Review of “The Master of the Prado: A Novel” by Javier Sierra


Thanks to Atria Books for providing me with a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Javier is a college student who encounters the mysterious Dr. Fovel while contemplating a painting at the Prado in Madrid. Dr Fovel begins to teach Javier about the mysterious hidden meanings in the paintings of some of the great masters such as Raphael, Boticelli, Titian, El Greco and others. He appears mysteriously whenever Javier visits the museum desirous of further teaching. When another mysterious man enters the picture by showing up at the home of Javier’s girlfriend, warning her that that Javier should cease these meetings with Dr. Fovel, Javier’s curiosity is only fueled. He is determined to find the answers he’s looking for at all costs.

My thoughts:

This book was written as a fictionalized autobiography which was interesting. At times I found all of the historical references somewhat confusing. I liked the plot but wish there was a little more to it. Though the (heavy) history lessons are an integral part of the story and the mysteries that Javier is attempting to solve, sometimes it just got a little too boring for me and I found myself wanting more action. Though it was a page-turner, that was because I was expecting it to get more interesting as the book when on as opposed to really loving what I was reading. The ending also left me with as many questions as answers. So much so that I would look forward to a sequel to tie up the loose ends. Don’t get me wrong, it was basically a good book but perhaps just not what I had expected. At first, it seemed Da Vinci Code-esque which I suppose could have shaped my suppositions. I should also mention that I would suggest investing in the printed book for anyone wishing to read this book as I found flipping back and forth to the paintings (which are also b&w vs. color in the book) quite cumbersome.

My rating:

3 stars