Playing with fire: The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (book review)

The Midnight Palace is part of the author’s teen series, written at the beginning of his career and published in 1994. Carlos Ruiz Zafón is most famous for The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which is one of my favourite series and it will be for sure featured soon on this blog 🙂

WanderBook travelling from Romania to Germany!

In a nutshell

The book tells the story of a group of orphan teenagers, the secret Chowbar Society. When one of their members is faced with devilish shadows from his past, the whole group takes up the challenge to help him fight the evil spirit. Little did they know that this villain is from another world and that his game takes the idiom “playing with fire” to a whole new level …

Overall impression

What I liked about the book was the fast-paced rhythm and the multiple short stories that were interwoven with the main plot. In addition, I clearly recognized the dark and gothic style of Zafón, and I enjoyed the magical and spooky details of the story. It is for sure a book that gets you in the mood for Halloween.

However, having read before the masterpiece series of Zafón, this book did not meet my initial (high) expectations. Even though the author says that the book is “for the young, or for the young at heart”, I personally found the plot too simple and predictable for mature readers.


To conclude, The Midnight Palace it is an enjoyable and relatively short book, more appropriate for teenagers. However, I think it’s a good read if you want to get a quick first feel of Zafón’s dark style, before diving into The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.

‘Till next time … happy reading!


PS: if you want to find out more about Zafón and his books, check out his website:

PPS: I read the book translated into Romanian by Polirom, and I was quite disappointed about the edition – it had typos and some words were clearly missing 😦

3 thoughts on “Playing with fire: The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (book review)

    1. Hello, Bronte!

      If you liked Shadow of the Wind, you will like for sure the other two novels of the series – The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven. I liked them especially because they are all situated in the same universe, but you see different sides of the stories in each book. Can’t wait for the fourth book to be published!


      Liked by 1 person

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