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Carlos Ruiz Zafón books in order

Carlos Ruiz Zafon was a Spanish bestselling author of mystery, suspense, young adult, historical fiction and literary fiction.

Born in Barcelona, he was best known for writing the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, and The Angel’s Game, which were all originally published in his native spanish.

Dubbed the most-read Spanish author since Cervantes, Ruiz Zafón initially pursued a career in advertising before making his debut as an novelist in 1993 with The Prince of Mist.

His novels were translated into more than 40 languages, selling over 38 million copies across the globe whilst clinching numerous awards.

Prior to his demise, Ruiz Zafón enjoyed sparing his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.

He died in Los Angeles on 19 June 2020 after a lengthy battle with colorectal cancer.

He was 55.

More about Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Genre: Literary Fiction

Born: 1964 / Died: 2020


Non Series

  • Marina - Marina (1999)

Cemetery of Forgotten Books

  1. The Shadow Of The Wind - La sombra del viento (2001)
  2. The Angel's Game - El juego del ángel (2008)
  3. The Prisoner of Heaven - El prisionero del cielo (2011)
  4. The Labyrinth of the Spirits - El laberinto de los espíritus (2016)
  5. The City of Mist - La Ciudad de Vapor (2021)

Mist Trilogy

  1. The Prince Of Mist - El príncipe de la niebla (1993)
  2. The Midnight Palace - El palacio de la medianoche (1994)
  3. The Watcher in the Shadows - Las luces de septiembre (1995)
Non Series

Detailed book overview

Non Series


Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai meets the strange Marina while he's out exploring an old quarter of Barcelona. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave.  

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona—a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons—and reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: Marina
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1780224268
Publisher: W&N

Cemetery of Forgotten Books

The Shadow Of The Wind

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, 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 Julián Carax. 

But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, 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.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: La sombra del viento
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0143034902
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Angel's Game

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed — a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: El juego del ángel
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0767931113
Publisher: Anchor
The Prisoner of Heaven

Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julián, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past.

His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940s and the early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love, and will ultimately transform their lives.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: El prisionero del cielo
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0062206299
Publisher: Harper Perennial
The Labyrinth of the Spirits

Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the twenty-nine-year old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls.

With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue—a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several booksellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents.

As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: El laberinto de los espíritus
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0062668707
Publisher: Harper Perennial
The City of Mist

Bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón conceived of this collection of stories as an appreciation to the countless readers who joined him on the extraordinary journey that began with The Shadow of the Wind. 

Comprising eleven stories, most of them never before published in English, The City of Mist offers the reader compelling characters, unique situations, and a gothic atmosphere reminiscent of his beloved Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet.

The stories are mysterious, imbued with a sense of menace, and told with the warmth, wit, and humor of Zafón's inimitable voice. A boy decides to become a writer when he discovers that his creative gifts capture the attentions of an aloof young beauty who has stolen his heart. A labyrinth maker flees Constantinople to a plague-ridden Barcelona, with plans for building a library impervious to the destruction of time. A strange gentleman tempts Cervantes to write a book like no other, each page of which could prolong the life of the woman he loves. And a brilliant Catalan architect named Antoni Gaudí reluctantly agrees to cross the ocean to New York, a voyage that will determine the fate of an unfinished masterpiece.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: La Ciudad de Vapor
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-0063118096
Publisher: Harper Perennial

Mist Trilogy

The Prince Of Mist

It's wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they've recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things start to happen. In that mysterious house still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners' son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the strange circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called the Prince of Mist—a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden—an adventure that will change their lives forever.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: El príncipe de la niebla
First Release: 1993
ISBN: 978-0316044806
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
The Midnight Palace

Set in Calcutta in the 1930s, The Midnight Palace begins on a dark night when an English lieutenant fights to save newborn twins Ben and Sheere from an unthinkable threat. Despite monsoon-force rains and terrible danger lurking around every street corner, the young lieutenant manages to get them to safety, but not without losing his own life...

Years later, on the eve of Ben and Sheere's sixteenth birthday, the mysterious threat reenters their lives. This time, it may be impossible to escape. With the help of their brave friends, the twins must take a stand against the terror that watches them in the shadows of the night—and face the most frightening creature in the history of the City of Palaces.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: El palacio de la medianoche
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-0316044745
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
The Watcher in the Shadows

When fourteen-year-old Irene Sauvelle moves with her family to Cape House on the coast of Normandy, she's immediately taken by the beauty of the place--its expansive cliffs, coasts, and harbors. There, she meets a local boy named Ishmael, and the two soon fall in love. But a dark plot is about to unfold involving a reclusive toymaker who lives in a gigantic mansion filled with mechanical beings and shadows of the past.

As strange lights shine through the fog surrounding a small, barren island, Irene's younger brother dreams of a dark creature hidden deep in the forest. And when a young girl is found murdered, her body at the end of a path torn through the woods by a monstrous, inhuman force, Irene and Ishmael wonder--has a demonic presence been unleashed on the inhabitants of Cape House? Together, they'll have to survive the most terrifying summer of their lives.

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Original Title: Las luces de septiembre
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-0274993598
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers