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The Music of the Night (Signet Eclipse) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 2005
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Top customer reviews
Sarah Connolly lives in the shadows. She lives among the gentry, but in the background. She is one of the ordinary souls who attend and pamper the elite. Sarah Connolly is a lady’s companion; she is a servant. Sarah Connolly will never belong. Still, she wants. Yet, she does not deceive herself. Sarah knows her place in life. She is aware of her plain, scarred face and her wretched background, but still she wants - she wants someone to desire her, not her femininity, but her person - her ugly, scarred body.
Sebastian Grimsthorpe, the Earl of Wortham will have his day. He will make the person pay, the person who brutally raped and battered his daughter. Such revenge will take planning and timing, but vengeance will be his. Sarah Connolly is nothing but a means to an end. Sarah Connolly is nothing more than . . . admirable? What was this unsettling feeling flickering through Sebastian? Was it guilt? Never! He felt nothing. Sarah Connolly was nothing more than a common trollop. Sarah Connolly was a harlot of the lowest form. So what was this feeling?
THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT is intense, ambitious, and extremely adult. Ms. Joyce grabs her reader and forces them to see the ugliness of mankind. Wisely, the author shoves stark realism into the foreground and presents her reader with grim reality - reality based on poverty, disease, and class distinction. THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT is a first-class journey. Be mindful, it is not an easy journey, it is not a comfortable journey, but it is a first-class journey! So why not the perfect grade, because Joyce's ending slipped. Sebastian and Sarah deserved better than the shallow climax the author delivered. Lydia Joyce wrote a gem, but her glorious story deserved a big solid finale, not something bordering on normal!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Upon arriving Sarah also sensed then spied a watcher that kept to the shadows, a man who seemed to be able to see beyond her scars. The air of mystery surrounding him would compel her to follow, and the passion he aroused would make her doubt the paths she knew she should take.
Sebastian Grimsthorpe, Earl of Wortham had led a privileged carefree life, as most men of his class did -- taking his pleasure whenever and wherever - with one caveat of never really hurting anyone. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and in one night, an incident so vile in nature, and of such a supreme betrayal of trust would forever change Sebastian. Now, he lives and breathes in shadows, hiding behind masks in order to exact revenge against a man he once called friend. Only, one thing stands in his way - a woman whose beautiful eyes seem to see through him and his nefarious plans; a woman he would soon betray, yet it would be her that would save both his life and his soul before he made a most horrific mistake in his plan of revenge.
-- This was a very compelling and thoughtful read that conveyed both mystery, danger and a deep sensuality. Sarah was drawn with strength and character as a woman embarking on a new life of quiet servitude. A life that she had fought hard to attain, yet because of something she sensed in Sebastian, she took chances that in the end would cause her downfall from the life she so dearly wanted. One phrase stood out that I thought clearly exemplified Sarah's motivations and why she took a `chance' with the man of mystery -
"Because you, this night, everything - it is a kind of dream of beauty. And there is so little, that is beautiful in my life."
Those words unmanned Sebastian yet his thirst for revenge even as he sensed that Sarah might be an innocent, was greater and so he still went ahead with plans that jeopardized her livelihood. This story was powerful, sensual, extremely well-written, AND I never saw the surprise twist ending coming! I won't tell, so read it yourself to find out!! This was a total read and one I can highly recommend. Very well done Ms. Joyce!
This Victorian gothic has all of the ingredients to make this quite a dark, compelling read. The first few chapters are very entertaining and Lydia Joyce sets the right tone for the plot and its characters with the interesting prologue. I like Sebastian because he comes across as such an eccentric character from the get-go and his funky disguises and masks make him all the more mysterious. Sarah is the secretive heroine with a tortured soul and low self-esteem due to her scars. What does the tall, dark and handsome nobleman with beautiful green eyes want with a scarred, insignificant woman such as herself? She is wary of his actions and has every reason to be. Their first encounter in a masquerade ball is one of the best scenes in the novel because the sexual tension between them is almost palpable. The novel is fine and dandy until about the middle. Then it starts to lag so much that I just wanted the novel to come to an end. I think the story should have been at least fifty pages shorter. The second half of the book is mostly filler and the heroine's self-consciousness gets a bit tedious after a while. Other than that, this is a very interesting Victorian gothic with quite a fascinating backdrop of Venice and a plot and style that is far from formulaic. I am impressed with Lydia Joyce because she writes with a nice, fluid prose and adds just the right amount of darkness to the story. I wish I had given her first book (The Veil of Night) a whirl before this one. Despite its slow ending, I recommend The Music of the Night if you're in the bargain for a unique brand of Victorian gothic romance.