Booklist
Praise for The Shadow of the Wind
"Part detective story, part boy's adventure, part romance, fantasy, and gothic horror, the intricate plot is urged on by extravagant foreshadowing and nail-nibbling tension. This is rich, lavish storytelling."
From the Publisher
Praise for The Shadow of the Wind
"Part detective story, part boy's adventure, part romance, fantasy, and gothic horror, the intricate plot is urged on by extravagant foreshadowing and nail-nibbling tension. This is rich, lavish storytelling."—Booklist

"This superb young adult novel crosses into supernatural realms, and Jonathan Davis's performance offers its own kind of magic. Davis makes the transition from commonplace teen angst to paranormal regions naturally and believably. Carlos Ruiz Zafón's lyrical prose creates plausible characters and thrilling situations, all given substance by Davis's spot-on narration. A conversation with the author (who also composed and performed the incidental music) follows this engrossing tale."—AudioFile

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
When Max and Alicia's father decides they must move from the city to a small coastal town in England to be safer from the war, the family is less than excited. Thirteen-year-old Max is distraught at leaving behind friends and familiar places, and older sister Alicia withdraws even more into herself. The suspense begins the moment they arrive at the village train station when a large cat adopts their younger sister Irina and then seems to be keeping an eye on the family once they move into their new beach house. The house and grounds also seem to be watching and maneuvering family members in mysterious way. While exploring town, Max becomes acquainted with Roland, a young man who will be going off to war in the fall. Roland introduces Max to diving in the bay and shows him a wrecked ship, the Orpheus. Once Alicia and Roland meet, a tentative romance is begun, but events really begin to spin out of control when Irina is rushed to the hospital after an apparently accidental fall down the stairs. Alicia, Roland, and Max discover that they are being haunted by the same images of a malevolent clown, a statue that seems to move in the overgrown garden, and even some old family movies discovered in the garden shed. Roland's adoptive grandfather, the self-appointed lighthouse keeper Victor Kray, reveals under pressure the story of his escape from the wrecked ship. Kray had been in pursuit of an evil man named Cain who was responsible for the death of a childhood friend, and originally believed Cain had died in the shipwreck, but now he is not so sure. Cain, also known as the Prince of Mist, has come back to reclaim a promised prize, the firstborn child of the beach house's former owner. The child, Jacob, was believed to have drowned when he was seven years old, but Max discovers from viewing the old films that Jacob is in fact Roland, whom Kray has been attempting to hide and protect for years. This suspenseful story provides quick reading from beginning to end, with a believably brave young male narrator who will have particular appeal to boy readers. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316044776
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 438,314
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind. His work has been published in more than fifty countries, and honored with numerous awards. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sooooo disappointed

    I recently finished reading Zafon's "The Shadow of the Wind" and for those who haven't read the book and without giving anything away I knew I had to pick up "The prince of Mist". My first clue to it's contents should have been when I was directed to go to the teen section of the book shop to look for it. I found this book oh so different from the first Zafon book I read. The writing is simple, boring. The sentences are written for a five year old's attention span: He walked in the room. He sat on the bed. It was raining...blah blah blah. The quick changing paragraphs were too fast and made the story feel rushed. There was little character development and the plot was unoriginal, a mix of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus for those who have seen the movies, though at a much lower quality. I'm sad to say this was not a good book by Mr. Zafon. Hope to find better gems from him like The Shadow of the Wind to rebuild my faith in his writing.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2010

    Pretty Good Read

    Zafron immediately creates a dark, mysterious atmosphere that drags you into a story with unexpected twists. The mysteries surrounding the Carver's new home captivate you until the very end when the Prince of Mist returns to settle a debt in a deadly game of deal or no deal.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a magical writer! . .

    I had to read this book even though I am far from the teen/young adult category. I enjoyed it very much. I've been waiting for another english-translated book from this author since THE ANGELS GAME in June 2009. This book was very good . .mysterious, magical, and was easy to get lost into the story and hard to put down. I hope we are lucky enough to have many more Zafon books translated into English. I am anxiously awaiting Carlos Ruiz Zafon's next offering.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Zafon's Translated Tome Delivers

    If you are a lover of the books of Carlos Ruiz Zafron, beyond all means pick up this "new" book, recently translated. This tome is considered a young adult read, but as a "older" reader, I was really taken with its quick pace and articulate writing. Zafron can really build the tension and make you feel as if you have fallen into an atmosphere where anything is possible. It has some spine-tingling elements, bringing you back to those childhood fears that kept you up at night.
    This book may be too intense for the teen unacustomed to books without a pat ending.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Good read

    Although it may not be the top of my list it is close to the top. I love the suspence it brings and the creepy feel to it. Coming from an ADD who gets sucked into books. All around good and recomended read. And for one i am going to read it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Quick Story

    I read this book in a day, that's how much I enjoyed it, plus it's a short book. It's not better than Shadow of the Wind, but still a good story. It has a good twist toward the end. Carlos Ruiz Zafon definitely has a talent for story telling which is apparent in this book. Definitely worth reading, don't let the young readers category discourage you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    very good

    ive only read literally 50 pages and im already hooked!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review of The Prince of Mist

    I'm not a big fan of ghost stories. I spook easily and end up having to sleep at night with my lights on and an eye half open. I am, however, a huge fan of Zafon's writing and The Prince of Mist proved worthy.

