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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 (432 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 that 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
  • Performance
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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.

7 of 8 people found this review 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

6 of 7 people found this review 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 of 5 people found this review helpful

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GREAT READ!!!!


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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurie
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • 10-28-19

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.

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Lanyrinth an outstanding maze of Spanish history

Zafon tells an amazing story of the corruption that was everyday life for Spaniards. Built upon the horrid truth that families were intentionally torn apart by the evil Franco regime. Great though sad story.

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Beautifully Captured

I’m always stunned by Zafón’s ability to conjure up the most incredible characters - characters now that feel like old friends who, in this book, become even more complex. After Shadow of the Wind, The Prisoner of Heaven and The Angel’s Game - I thought I’d let this audio version drive my last dip into the world of the Samperis and the Barcelona I’ve come to love so well. I’m always astonished too at the brilliant translations of Zafón’s work, the essence preserved and Daniel Weyman’s narration performance is remarkable. A gothic treat for anyone hoping to take an insanely dark, but loving dive into post-war Spain.

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 09-24-19

Beautiful End to Wonderful Series

I loved all the books in this series, and this is my second favorite. This book differs substantually from the other novels with a labyrinthine structure and magically realistic meta-fiction. The continuing characters are excellent, the prose are magical, the story complex and compelling.

The narration is excellent.

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Masterpiece

This was a masterpiece and a stunning completion to the series. I actually found myself slowing down because I wanted to savor it. And I was rewinding chapters which were so wonderful I had to listen again. I wish it didn’t end! Thank you Carlos & Audible.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

rambling story that doesn't know when to wrap up

having read every book leading up to this one, I was deeply disappointed by how pointless and meandering the plot was. I would have remained a fan, had I quit two books ago.