Retellings can be challenging. For those who are avid fans, it can be a stretch to see beloved characters from a different perspective. Heather Webb, however, has created a retelling with a life of its own, making direct comparisons all but impossible. I jumped head first into this book and never once found the niggling of what I “know” of the story tugging at my subconscious.
In The Phantom’s Apprentice, we experience the much loved story from the point of view of Christine Daaé. Though she’s still the naïve, somewhat gullible character at the beginning, Webb has done a masterful job at building Christine into, dare I say it, a more modern, self-aware and assured young woman. I loved that Christine followed her passion to become an illusionist and used her skills to outwit her captor.
And that brings us to the Phantom. Through Christine’s eyes, we see him for what he is – evil and broken. I found myself both loathing and pitying him and loving Christine that much more for showing me those two sides of him.
Webb’s Raoul also takes on a more interesting role in this retelling, one that left me swooning. The cast of additional characters – including the music and illusions and setting, because yes, they are as important to this story as any breathing character – and Webb’s beautiful writing, made this story unputdownable (I even dealt with my motion sickness during a road trip because I couldn’t stand to be separated from the characters for so long) and unforgettable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Webb is the international bestselling author of historical novels Becoming Josephine, Rodin’s Lover, and Last Christmas in Paris, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, France Magazine and more, as well as received national starred reviews. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was selected as a Goodreads Top Pick. To date, Heather’s novels have sold in multiple countries worldwide. She is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty rabbit.