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A novel of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera

Many "sequels" to well-known classics fall short, lacking the spark of talent that blazed in the original. Jennifer Linforth's Madrigal is the exception to the rule, being the perfect continuation to the story that everyone knows and loves. Erik, known both as the Angel of Music and the Phantom of the Opera, has been hiding from the world and himself beneath the Paris Opera House, ever since Christine had chosen Raoul over him, and the terrible events of that night. Anna, is assistant to the new managers of the Opera House, having been sold to the men as payment by her scoundrel father. Anna, though soiled by life remains unbroken, and reaches out to the man behind the mask. Erik is intent on scaring away this intrusive female, but quickly finds her becoming a necessary part of his life. For the anniversary of the Opera House, the shady managers decide to play up the "Opera Ghost" to increase tickets sales, and as part of their secret plot, lure Christine back for a grand performance. With everyone believing the Phantom is dead, intrigue is quickly to follow. Erik must decide if his overwhelming obsessive love for Christine is the sum of his being or has little Anna soothed this wild beast.

Jennifer Linforth has created a truly outstanding book with "Madrigal." This rich and evocative work was a sumptuous feast for any fan of The Phantom of the Opera. Watching Erik and Anna slowly come together was like savoring a fabulous piece of dark chocolate. I found myself reading this book just pages at a time, reluctant to end this feast too soon. For anyone who never understood Christine choosing the weak and bland Raoul over the complicated but truly intriguing Erik, this work will delight and reward. Anna is an amazing character, only someone as flawed as her, could see not the monster beneath the Opera House nor the musician behind the music but instead the man behind the mask. When the final page ended, I wiped away tears, happy because the story ended the way I felt it always should have, but also tears of sadness because the story was over, never to be experienced for the first time again.

Book Blurb for Madrigal

Years earlier Erik faked his death and vowed the Phantom would never again haunt the Opera Garnier. But strange packages left by Anna, an unwanted Samaritan turned unlikely friend, cause him to desire the unattainable—love.

Battling the nobleman determined to lock him away, Erik must control his demons and tame a heart unexpectedly beating for two opposite women: Christine, who he longs to love, and Anna the woman who saw beyond his bitter soul to the man beneath the mask.

In the midst of a brutal manhunt, can he be loved for himself or is he condemned to be The Phantom of the Opera? Murderer, Maestro, Magician, Mastermind.

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2009 5.00