The Prince Of Mist
Carlos Ruiz Zafon who is probably best known in the UK for his popular novel The Shadow Of The Wind was a popular young adult author in Spain prior to that books international success and The Prince Of Mist is one such young adult novel, and was in fact his debut. Originally published in Spain in 1993 it was not published in the UK until 2010. As a 30 year old reader I felt it had plenty of crossover appeal.
Max and his family move rather unwillingly at their father's behest to a beach house to avoid the ramifications of the Second World War. Once there Max and elder sister Alicia become caught up in the mystery of the Prince of Mist, a dark and devious figure who casts a shadow upon their new life.
The wonderful thing about The Prince Of Mist is that it doesn't patronise children, Dr Cain is genuinely sinister and the underestimating earnest need to always give children a neat, clean, positive ending is not present here. The narrative is very lyrical and you are fully engaged in the tale. As an adult there is no sense that you are reading a book which isn't really aimed at or meant for you, it is enjoyable despite the setting and the age of the protagonists. There is a physical feeling of this Faustian cloaked menace approaching from a thick mist that leaps from the page as if you stood before him yourself. If you have children around the 12 mark who enjoy reading I would recommend purchasing this and then snaffling it afterwards for yourself.