The Labyrinth of the Spirits

A Novel
Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
Series: Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Book 4
Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (520 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

"Packed with suspense...a gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller.” (Washington Book Review)

The internationally acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author returns to the magnificent universe he constructed in his best-selling novels The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven in this riveting series finale - a heart-pounding thriller and nail-biting work of suspense which introduces a sexy, seductive new heroine whose investigation shines a light on the dark history of Franco’s Spain.

In this unforgettable final volume of Ruiz Zafón’s cycle of novels set in the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, beautiful and enigmatic Alicia Gris, with the help of the Sempere family, uncovers one of the most shocking conspiracies in all Spanish history.

Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the 29-year-old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls.

With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue - a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several book sellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents.

As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future.

In this haunting new novel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives. 

©2016 Carlos Ruiz Zafón; Translation copyright 2017 Lucia Graves (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A One-And-One-Half Decade Journey Ends Brilliantly

About 14 years ago, I picked up Mr. Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind in a bookstore, and what a long and wonderful journey it has been. Mr. Zafon is a great wordsmith. Not only are his stories profoundly engaging, the way in which he uses words to tell his stories is truly refreshing, inventive, and smart.

Many reviewers will tell you more about The Labyrinth of The Spirits, but for those of you new to the Cemetery of Forgotten Book series, I will let you know the order of the books: The Shadow of The Wind was first, then came The Angel's Game (which was a prequel to The Shadow of The Wind...Note: even though it is a prequel I suggest reading The Shadow of The Wind first but keep in mind that The Angel's Game is a prequel...which I did not realize, when I read it, causing me to be confused by the ending), followed by The Prisoner of Heaven, and, lastly, The Labyrinth of The Spirits.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon penned a tome of 816 pages, giving us an audio book of just under 28 hours. It is a book you must make a commitment to read (listen to). If you do, you will not be disappointed. Reading this book, you will know what it means to read the work of a truly professional writer. By the way, the author has other books. I have read them, too. They do not disappoint.

Lastly, I will voice what another reviewer stated in my own words. What I felt at the end of the The Labyrinth of The Spirits was a strong feeling of completion. When I started this series, I was a much younger man. As with the characters in the book, I have grown older after 14 years, and in these my later years, I seemed to have grown a good deal older, making the story somewhat bittersweet for me, as I seem to be able to identify with them. I will not forget the characters and the life lessons that Mr. Zafon has provided in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.

A WORD ABOUT THE NARRATOR: The narrator, Daniel Weyman, turned in an A-list performance. I am so very grateful to the powers-that-be who gave us a master narrator to match the greatness of the novel.

I want to encourage you to take the same journey. If you are new to the series, you can read all the books now one after the other. A friend of mine has started back a the beginning and has re-read the books prior to reading this final book. However you do it, it will be a wonderful journey.

10 people found this helpful

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The end of an epic novel

I first read La Sombre del Viento in 2007 while studying in Spain. Despite some of what was lost due to a language barrier, I was captivated by the picture Zafón painted of the gothic Barcelona of the past. I have since re-read The Shadow of the Wind a couple of times and more recently completed The Prisoner of Heaven and The Labyrinth of Spirits. I find it impossible to say which is my “favorite” because in the end, they are one novel. Each novel ties together so perfectly it’s own piece of the story and this final chapter leaves nothing to be desired. This is a masterpiece that I have spent over a decade consuming and I can only hope Zafón treats us to a new adventure in the future

8 people found this helpful

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Zafon can spin a masterful tale!

This offering from Zafon brilliantly tied together all of the works in the series in a way that left me completely satisfied and with the perfect sense of closure. While I can imagine a follow-up focusing on a central character, I would be ok to formulate her path to happiness in my mind. 28 hours incredibly well spent as the narrator did a masterful job with the characters...bravo!

4 people found this helpful

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Riveting, Complex, Challenging

This is not an easy listen for many reasons and it is probably too long.

The story of the Spanish civil war and the tumult under Franco is stark, particularly since it is cloaked in mysticism or dream states. The harsh scenes are tough but the description and language are exceptional. (Even in translation). I might choose to read this in print.

1 person found this helpful

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GREAT READ!!!!


Loved the book!! The Author is one of my favorites! The narrator is perfect!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Ruiz Zafon is the best

GREAT! I can't get his writings out of my mind. I am hungry for more of his books.

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Mesmerizing

OMGosh, I luxuriated in falling into the escapist abyss called The Labyrinth of Spirits, my second book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. A magnificent gothic mystery novel based in Madrid and Barcelona. I read his Shadow of the Wind in the late aughts right after it was translated into English and LOVED it. My heavily underlined/annotated copy is lovingly stashed in the recesses of my Texas garage apartment. But I now thankfully live in Paris, and I’m reading in the time of Coronavirus. Zafón has now written four books that are loosely connected (you don't need to read them all or in order) in what he describes as his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. I downloaded the current one, Labyrinth, on my Audible so that I would listen when I was walking My dog or cooking, etc. These books are like sinking your teeth into a big juicy savor-every-bite steak surrounded by smorgasbord of eclectic side creations. I can hardly pull myself away to be productive. The tale is mesmerizing, with luscious writing. For example, a tidbit just covered -- when the book's main character (a fabulously wily lead, Alicia Gris) comes upon a journalist cogitating over his writing while nibbling on the end of his pen, surrounded by a citadel of his research, Zafón described the journalist's countenance as looking like: "he tried to trap a sentence that refused to land on the page." OMG, writing bliss (for me). Anyway, highly recommend if you want to fall into a great yarn woven with exquisite thread. ;) perfect lockdown read!

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Love

Love this book, I have read all the books of Carlos Ruiz, and this one is one of my favorite

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Amazing, brought tears to my eyes

Like the finest wine you will ever taste, it needs time to develop. Let it breath and a few hours in you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful novels ever written. A masterpiece!

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The best of the series!

I really loved this book. I cried, I laughed, I was actually sad when it ended. It is very long and a bit hard to read; once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It totally tells the story of all characters and, as with all of the other books in the series, there are many surprises and turns. I will probably read it again😁