So much like the Phantom, and yet he’s not the notorious Phantom of the opera. Still, the child who comes to be known as Angel gleans much inspiration from the much-rumored Phantom of the Paris opera house. From the get-go, you can see some similarities between the classic tale of The Phantom of the Opera and Master of Illusion. Yet, this series is unlike any Phantom of the Opera-inspired series I have read to date—and I mean that in a good way.
In this first novel, we follow the blossoming friendship between a young ballerina, Elise, and Angel, a nameless boy who can’t remember his past. Two kids with a thirst for justice in an imperfect world. Will their noble endeavors land them in trouble, though?
Their story is so vastly different from what we’re used to reading in Phantom-inspired literature. It was like a breath of fresh air. Never could I say the plot was predictable. It kept me on my toes the entire time, for I never knew how things would go or what would happen next. This first book in the series definitely grabs the reader’s attention and establishes a solid foundation for the rest of the series to be paved upon.
This second books delves further into Angel and Elise’s curious relationship. I don’t want to offer spoilers, but I’ll admit that I was always wondering if a romance would blossom between the two. Their lives seem to be so irrevocably entwined no matter what they do. They’ve hurt each other, but can they manage to move past the pain and hold onto their childhood friendship? Could there be more between them?
This third book in the installment was one of my fave’s. Elise’s character has evolved into an exemplary example of womanhood, and Angel has finally learned a few things about his past and himself. He’s found a new reason for living too, but warning! This book is fraught with many tragedies. So many things happen. I know I’m being vague in my review, but I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say you might want a box of tissues handy at the end of this one!
I had thought that the third book of the series would be my favorite, but this last one is even better. That is the thing about Rouen’s series. It gets better and better with each book. This one tells the story of a generation or two after our initial characters, and yet somehow Rouen manages to still keep the initial storyline as a central guiding post of the books. Set amidst the turbulent times of WWII in France, this book is one that history buffs will love.
This series is expertly tied together. Even though each book is vastly different, they all follow the same central theme and tie back to the first one. Part of what I loved most about these books was how they were written. Rouen has her own unique writing style. It’s charming and witty. Her stories are dialogue-driven in a style that fits the eras she’s writing about.
The author’s love for the French language and culture really shines through in this series, and I appreciated the authenticity in the way she included French turns of phrase. I actually learned a few that I didn’t know, and any time an enjoyable work of fiction can teach me something too I am always happy. Plus, these books are sprinkled with enough real history that they are made even more believable.
Romance, intrigue, espionage, suspense and even a bit of the supernatural. These books have it all. They’re definitely a recommended read for any Phan who’s craving something different and wants to break away from the typical Phan Phiction mold.
If you’re not already convinced that this series is worth the read, you will be after you consider that the author won awards for it. Anne was the winner of the Global Ebook Awards Silver (2014) & Bronze (2016) Medals for Modern Historical Literary Fiction for this saga. She also won Silver (2018) and Bronze (cover) (2018) awards.
About the Author
Anne Rouen is one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth authors I’ve ever had the pleasure to call my friend. She was beyond patient with me as it took me a while to get this spotlight up due to external commitments. She’s one of the kindest souls you’ll ever connect with, and I sincerely congratulate her on her accomplishments with this series. If you’d like to connect with Anne, you can do so via her Facebook profile, and you can also find out any updates by following her on Amazon. You can also check out her personal website: www.annerouen.com.