Chanson de l’Ange by Paisley Swan Stewart is a 3 volume epic retelling of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Drawing inspiration from The Opera Ghost in all his incarnations through book and film; and remaining faithful to key story elements from the classic original, the author weaves a haunting tale of Christine Daae’s companionship with the mysterious Angel of Music.
Book One~Orphan in Winter: opens with the tragic death of ten year old Christine Daae’s father, ushering in dramatic changes when she is left in the care of Madame Louise Giry. Christine makes her new home in the The Paris Opera’s conservatory where she encounters a bohemian world of singers and dancers, and where she is visited by the unseen Angel of Music.
(Image and Description from Goodreads.com)
This serves as a wonderful introduction to the Chanson de l'Ange trilogy, allowing us to become closely acquainted with the character that we all know and love.
We begin the book when Christine is ten years old and she is burying her father who has recently died. From then on in I was swept away into the magic of the Paris Opera House with its endless corridors, workshops, living quarters and changing rooms. There is a whole universe within the theatre and Ms Stewart's writing whisked me right into its angel and demon guarded walls and I never wanted to leave.
The Orphan in Winter offers an insight into the characters I have never seen before where the Andrew Lloyd Webber version is concerned. How did the Phantom develop a relationship with the child Christine when she arrived at the Opera? What prompted him to even try? Just how did he keep up the deception for so long?
Erik's care and love for the child that Christine was, was touching and heart-wrenching at the same time. He has no idea how to handle having another human being to care for and who cares for him and his inner conflicts reflected this wonderfully.
Dotted throughout are glimpses of poor Erik's past and what has happened to him in his life to make him the man he is.
This beautiful introduction to the Chanson de l'Ange trilogy and its characters is nothing short of magical.