Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Rose of Fire.  A Short Story by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
(From the lost fragments of The Prisoner of Heaven)

One of my favorite books of all time is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  In it, there is the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a labyrinthine library that winds underground.  Rose of Fire is a short story that defines the origins of this labyrinth and how it came into existence.

The story begins in 1454 when a ship was sighted aground on the coast of Spain with a soul survivor tied to the helm of the ship.  On the dying man's person was a journal written in a foreign tongue.  This journal holds the key to the labyrinth as well as the key to immortality and a vial containing one of Jesus Christ's tears.

Zafon weaves in the legend of St. George's day, that occurs every year on April 23rd.  April 23rd is often celebrated by book lovers as World Book Day and in Spain it is celebrated with a gift to your true love of roses and books.  A practice we have included in my family since my daughter's patron saint is St. George.

I heartily recommend Rose of Fire as a prequel to the Shadow of the Wind trilogy.  Read alone, it is 16 pages and will get you excited to enter the exhilirating world that Zafon creates.  Rose of Fire is only available as an ebook but the good news is, that it is free!