Nightingale’s Odyssey Novel Series

Burying his face in his hands, Nadir muttered, “Each day that passes I worry about the consequences of you dwelling in this new country.”

“Might I remind you precisely whose brilliant idea that was to take our exile here.”


The Nightingale’s Odyssey series was spawned by an obsession with the darker side of a classic narrative. You could say it is also a fascination with what drives a spirit to endure in a world when the odds threaten to crush you. Creative souls are often, like a frail bird or fragile bloom, delicate.

Erik is a man of extraordinary talents born with a severe disfigurement. Throughout his past, this facial deformity has filtered his interactions with the world. He was most notoriously known as the Phantom of the Opera, a fact he desires to keep his shameful secret.

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01 ShadowcrestsHammerCover

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Synopsis: There is but one word above all others never to say to Erik, unless you desire to spark his indomitable determination. That word is “impossible”.

Trapped in the Bowery after illegally immigrating to late nineteenth century America, the ever resourceful Erik feverishly poured everything into establishing himself as an elite architect. When the aristocratic architect VanHollus, intent upon sharing his territory with no one, decided to make an example of the ambitious Frenchmen society could not fathom the war that would rage between the two rivals. Once the gauntlet was thrown both men stood to lose a fortune: VanHollus his reputation, Erik his only chance at a livelihood in the new world. Will Erik live to show the world his genius once again or will he starve in the shadows where VanHollus seems determined to confine him?

Steeped in the dynamic cultural melting pot of Manhattan in the 1880’s, the story explores the culture of the tenements dwellers in contrast to the social elite. From the soot-stained Bowery with its lively Saturday night streets, to the lavish Hoffman Hotel with its luxurious dining hall filled with the cream of the crop. Erik’s iron perseverance is the only thing capable of breaking through the barrier to lift him from a ragged laborer to an enigmatic man of consequence. The trouble lies in Erik’s own inner battle, for the font of his inspiration stems from a deal with a dire price. And someone has come to collect.

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Synopsis: In the shadows of the Music Hall’s stage wing Erik heard her voice again for the first time in ten years. With that dreaded indulgence, the foundations of his carefully constructed empire cracked. On the verge of opening the pinnacle of the arts, Carnegie’s grand Music Hall, the hidden genius of the project is swept up in a tidal wave from his past.

When Christine Daae, a renowned singer in Paris, is invited to the opening concerts no one knew the turbulent reunion that would follow. Ten years was not enough to bury Erik’s obsession with his former vocal student. When his involvement changes from architect to accompanist his colleagues begin to comprehend his profound comprehension of acoustics. However Nadir, Erik’s longtime associate from his past life, suspects that the darker side is playing a high stake game to steal the hand of his once love.

The famed Music Hall’s grand opening holds a secret drama wrought with deception, passion, and murder. And danger to Erik. For if the world ever learned his dark secret he stands to loose everything.

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Synopsis: For Erik and Christine their existence in Manhattan could not be more idealistic. He, the director of the arts and first chair violinist at Carnegie Hall. She, a sought after soloist. The world has set things to right … or has it.

A serpent slithers through the dark alleys of the city scarcely detected by Erik’s network of informants. Erik’s paranoia sparks anew, and the constant vigilance wears away at the famed Nightingale. Everyone around him notes the telltale state and many believe it to stem from the recent violent death of a friend—and the replacement of the second chair violinist. But Erik, even in his hysteria, sees a pattern linking back like the scales on a viper. Someone has a longstanding grudge. Someone knows who he once was, what he once did.

And they are not the forgiving type.

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Synopsis: In the year 1899 Erik has been in Eurasia on sabbatical. Or so the story goes. But his family harbors the dark truth. Beneath the tranquil facade they have waged a desperate battle for Erik’s sanity, and Dr. Wright is their last hope.

Faced with the most unusual patient, Wright can’t refuse this once in a lifetime case that so many others have failed to help. But the ambitious doctor is blinded by his goal to restore Erik to his former genius and fails to realize the delicate nature of his patient’s existence. It earns him a one way ticket back to Boston.

With Erik’s tentative return to society and a small role in Carnegie Hall, he and his son Charles labor to overcome the damage of the past. A love-sick Charles, socially unable to court his sweetheart, is devastated when the family’s secret destroys any chance he may have had to convince the Chantelli’s to hold Simonetta’s hand for him. In an act of empathy, Erik commits a sacrifice that no one can believe—not to restore his own shattered honor, but to secure his son’s desire.

For no one understands the cost of true love more than Erik.

In Process …

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Synopsis: When Erik is found on the dueling knoll shot in the back, Charles suspects foul play. Haunted by the ghosts of his father’s past, the family must chase down the untied threads of Erik’s by-gone rise to power.

