Spanish YA author Carlos Ruiz Zafón dies

On Friday 19 June 2020, it was announced that Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón had passed away at the age of 55 following a battle with cancer. Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, commented that “One of the most widely read and admired Spanish authors has left us”.

Often referred to as the most-read Spanish author after Cervantes, he is most famous for his adult series The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The first book in the series, The Shadow of the Wind, has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and has been translated in over 40 languages. Thanks to translator Lucia Graves, we too can enjoy these masterful works in English.

While most famed for this series for adults, Ruiz Zafón started his career writing for young adults. His stories are gripping mysteries, often set against a historical backdrop with a ghostly feel. They are the sort of thing you wouldn’t want to read in alone an empty house on a cold, dark night. I discovered his books many years ago and yet his writing is so vivid that years later, I still get goose bumps at the memories of his first YA novel Prince of Mist. The spine-tingling imagery of strange forms appearing in the mist has really stayed with me. On hearing the news of Ruiz Zafón’s passing, I feel a real sadness that there will be no more from this incredible storyteller.

So if scares and thrills with twists and turns are your kind of thing, these four books come highly recommended. For more information, please visit

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