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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
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!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
July 17 is marked on my calendar. Carlos Ruiz Zafon's latest installment in the series that began with the magical book "The Shadow of the Wind" comes out on that day. I can't wait to dive into it---and this book, in addition to the short story "The Rose of Fire," gives us a preview in what must be the first chapter.

The Rose of Fire begins even before the beginning. It tells a fairy tale of sorts, set in the heart and hypocrisy of the Spanish Inquisition and explores the nature of true goodness in the face of proclaimed virtue and in the process sets the stage for the creation of the Cemetery of Lost Books which is the heart of all of these novels.

Not a very long story---a preface to a story to come, really. But the language.... Zafon can write as few can. His wonderful characters are like those of Dickens or Dumas, as is the tremendous heart and biting commentary of his prose. Mix that with the dark Gothic sensibility of Poe and you have a sense of the flavor.

As these books are originally written in Spanish, the translator, Lucia Graves, should also be congratulated on her translation which (based on what friends of mine say who are fluent in both languages--I am merely conversational in Spanish) convey and retain the magic of the original Spanish editions.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Talk about disappointing. From the author who brought us amazing books like The Shadow of the Wind and The Prisoner of Heaven (also The Angel's Game, which was good but not amazing), there's The Rose of Fire.

Supposedly this short story will explain the origins of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I was so excited to read it (thanks to Mel @ The Book Musings who told me it existed).

What a disappointment for real. While now I know a little more about the Cemetery of Forgotten books, I don't even care. The information is crap.

Just think about it like this: His 3 Cemetery of Forgotten Books stories are full of intrigue, mystery, and kept me on the edge of my seat. Was there a teensy bit of magic involved? You'll never be sure because it's kept very realistic.

Then you move on to The Rose of Fire. It's a full-on fantasy with a dragon. What is that about? Nothing like the first three novels.

My advice? Check out The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven and skip skip skip The Rose of Fire.

Have you ever had a book in a series severely disappoint?

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca @ Love at First Book
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have always wanted to know more about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books so when I saw that there was a short story available I jumped at it. It didn't fulfill my entire wish to know about this weird and wonderful place but it at least was a start. You find out where the plans came from and whose hands the eventually fall. Now I want to know who built it and why they decided to store books in this amazing labyrinth etc. Definitely leaves you wanting more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's novels THE SHADOW OF THE WIND and THE ANGEL'S GAME. In both books a wonderful hidden labyrinth called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books places a major role and in this delightful short piece, Zafon tells the story of the origins of the Cemetery. It's a quick, fun read that involves dragons, magic potions, pirates and a plague that stalks Barcelona. The story only takes a few minutes to read and I would highly recommend the piece to anyone who has enjoyed Zafon's earlier writing and wants to learn as much as possible about the Cemetery of Forgotten books.
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on August 5, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
3.5: A nice short story about the origins of the 'Cemetery of Forgotten Books', an ancestor of a certain character is mentioned as well, made me smile :).
Only complaint, the page count says 34 but its only 16... 18 pages are a preview of 'the prisoner of heaven'
~~~~

Mister Zafon's wonderful writing and imagery are on fine display here and he makes the most of the short length :

"The chronicles tell us that when the maker of labyrinths reached Barcelona on board a vessel hailing from the East, he already carried with him the germ of a curse that was to stain the city's skies with fire and blood."

Clever of him to work in the myth of St. George as well.

As with all of Mister Zafon's works, I didn't want it to end *sighs* Short but beautiful <3 I loved how the ending was left open, hinting at something rich/wonderful happening in the future.
-----

Think of it as a prequel to 'Shadow of the Wind' but it also could fit snugly in 'Prisoner of Heaven' as well.. no spoilers if you haven't read the other books yet or if this is your first taste of this author.(Would not recommend reading the novel preview though if you haven't read 'shadow of the wind' or 'the angel's game' yet).

All in all, I really enjoyed hearing the origins of this beloved Character in the quartet (That's how I think of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, its presence is larger than life). I would LOVE to go there and wander through the place, taking down different books and running my hands along the walls... I would be happy to get lost in there. Hey Carlos, I'll take the job of Keeper, if it's available :-D

Would recommend!
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on April 4, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Rose of Fire is a short story, depicting the origins of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon is an incredible author. His books are set in Barcelona and have the mystical feel of Gothic literature. This short story will not disappoint his fans. Telling multiple stories in just twelve pages, readers will be swept up in the magic of his words. I recommend reading this story after reading The Shadow of the Wind.

Notes:
I read thie book as part of the #forgottenbookchallenge.
This review was originally posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
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on October 8, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is book 2.5 in ‘The cemetery of forgotten books’ series. It tells the story behind the origin of the labyrinth library (The cemetery of forgotten books) which is the center of the novels written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The story starts in 1454 when a ship is spotted near the coast of Spain. On board there is a dying man holding a diary in an unknown language.

It is not a very long story, but so beautifully written as what you are used from Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

8/10
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on June 18, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love all of his books, so this one wasn't the exception. It's beautifully written and the perfect prelude to his others books.
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on June 18, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Marvelous descriptive writing. I have found him to be an excellent writer. All his books will be read by me.
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