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  • Location: Barcelona

The Prisoner of Heaven

The Prisoner of Heaven

Why a Booktrail?

1957: The third visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books

  • ISBN: 978-1780222851
  • Translator: Lucia Graves
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from THE SHADOW OF THE WIND have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel’s father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him.

Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel’s surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words ‘To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future’. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival …

Travel Guide


“A scarlet sky curved over Barcelona. The city looked ark, entwined with sharp, black silhouettes. A half-empty train hauled itself along, shedding a flickering light on the cobblestones.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon says in the author note:

Barcelona is a city with more than two thousand years of history, which began its expansion under the Roman Empire. But its first great historical moment is medieval and there we find the power of the gothic.

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, for a good few years now one for the city’s major tourist draws, is one of the elements that contextualise The Shadow of the Wind (as well as the other books in the series). The quarter is bisected by Called fernando where Gustavo Barcelo has his bookshop, between Santa Ana , where the Semperes lives, and the Plaza Real, where Clara Barcelo plays the piano; Daniel frequently passes to and fro, skirting the cathedral.

“Barcelona is a city with a lot of very good Gothic architecture outside the Gothic quarter as well as in, but some of it  is reconstructed and stylised. There is a school for example by the architect Joan Martorell who taught Gaudi and this became San Gabriel’s School in the novels.

Streetview Maps

A) Barcelona - Carrer Santa Ana and the Cemetery of Forgotten Books
D) Barcelona - Calle Joaquin Costa

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Prisoner of Heaven

Destination : Barcelona  Author/Guide: Carlos Ruiz Zafon  Departure Time: 1957

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