It’s been a while since I’ve done a Phiction Spotlight, and this one has been a long time coming. I read this PHANTASTIC series by Sadie Montgomery a couple Christmases ago, and I fell in love with her portrayal of our beloved phantom.
Sadie’s series is commonly referred to as The Phoenix of the Opera series after the first book’s title. It’s appropriately titled because like a phoenix that rises from the ashes in a glorious rebirth of life, that is what our phantom does in Sadie’s continuation of the classic tale, but more about the story later. The series consists of 7 books in the following order:
The Phoenix of the Opera
Out of the Darkness: The Phantom’s Journey
The Phantom’s Opera
While the photo collage I have featured at the top of this page features all these books, it also shows three more of Sadie’s books that aren’t part of the series, but I thought I’d include them as well since they’re all by her too. For purposes of this review, though, we’ll only be discussing the books pertaining to The Phoenix of the Opera series.
This series is a continuation of The Phantom of the Opera. It details how Erik, once the notorious Phantom, now just a man, broken and alone, rises up to rebuild a new life for himself. But wait…he’s not really alone for there’s a light in his darkness. Someone who comes along and makes his life worth living again…
And that someone is Meg.
So for all of you Erik/Meg shippers out there, these are the books for you.
I must admit, prior to reading Sadie’s books, I was skeptical of an Erik/Meg combo. In fact, I was a strict Erik/Christine shipper. It was Sadie’s books that really opened me up to other character pairings and made me willing to try reading some of the Phantom books that have now become some of my favorites.
I don’t want to give any details away about the story line for risk of spoilers, but let me just say this: Erik and Meg’s life is a roller coaster from the beginning. It’s filled with intrigue, romance, mystery and so much more. Part of what makes Sadie’s series so wonderful is that it has a bit of everything in it, but the author so expertly weaves her tale that all the characters stay in character and each turn of the page is believable.
I can’t praise how well Sadie portrays the characters in her series enough. The Phantom is the Phantom. Erik is Erik. Meg is Meg. Christine is Christine. If you’ve read much Phan phiction, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that the characters are themselves. So many Phans change the characters’ whole personas in their writing to make them fit their little phantasies, and while phantasies are all fine and dandy every now and then, for a good series, you want the real personas. Sadie doesn’t do that (change them, that is). She stays true to who all the characters are. The Phantom is frightening and intimidating, and yet he also has his vulnerable side that shows the man underneath: Erik. Meg is tenacious and undaunting with the strong, stubborn character that her best friend, Christine, lacked.
Yet, while staying true to the characters, Sadie also allows them to grow as they progress throughout life. I found it particularly interesting to note how the characters interacted amongst themselves and in different life situations as they got older, and the way each scene is portrayed, you’re led to believe that’s exactly how it happened. A natural and believable transition and growth that makes the characters so real and relatable. That’s the defining characteristic of this series that sets it apart.
I always delight in connecting with the authors of my favorite works, especially when those works are Phantom-related. Sadie is one of the sweetest authors you’ll ever meet, and she loves to hear from her readers and see any artwork that her series inspired. She’s active on social networking, and you can find her via the following links:
As far as her other works go, I have yet to read them, but they are definitely on my to-read list, and if her Phantom books were any indication of what she’s capable of, I am sure I will love them too. In fact, she tells me that Ghost Song is, in fact, another Phantom-related book, so I’m excited to read it soon!