The Prince of Mist (Niebla #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret. . . .

It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they've recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist - a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever.

"Age makes you notice certain things. For example, I now know that a man’s life is broadly divided into three periods. During the first, it doesn't even occur to us that one day we will grow old, we don’t think that time passes or that from the day we are born we’re all walking toward a common end. After the first years of youth comes the second period, in which a person becomes aware of the fragility of life and what begins like a simple niggling doubt rises inside you like a flood of uncertainties that will stay with you for the rest of your days. Finally, toward the end of life, the period of acceptance begins, and, consequently, of resignation, a time of waiting."

"Max had once read in one of his father's books that some childhood images become engraved in the mind like photographs, like scenes you can return to again and again and will always remember, no matter how much time goes by."

"Now he knew that any memories he might cherish during the last years of his life would be only fictions from a biography he'd never lived."

"Irina realized then that she was alone in the house and therefore the voice she thought she’d heard must have been imaginary. Until she heard it again, this time in her bedroom, like a whisper filtering though the walls."

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