The Prince of Mist
  • The Prince of Mist
  • The Prince of Mist

The Prince of Mist

3.4 71
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
     
 

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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

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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.

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316044776
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
05/04/2010
Pages:
214
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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