Kim Edwards recommends ''The Shadow of the Wind''
The Shadow of the Wind is both a love story and a mystery, fast-paced, intricately woven, and full of intrigue. In Barcelona, in the shadows of war and personal loss, Daniel, a boy on the edge of adulthood, discovers and is spellbound by the book of an obscure author whose work is being systematically destroyed. Caught up in the power of the novel and the pleasures of reading, seduced ''by imagination, beauty, and the mystery of fiction and language,'' Daniel makes a pledge to protect the author's remaining books. In attempting to do so, he also stumbles onto a tragic, and unfinished, love story from a generation past. ''Some things,'' Daniel's father tells him, ''can only be seen in the shadows,'' and Daniel's quest to unravel that earlier romance leads him deeply into menacing territories, even as he discovers for himself the mysteries of adulthood and the transforming power of both narrative and love. Zafón writes with power and clarity and a strong sense of place, creating a mesmerizing story, by turns bleak and magical, nearly impossible to put down.