The Phantom’s Apprentice by Heather Webb
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 350 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
In this re-imagining of Phantom of the Opera, meet a Christine Daaé you’ve never seen before…
Christine Daaé sings with her violinist Papa in salons all over Paris, but she longs to practice her favorite pastime—illusions. When her beloved Papa dies during a conjurer’s show, she abandons her magic and surrenders to grief and guilt. Life as a female illusionist seems too dangerous, and she must honor her father’s memory.
Concerned for her welfare, family friend Professor Delacroix secures an audition for her at the Nouvel Opéra—the most illustrious stage in Europe. Yet Christine soon discovers the darker side of Paris opera. Rumors of murder float through the halls, and she is quickly trapped between a scheming diva and a mysterious phantom. The Angel of Music.
But is the Angel truly a spirit, or a man obsessed, stalking Christine for mysterious reasons tangled in her past?
As Christine’s fears mount, she returns to her magical arts with the encouragement of her childhood friend, Raoul. Newfound hope and romance abounds…until one fateful night at the masquerade ball. Those she cares for—Delacroix, the Angel, and even Raoul—aren’t as they seem. Now she must decide whom she trusts and which is her rightful path: singer or illusionist.
To succeed, she will risk her life in the grandest illusion of all.
“Heather Webb combines music and magic seamlessly in The Phantom’s Apprentice, weaving glittering new threads into the fabric of a classic story. Romantic, suspenseful and inventive, this novel sweeps you along to its breathless conclusion.”—Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Girl in Disguise
“Heather Webb’s The Phantom’s Apprentice delivers a performance worthy of the Paris Opera. Unlike so many other renditions of the Phantom’s tale, Webb breathes life into Christine, so often portrayed as the helpless victim. Christine’s evolution from ‘damsel in distress’ to self-reliant woman is masterfully done, hooking the reader from the first page. Webb’s work is immersive, well-crafted, and beautifully paced. A must-read for fans of this bewitching legend!”—Aimie Runyan, author of Daughters of the Night Sky
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Kobo
Christine Daaé has grown up traveling the country with her father performing music. Christine is an accomplished vocalist, accompanied by her father, a violinist. Christine's true passion, however, is illusions. Christine's father takes her to see an Illusionist, the Illusionist brings about a spirit and makes a prediction that someone in the audience will soon pass. That evening, the theater is set on fire. Christine is taken in by a benefactor, Madame Valerius and is encouraged to sing again for employment. Assisted by Monsieur Delacroix, Christine secures a place at the opera house. Christine is quickly identified as a featured singer and made the understudy of the diva, Carlotta. Trouble brews as Monsieur Delacroix asks for Christine's assistance in finding the opera ghost, Carlotta despises Christine's competition and the opera ghost takes Christine under his wing as her Angel of Music to train her to be the star that he believes she was meant to be. As Christine trains with the Phantom, she learns that he may not be her true Angel of Music. Christine must use her other talents to break free.
In The Phantom's Apprentice Christine takes center stage as the hero of her own story. Christine was very easy to like as she grew from humble beginnings and knew the power of hard work, dedication and friendship. Along with Christine, I enjoyed the bubbly, supportive personality of Claudette and the perfection of Raul. The Phantom is done in such a way that he is both the hero and anti-hero. His past is clearly outlined and from that, his actions border on honorable. I believe it is Christine's presence that throws his over the edge. The writing gradually builds the atmosphere of suspense as the mystery of the Phantom grows. I loved the inclusion of the illusions, they give depth to both the Phantom and Christine as well allow us to be able to delve into a fad of the age, spiritualism. As the Phantom and other characters begin to show their true colors, the danger and tension increases in the story and I found myself flying through the last quarter. I was very happy with the way Christine found to outwit the Phantom and her other pursuers as well as how Christine was able to live her life afterwards. Overall, an exciting and intriguing new look at The Phantom of the Opera.
This book was received in exchange for an honest review.
HEATHER WEBB is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover, and the anthology Fall of Poppies, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more, as well as received national starred reviews. RODIN’S LOVER was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. Up and coming, Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI will release October 3, 2017, and The Phantom’s Apprentice, a re-imagining of the Gothic classic Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daae’s point of view releases February 6, 2018. To date, her novels have sold in ten countries. Heather is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.
For more information, please visit Heather’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.