Original title: Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher (2011). Translated into English in 2012.
The author of 13 1⁄2 Lives of Captain Bluebear transports us to a magical world. Optimus Yarnspinner, finds himself marooned in the subterranean world of Bookholm, the City of Dreaming Books, where reading can be dangerous, where ruthless Bookhunters fight to the death.
Optimus Yarnspinner, a young writer, inherits from his beloved godfather an unpublished short story by an unknown author. His search for the author's identity takes him to Bookholm - the so-called City of Dreaming Books. On entering its streets, our hero feels as if he has opened the door of a gigantic second-hand bookshop. His nostrils are assailed by clouds of book dust, the stimulating scent of ancient leather, and the tang of printer's ink.
Soon, though, Yarnspinner falls into the clutches of the city's evil genius, Pfistomel Smyke, who treacherously maroons him in the labyrinthine catacombs underneath the city, where reading books can be genuinely dangerous...