    Although The Prince of Mist lacked the more poetic writing of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, it still captured that gothic, dark feeling that I loved about the books. I could definitely tell this was a book geared more toward a younger audience - it was short, easy to read and drew me in from the very get-go.

    Young Max has to move from his childhood home. With him are his two sisters (one older, one younger) and his parents. They move to a house with a history, a house on a beach, and they stumble into a story involving magic, ghosts and some of the creepiest elements of a ghost story that can be used.

    There was a little bit of everything in this book. It played on my fear of graveyards, clowns, "The Ring" movie and many more fears. I read the book in an evening, but had to set it down several times because of random noises that had me jumping and looking over my shoulder. It's just a book, I'd remind myself. I'm such a wimp.

    This is a fantastic addition to the YA world. The beginning writing is a bit simple, but push through it and you'll find a story that has every element needed to make it interesting, scary, fun, romantic, sad and just plain creepy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Ugh I wanted a scary book

    So many prolle said this was the scariest book thy ever read but it was written so strangely tha it was not scary at all! Also the characters were badly developed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2012

    I read the book The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafrón. The b


    I read the book The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafrón. The book was published by the Little, Brown and Company of the Hachette Book Group, Inc in the month of May in 2010. In this book, the theme is easily detected when the main character max states “In an infinite universe there are too many things that escaped human understanding.” The main characters are Max, his sister Alicia, and Roland. They go on many journeys and discover a lot of new things. There are many twists and turns along the way, but they could handle it. They like to get pulled into new adventures, and I like that.
    The book starts off with a war that is ruining the Carver family’s nice home in the city. So, Max Carver (a watchmaker and father) moves his family out of the city and to a house off the coast in the country side. Behind the house is an old garden with statues. Max is curious and goes to investigate. While there he looks at each statue very carefully, but he notices that when he turns his back, the statues have moved into a different position, especially the clown figure in the middle.
    After the Carver Family gets settled into their house they start to discover mysterious objects. The father finds a box of old films. He sets up a whole screen and puts on the projector. They all gather around to watch, but it turns out to be a family film of the family that used to live in the house before them. Max starts to have a bad feeling. He starts to feel like something bad happened to the family before. Then, Max’s sister starts to have bad dreams, but not just regular bad dreams. Next, after meeting their friend Roland, they find a sunken ship, with a flag, while snorkeling. This wasn’t just an ordinary flag thought. What they don’t know, but will find out, that there is a chilling story about this ship, and this place.
    I really liked this book. It was overall very interesting. The book kept pulling, dragging me in to read more. Reading this book was an experience for me because, to be honest, I don’t like to read. This book has gotten me into the reading mode. This was also a great experience because it was written by a Spanish author. Reading a book by a Spanish author, I expected it to have more Spanish in it, but still it was really good and made me think like: What’s going to happen?
    I learned that curiosity really could kill a cat, but sometime in order to be safe, you really need to be curios. I also learned that when reading a book by a Spanish author, you might see something you don’t understand, but you just need to keep going and maybe look up words if you need to. Lastly, I learned lots of new vocabulary words such as eccentric, transfixed, and paraphernalia.
    I would recommend this book to all ages 12 and above because it’s a good read and many people 12 and above will be able to relate to Max, his family, his friends, and his life. This may be difficult to read for people under 12 because of the vocabulary, but I hope you all enjoy the book as much as I do! Remember, READ!

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    worth the time to read

    Chris
    Best book ever, definately The book The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, is an amazing book. It was one of the first books I was actually able to sit down and choose to read. The main character is Max, a thirteen year old boy who seems to be an average kid until he moves and strange stuff starts to happen. So he, his sister and a new friend have to solve the mystery of what's going on.
    The book is about when Max's dad, a watchmaker named Maximilian Carver, makes the family move to a beach house in a small town. Their moving because there is a war going on in the city they lived in. When they get to the town they begin to see weird things like when they got to the train station and "something made him turn around and look again at the blackened face of the ancient station clock..when they reached the station the clock had said half past midday. Now, the hands pointed at ten minutes to twelve," also ".someone was looking at him. He spun around and saw a large cat," and it jumped through the window onto his sister Irina. When they got to the house Max found a very interesting garden, it was a very creepy garden. Later Max and his other sister, Alicia, met Roland, he was a seventeen year old, he invited them to do what he loved, diving, but after something happened to his other sister Irina, every time they went diving something weird would happen. Finding new clues when diving or biking around to different places and sometimes even talking to people would help find out something new.
    I really liked The Prince of Mist because I was always wondering what was going to happen next and you would always be on the edge of your seat like when Victor Kray "sliced the beam through the mist once more. It wasn't an illusion: The garden of statues was empty." Zafón was a very good mystery writer because he had a lot of suspenseful scenes like this. He is also extremely descriptive like he would describe almost everything with very specific words. This is a good book for any person even if they don't like to read. It's a short book but it's almost impossible to lose your concentration. I had to keep reading but if I had to help my parents I would say "can I when I get to the end of the chapter" and stuff like that. But if you are a fast reader you will be done very quickly because it is only 214 pages long.

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    Excellent Read

    Carlos Ruiz Zafron has never failed to deliver a masterpiece! Great read for all ages from young readers, middle age and seniors. An all around good book.

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    Posted May 24, 2010

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