As many of you know, I’m currently in the process of catching up on all the wonderful phiction out there, reading everything I can get my hands on pertaining to Phantom of the Opera. I’ve read plenty of notable works so far and thought I’d start taking time out every so often to feature some of my favorite Phan authors and their books in what I’ve lovingly dubbed the Phiction Spotlight. So without further ado, let’s kick off the first Phiction Spotlight with the Chanson de l’Ange series.
Chanson de l’Ange Book One: Orphan in Winter (Volume 1)
If you’ve been a Phan for very long, then you’ve probably heard these books mentioned by fellow Phans, or perhaps you’ve stumbled across them while conducting a search for Phantom books on Amazon. Regardless of how you heard about them, let me be the first to tell you that all the hype you’ve heard about them is true! These are by far some of the best Phantom-inspired books I’ve ever read!
In fact, I just finished reading the Chanson de l’Ange series a few days ago, and I was simply blown away! I am not normally one to physically express emotions while reading a book, but Paisley’s books had me laughing, smiling and crying in turns. My heart skipped beats within my chest and then ached in despair, depending upon the plight of the characters.
Paisley has a writing style that is truly unique and her own, and her plot is believable. Her retelling of the beloved tale of The Phantom of the Opera is, by far, one of my most loved ones ever now, and I encourage every Phan to read it.
A word of caution, though: once you begin reading these books, you won’t want to put them down! Many times I would reach a “calming” point in the book and then I would make the mistake of reading a snippet on a break at work only to be filled with longing to return to the pages throughout the rest of my word day. That is how good and addicting these books are!
Although there is so much more I could say in praise of this series, I dare not say more for fear of revealing elements that would spoil the story for readers who haven’t read these books yet. In a word, they are PHANTASTIC and a must-read for all lovers of The Phantom of the Opera!
If you’ll note, I took care not to present any spoilers in this review, but the most that I will say is what the author herself reveals in her preface and that is that there is somewhat of a happy ending to her series. This is not to say that Paisley’s works are not riddled with drama and strife. Indeed, they are! Many times I caught myself wanting to throw my Kindle across the room and scream at the top of my lungs in despair. (Fortunately, I kept my wits about me and didn’t allow myself to indulge in my desires, of which I’m glad since I’m sure I would have regretted any damage done to Kindle once my frazzled emotions had calmed. Haha.) However, even when your heart in wrenched in two as it undoubtedly will be during those more “difficult” scenes, keep reading: it will get better!
If you think you might be interested in learning more about this wonderful series, check out the promotional video below, which is in itself beautiful:
Part of what’s so unique about this Phantom series is that it has music that was specifically made to accompany it. Inspired by all three novels, Immortal Aria is also a worthy work of Phantom art, and I highly encourage readers of this series to purchase the album as well.
This album consists of 10 tracks, and the neoclassical style music is simply amazing and serves as as perfect backdrop to the scenes in the books. It contains both instrumental and vocal pieces, and the melodies are intoxicating. Of course, the vocals are astounding as well with their crystalline and velvety timbres. Per the author’s advice, I listened to the first two songs of the album prior to reading the series and then indulged in the remaining tracks upon finishing it. The album itself tells the story that the series does, and I an envision each moment in the book within every strain of the powerful music on this album every time I listen to it. My personal favorites are The Bleeding Rose, a vocal selection, and Waltz with Death, a haunting and lovely instrumental piece.
Speaking of the author, Paisley Swan Stewart is actually Bonnie Anne Pinard, and she’s one of the sweetest and most responsive authors you’ll ever have the fortune to meet. She’s a delight to chat with and loves receiving feedback from her readers about her works. A humble soul, Bonnie graciously accepts readers’ praises and is always kind in answering readers’ questions. During my latest correspondence with her, she even obliged to share with me the significance behind her pseudonym, which is quite an interesting story in and of itself! If you want to connect with Paisley (a.k.a. Bonnie), you can do so via these destinations:
Her dedicated author website Chanson de l’Ange
Her Facebook author page: Paisley Swan Stewart, Author
Her personal Facebook page: Bonnie Anne Pinard
If any of you have read this series or listened to the album and would like to leave your thoughts below, as always, please feel free to do so!