As the world crumbles around him young Charles never stopped to ponder the question, what would he do when faced with the mastermind behind the plot to kill his father? In the devastating wake he finds no solace in words of wisdom. Only an insatiable thirst for justice.


2 thoughts on “Nightingale’s Odyssey Novel Series

  1. Shared review from another site with permission:
    Shadowcrest’s Hammer
    I fell in love with Kay’s Erik shortly after reading her vision and I was totally thrown away by his struggles between dark and light as well as the torture’s he has gone through, but so rare can I find someone to portray Erik in the way she did. That was, of course, before I came across your stories. The very same strong feelings which had touched the bottom of my heart overtook me once more. It’s just amazing how you managed to capture Erik’s complex characters and reestablish them through words.

    I’m especially drawn to the part of his self-created mirror vastness, a ‘torture chamber’ of his own imagination, a painful display of haunted memories. It reminds me of Webber’s lines: ‘down once more to the prison of my mind.’ Also it’s reasonable to be another sad side-effect of his youthful fascination towards mirrors, the way he acted towards it resembles the same way he treats opium, torturous yet fascinating. It seems that his dark appeals roots deep inside his mind.
    It’s always heartbreaking to see that every single one of those memories, every event that has gathered together to be his life, is sorrowful and often regrettable to him. Even Christine, the woman he held most dear in his heart, is just another series of painful recollection.

    But this time, when everything fell apart and he has been left with nothing other than Nadir, things started to turn around. (How mocking that sounds.) Erik has always been struggling with his hideous face, the mask was the reason for curiosity and abuse normally everywhere he went. He has never been in a place where people are so hopeless that they grew indifferent to many things, even the oddity of wearing a mask, neither has he experienced the negligence of the higher-class aristocrats such as Van Hollus. Actually, through all that Erik has been through, his face and mask makes him the center of attention and has almost always been the trigger to his temper (not for Buquet’s death, of course). So when suspicious glances are seldom cast his way, people can approach him so much easier and dare to show him their kindness, the forever true nature of humanity.

    I believe Blanjini to be the first one to cross the barriers Erik set and touch his heart. Blind to the world, Erik can trust him never to judge him by his appearance, the two can truly relate to each other through music. When soul and soul touched, when the understanding of misery and endurance shared, the nightingale once again stretched its wings and went on pursuing its dream. Though blind to the world, the wise man has developed the ability to see into one’s heart. It’s he who saw Erik’s struggle and pain, the demon that constantly haunts him, the danger and promise lying ahead. His death is a key, a key to throw Erik into greater misery as well as a key to strengthen his heart, to urge him to move on. If he had not died, maybe Erik would play with him every day, burying his talents in the pits of Bowery, ignoring the darkness of reality, seeking refuge in music, facing death when no one has any change to offer, and people who gathered around for his music will move on as if nothing had happened.

    Chastity is kind and comforting. Though she has to please lonely men to make a living, her soul is as sparkle as it has always been. Despite their many unpleasant encounters, she believes in the good side of Erik once he showed her kindness (that was a rather big one). When she heard the news of Erik challenging Vanhollus, it was just nice of her to worry for their safety. As a character mainly set up for Nadir, she’s necessary to calm the poor Persian down and help him go through the tiresome duty of caring for Erik.

    Erik is strong as well as vulnerable. Where no one can beat him in a fair fight, one can easily collapse him with a single word. The disaster of the Paris Opera House, the constant nagging of Nadir, his pride……, many things contributed to his determination of building up his own empire through fair earning. But the world is never a fair place, there are blows aiming at his back, hands reaching for his mask, cruel words stabbing his heart…… When dangers come along, this time however, kindness is shown as well. So Erik painstakingly reached out his arms and tried to embrace the world.

    I must admit, Van Hollus is so stupid that he’s in a way amusing. At first, I was angry at what he did to others (Erik especially). But when Erik found out about his little tricks, what advantage can he get when playing with the master? He acted like a spoiled child and in truth he is one, only children can’t be so despicable as to put rat in one’s glass. The act is totally meaningless and can only be another proof of his stupidity. I mean, even if he succeeded in poisoning Erik, he still has the Persian to save him so he’s not so likely to die and people won’t turn to him again even if Erik really died, who knows who is the next victim? Maybe that’s just another thing his dumb brain failed to analyze properly. So insanity has he become that he kept turning away from the painful truth, his unwillingness to accept reality ultimately led to his downfall.

