Thursday 27 March 2014

Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Midnight Palace"

Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Midnight Palace" (Spanish: El Palacio de la Medianoche) - 1994

Another youth book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón that also deserves being read by adults.

After having read quite a few books by this author about his beloved home city Barcelona, I was surprised to find that this story takes place in India. However, once I started reading, I think I understood why he chose this place. A lot of the story would not have been as plausible in Europe. Not that the story itself was plausible but the real life story was more credible in India than in Spain.

Anyway, as usual, Carlos Ruiz Zafón wrote a wonderful story which kept me in suspension for the whole duration of the book. It reminded me more of a fairy tale than fantasy, maybe that's why I like his writing even though I am not a fan of fantasy in itself. He keeps more in line with the South American writers and their magic realism even though this is time he is quite stretching it.

The beauty of this story is not just the tale itself, no it's the characters, eight young people who are the best of friends, each one of them a hero or heroine in itself, some adults who are also very "good". Lots of twists add to the suspension and if you start reading this book, you might not want to put it down before you have finished it.

Don't tell me I haven't warned you.

See more comments on my ThrowbackThursday post in 2023.

From the back cover:

"1916, Calcutta. A man pauses for breath outside the ruins of Jheeter's Gate station knowing he has only hours to live. Pursued by assassins, he must ensure the safety of two newborn twins, before disappearing into the night to meet his fate. 

1932. Ben and his friends are due to leave the orphanage which has been their home for sixteen years. Tonight will be the final meeting of their secret club, in the old ruin they christened The Midnight Palace. Then Ben discovers he has a sister - and together they learn the tragic story of their past, as a shadowy figures lures them to a terrifying showdown in the ruins of Jheeter's Gate station."

Read about his other books here.


  1. Oh dear, another one for my list. I'm almost through with The Museum of Innocence (Orhan Parmuk) and I have loved it, but it was a slow read. I usually read books quickly, almost at skim speed, but this one I had to slow down and savor.

    1. I'm so sorry that I make you read all those books. ;-)
      Anyway, I'm glad you like "The Museum of Innocence" and that the reason you read it slowly is because you want to enjoy it longer. I love his books, he is one of my favourite authors.

      Have a good week,

  2. I love Zafon's books. Shadow of the Wind was AMAZING.

    I didn't know he had another book out.

    THANKS so much for sharing. It sounds terrific.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved April Edition. I am in the list as #28. My book entry is below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Elizabeth,

      Carlos Ruiz Zafón has a lot of other books. If you loved The Shadow of the Wind, I highly recommend The Angel's Game and The Prisoner of Heaven. The are also stories around the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop, not really sequels, the author says you can read them in any order and he is probably right but I still would read them in the order I mentioned.

      For his other books, please check my list here. They are all shorter because they were written as Young Adult editions but they are just as great.

      Hope you can read one ot them and enjoy it.

      Have a good weekend,

    2. I read The Angel's Game. I didn't read any other ones. Most are still in Spanish aren't they?

      I loved The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

      THANKS again for the heads up about his new book. is funny that we both chose a book with midnight in it.

    3. You are welcome, Elizabeth,

      actually, any of the books I have reviewed here are available in English. I usually don't write reviews of books not available in English. I started a page in German but the only thing I wrote there so far is the list of all the books I reviewed in English. LOL.

      Find all his books I read here.

      Have a nice week,

  3. You are welcome.

    Have a good day,