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In 1940s Barcelona, in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, 10-year-old Daniel Sempere is led by a local bookseller to a mysterious crypt called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The labyrinth is full of endangered titles likely to be stolen or destroyed. It’s here that Daniel is drawn to a rare and coveted copy of The Shadow of the Wind, authored by the elusive Julián Carax. The book leads him on an adventure to uncover the missing author’s tragic story and learn why his life and work is being systematically erased. Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind, published in Spanish in 2001 and translated to English by Lucia Graves in 2004, is the first of a tetralogy of socially critical works—The Angel’s Game (2009), The Prisoner of Heaven (2012), and The Labyrinth of the Spirits (2018) round out the series—that defined the author’s influence on the genre before his death in 2020. The quartet embodied the everpresent legacy of the war while critiquing the Spanish state’s history of silencing writers. The gothic mystery, notably endorsed as “the real deal” by Stephen King, has sold some 15 million copies across the globe. —Armani Syed

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