This is my second Zafon book in as many months, and I have found a new voice I love.
I know little about the Spanish war of the last century, so the setting of his novels is new to me. In The Prisoner of Heaven, Zafon continues to educate me about the conflict's atrocities while furthering the storyline of The Shadow of the Wind. Again, his characterizations are rich and ring true. The twists and turns of the storyline could skirt the improbable, but he depicts this world so well I find periodic "stretches" easy to ignore.
The young Daniel, who comes of age in The Shadow of the Wind, walks as a confident man through The Prisoner of Heaven. But this novel story belongs to his friend Fermin, who relives a life he'd rather forget, and which ties him far more tightly to Daniel than I could have imagined. The men's friendship, Daniel's maturing relationship with his wife and father, and the casts' evolution from war to peace is a dramatic and enjoyable journey. And as with The Shadow of the Wind, Zafon's beautiful use of language and humor (particularly in Fermin's voice) lightens otherwise heavy and sad scenes.
I am delighted to have discovered Zafon's work. I recommend it highly.