Carlos Ruiz Zafón was a Spanish author, born in the city of Barcelona. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990, and had a short stint in screen writing. Ruis Zafón started his literary journey in 1993 with the young-adult fiction El Príncipe de la Niebla (English: The Prince of Mist), which won the Edebé Literary Prize for young-adult fiction. He forayed into the adult-novel genre with La Sombra del Viento in 2001. The book was later translated by Lucia Graves as The Shadow of the Wind in 2004. The second book in the series, El Juego del Ángel, was published in 2008. This was later translated as The Angel’s Game.

Ruis Zafón died of colorectal cancer on June 19, 2020.


The Angel’s Game is the second book in the four-book series titled The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruis Zafón. Just like in the first book, The Shadow of the Wind, the plot of the second installment is also based in the Barcelona of 1920s and 1930s.

David Martin, the protagonist and narrator of the story, is a pulp-fiction writer. He leads a solitary life in an abandoned mansion in the heart of the city. Martin writes sensationalist novels featuring the city’s underworld to make a living.

One day, he receives an unbelievable offer from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli. David is required to write an unusual book, one that can change the hearts and minds of the readers. As he starts working on the novel, David experiences chilling encounters with the characters of his haunting novel. As he proceeds further, he understands that his story and the mysterious shadows in his mansion are closely related.


The author has retained the scintillating style of storytelling from the first book. The characterizations are very clean, and the narration never fails to captivate the readers. Readers will enjoy racing through the gripping narrative as they try to make sense of the real and imaginary occurrences in David’s journey of completing his rather unusual novel. Translator Lucia Graves has done a commendable job rendering the essence of the book into English.

The book is also replete with several quote-worthy passages.


While The Angel’s Game makes for an amazing read, the plot has its fair share of loose ends. The climax seems a tad rushed and convoluted. The repeated appearance of clichéd phrases is a huge letdown, especially in view of the author’s writing prowess.


Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.

We spend a good part of our lives dreaming, especially when we’re awake.


Ameya Rating:

The Angel’s Game gets a score of 4 stars from Ameya. The book is an engaging read for people who love gothic thrillers and mystery novels. The bulky, 500-page novel manages to grab the readers’ attention with its interesting twists and turns. While the book is a decent read as a standalone novel, we would highly recommend you to read it after the first book, The Shadow of Wind, for a more fulfilling experience.

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