First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.

1232Barcelona, 1945:A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other words, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets-an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.” (Source:Goodreads)

I can still recall how I picked Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind from the stack of books in a local bookstore. Back then, I wasn’t much into book blogging, hence, I barely had any iota on what the book was about. What drew me in was the book’s interesting cover and title. I may sound shallow but yes, a good title and an intriguing cover is a fatal combination, at least in the process of my book selection.

Unfortunately, because of my obstinacy (and because, over the years, I have accumulated far too many books than I can read), The Shadow of the Wind was left to gather dust in my bookshelves. It is, honestly, a very sad incident considering how in I was of the cover and the title. After numerous positive recommendations from fellow bloggers, I finally mustered the resolve to read this, hence, its inclusion in my 2020 Top 20 Reading List.

As part of my March European Literature month (which was supposed to be an English Literature Month), I find myself immersed in this spellbinding book. Yes, spellbinding because if there is one word I can use to describe this magical book, it would be spellbinding. It has hypnotized me from the onset.

The Shadow of the Wind is narrated by Daniel Sempere, the son of an antiquarian book seller. The story begins in the hollowed halls of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he was asked by his father to pick a book from the collection of rare books. Daniel picked, surprise, The Shadow of the Wind which was written by one Julian Carax. Carax was a virtually unknown author whose work was sparingly published. Intrigued by the book, Daniel knew that it was the one book for him – the one book that he must keep safe from all elements.

However, there is more to the book and its mysterious author than meets the eye. As Daniel grows up, many threads reveal themselves. These threads are indelibly connected to Julian Carax. To solve the enigma, Daniel sets out on an adventure to unravel the mystery that is Julian Carax.

What really interested me about the book is the very story itself – it is a book within a book. The concept is hardly new or unique. However, the intriguing premise was complimented by Ruiz Zafon’s light and pleasurable writing and language. Put together, these two elements combine to create an amazing story. The third unifying element is Daniel and Fermin, his reliable sidekick. The contrast in their personalities makes for an even more interesting read.

As the story progresses, I know that many mysteries surrounding Carax will unfold. Daniel and Fermin will be unperturbed by the many elements that are obstructing them from achieving their goal of unlocking Carax’s personality and life story. I am intrigued by the suspense and I am looking forward to how the story concludes. I know I am going to have a wonderful reading weekend. I hope you all will too.

Happy weekend! Happy reading!