BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Labyrinth of the Spirits [The Cemetery of Forgotten Books finale] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves [in Booklist]

Casting a male narrator for a female-protagonist-driven novel might seem initially ill-fitting, but Daniel Weyman, who also narrated Zafón’s Marina (2015), makes sure Alicia Gris gets well heard in the stupendous, well-worth-the-long-wait finale of Zafón’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books tetralogy plus short story.

Anglicized by Lucia Graves (Zafón’s translator of choice), Labyrinth introduces Alicia Gris, determined to abandon the business of, well … hunting human beings. Rescued during a 1938 Spanish Civil War bombing by the irascible, fearless Fermín Romero de Torres, 9-year-old Alicia falls from his grasp but survives against impossible odds to become one of Spain’s most accomplished secret agents. By 29, she’s witnessed far too much horror, but she agrees to a final assignment. Uncovering heinous secrets of the Franco regime leads Alicia to the Sempere family, whom she’s only just met but whose legacy she’s been a part of forever.

From monstrous evildoers to innocent children, lovesick devotees to desperate victims, grieving parents to lost souls, Weyman is a tireless (28 hours!), exacting collaborator, embracing all manner of characters with addictively energetic aplomb. His crisp British English, embellished with his delightfully expressive peninsular Spanish accent​, provides the consummate – and sadly final – portal into the legendary ​Cemetery of (never-) Forgotten Books.

Review: “Fiction,” Booklist, December 1, 2018

Readers: Adult

Published: 2018 (United States)



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