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Now I have been a fan of The Phantom of the Opera since I was about 11, when Michael Crawford played the title role on a stage in London.  Since then I have seen the stage show more times than I can remember as I stopped counting after about 25.

The novel by Gaston Leroux http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phantom-Opera-ebook/dp/B0084AXZRI is superb, although quite different to the stage show and certainly different to most of the movies, save the recent offering.

I have multiple copies of the novel, have seen every film (some I would NOT recommend) and have my own set of fan fic hiding on my PC.  There are a couple of books centred around the original story (which is part tragedy, part love story, part mystery) as you can image I am quite a fan;)

I was delighted to find this sequel, although I have to say I began reading with some trepidation as often sequels so long after the “event” smack of fan fic, not that this is necessarily bad.  This is an extremely well done follow up set sometime after the events of Phantom, it is both tragic and wonderfully happy.  At one and the same time it is both a simple and complex love story of two damaged souls who find not only love but a new acceptance in a hostile world.

The female main character, Claire is strong, independent and resourceful. Yet she is still a woman in a man’s world of the late 19th Century and the trials she faces and the strength she finds to fight the prejudice is dealt with well

Not so much of Erik’s dark past is made or the Opera house years but as this is set after the event  it is a new chapter. As with the original novel, and Erik himself, there is a good deal more below the surface than first glimpse reveals.

Recommended for fans of the story and fans of Erik.

5 stars:)