Born into the halcyon era of the Belle Époque, Parisian debutante Angelique de Villefontaine has been shielded all her young life by her influential guardian, the marquis du Bois, and his life-long companion, Madame Dupont. Despite the protection of her mentors, the allure of her ethereal beauty and surpassing talent cannot be restrained, and Angelique's life becomes a frenetic whirl of performance and social engagement, peppered with the seduction of fame and adulation. Though she has a voice of an angel, she is not without her demons.
Unbeknownst to Angelique, her guardian is frantically attempting to bring the antiquated French Military into the twentieth century. Acutely aware of growing political tensions and paranoia sweeping Europe, the marquis' efforts are rebuffed. Despairing, he sends his protégé on a mission hitherto unthinkable. Oblivious to this seething political clime, Angelique embarks on the most important tour of her budding career, only to be turned back by a murder that plunges the world into darkness.
Rendered hysterical by the horrors of war, Angelique rallies to help the wounded. Amidst rumours of an angel whose voice can inspire, soothe and heal, an eminent general makes an astonishing request. And the marquis must use all his ingenuity to protect his ward from enemies, both within their own military and without.
In the particular hell of the trenches, soldiers sacrifice their lives to hold their posts against insurmountable odds; and as the French search for inspiration to counter the nihilistic policy of an implacable enemy, they find they already have a secret weapon—their own Angel of Song.
Murder, Magic, Music and Obsession ...
Master of Illusion follows the lives of childhood comrades, Angel and Elise, as they run hand in hand from a history of treachery, heartache and crippling abuse. Under the mask of exceptional talent and in the name of justice, they each grapple with their own damaged version of love and loyalty, while fiercely protecting their terrible secrets.
Set in the operatic era of 19th century France, talented dancer, Elise, is discovered by the eminent Opéra Français and is whisked away from a simple life to fulfil her dreams of becoming prima ballerina. Her path is forever changed the day she rescues the disfigured, amnesic, genius—Angel—from a life of abandonment and mistreatment. Angel's obsessions define him: his emulation of the Phantom of the Opera coupled with a latent dark side, develop into a fervent passion for a young soprano. Cast under Angel's charming spell, Elise assumes the role of his protector and nurturer—only to discover that she, too, wields powers of her own: persuasion and contrivance.
In trying to reach the pinnacle of operatic success, Angel and Elise are faced with the challenge of defining justice, love and self acceptance. Through abandonment, Angel knows only one form of love—obsession; and Elise, whose purity lies in ruins at the hands of evil, is raped of her capacity for romantic love.
Can they fulfil their childhood dreams without blood on their hands? ...
Master of Illusion Book II continues the story of the tormented
genius, Angel, and his childhood friend, Elise, the prima ballerina who once
graced the stage as La Belle and now directs their own opera house, the Opéra
Magique. Their lives ensue in an entanglement of secrets, subterfuge, tragedy
and love through which they battle their fated hand. Though the skeletons of
the past continue to haunt, the veil concealing the truth begins to fall.
It is Paris,1892, and the Opéra Magique is riding a wave of unparalleled
success, with the help of Sprite, the Master's popular, fairy-like assistant.
Walking the fine line required to keep in abeyance the mutual passions of her
star, the volatile magician known as the Master of Illusion, and her
goddaughter, the beautiful comtesse de Villefontaine, Madame Dupont needs all
her ingenuity to divert the jealous rage of the comte and the suspicions
of Police Chief Captain Moreau.
Few people know the truth behind the Master's identity, yet one of
them is, all unwittingly, about to give him away. But as their opera house and
lives are plunged, yet again, into unthinkable tragedy, fate thrusts Angel and
Elise—the Master and Madame—onto a new path of discovery: a path that holds
both alluring revelations and nightmares of untold suffering.
Angel and Elise battle choices of life and death, of courage and
sacrifice, as they finally discover the answers they've so
longed for. But, in discovering the truth of the past, the truth about Angel
and the truth about love, do they find the solace they so crave?
Can Angel and Elise overcome the barriers of fate, or will
they be destroyed in their determination to do so?