    Though it may sound a bit morbid, but I secretly loved the scenes in which Erik killed (or murdered). The blade creates a spectacular and the lasso is sudden and swift. Also I love the duel when he fought easily and his seemingly careless moves were just efficient and deadly. Nevertheless, I found the descriptions of his life in Mazanderan attractive, which appeared several times throughout the second and the already updated part of third book. I assume the reason is that it’s fun to the shah and khanum being so silly as to give Erik too much power, also it’s thrilling to see the particular devices he had built for their entertainment (such as the ring of fire).

    The Nightingale’s Strain
    Now the romance comes.

    I have always loved the story of the Nightingale and his Rose in Kay’s novel. That’s my second best-loved episode in it (the first is the one he dressed up as Angel of Doom and ordered the skeleton to come up to life). And that’s exactly why I was attracted to your story in the first place, the idea of Nightingale’s Odyssey sounds brilliant! The destiny of the Nightingale and Rose are just symmetrical to Erik and Christine in Kay’s story. When the rose finally blossomed, the nightingale couldn’t hold on. But who said there can’t be any miracle turning up? Maybe his wounds healed miraculously at the last moment. Anyway, it’s unbearable to think his first taste of love happened on his death bed. So I love your story so very much!

    To say the truth, I was at first a bit uncomfortable of what a mess Raoul turned out to be. But Webber has already set a good example on this matter so that doesn’t bother me as much. Also it’s hard to expect a happily-married Christine to return to Erik when no direct reason was given. I’m nothing similar to Raoul-lover as well (to think he dared to shoot Erik on his back is unbearable!). So after thinking things through, I enjoyed the scenes of Christine’s despise like ‘he can drag his own body up the stairs to his room’, I actually laughed out at the lines making my friends looking at me as if I’m mad. (Tip: Don’t get women angry, you don’t know what they are capable of!)

    This story has a much lighter mood than the previous one. Though the rose was still shy, she was ready to blossom at the song of the nightingale. And Charles is a cute little boy, brave and still innocent. He has a far better life than his father and I honestly hope that his genius will be made good use of.

    It’s kind of funny to see that every time a part of Erik unveiled was because he lost himself in music and someone, Carnegie in particular, happened to be around. Of course, there are a few circumstances when his tongue just slipped. But there seemed to be no other way for people to know him. (Well, Christine can get him speaking if she wishes.) Since he established himself as a first-class gentleman, his past are just contrary to that concept and need to be hidden.

    Also, though the bond is not very clear between the first and second novels, there are obviously many connections between the second and third. I can now understand how Nadir can give up so easily facing the consequences of Erik’s withdrawal, it was supposed to be a life-or-death thing! Apparently, this time Christine it is who knew nothing has the real strength in the three of them.

    It’s fun to see him show off his skills in magic when dining, perhaps provided with a mirror he can do much more, maybe like making them believe they’re eating someone else’s course. (I don’t know if that’s possible but that’s just an idea and it’s always easier to dream.)

    I love the change of narrative perspective in the first book, it’s amazing how you managed to display the story through different perspectives. But in the second one, with only Erik’s feeling shown, it’s a bit difficult to understand Christine’s behaviors.

    I’m truly amazed at how you connected their relationship changes with the performance, also it’s great of you to find the perfect setting for their story to take place. Everything seemed so real!

    In conclusion, I really enjoyed your story, it’s the best one among everything I have read till now. Though I haven’t read much and there are so many great authors, I’m sure yours will always be among the best ones I’ve ever read.


  2. Additional shared review from another site. Posted with permission.
    Gilded Cage for a Nightingale
    The Nightingale’s Downfall

    Well, well, you sure are one cruel authoress. In the first two stories, you gradually gave Erik everything a man could ever wish for. Fame, fortune, love, family, acceptance. And in this book, you threatened to destroy them all. In the pursuit to protect his loved ones, Erik let go of something worth all others in my perspective, his welfare.

    The beginning of the whole story is happy and peaceful, a resemblance of Erik’s contented past years. But right at the opening of the second paragraph, a warning was given of lost treasures, casting a venomous light over the whole story. If my assumption was right, that note was written after he unleashed the demon to save his friend and family and before the nagging voice drove him completely out of his mind.

    His vision of his former self, acting as the Angel of Doom, resembles what you have written as the demon in the first book, they’re both pulling on the strings of his mind, persuading him to turn to a darker path, a path we all know contains devastating terror and even threat to every living soul. I wonder if there is any connection between them, or are they simply the very same being?

    Though they are the same person in a different time, to differ them apart, I will refer to the younger vision of Erik as the Angel.

    We are all prisoners of time. Its undeniable flow carves us into someone so different from our former selves that sometimes we look back and see with a doubt as how could I have been like this? For Erik, that change was no subtle thing.

    The young man who once beheld insatiable pride and arrogance, who fed on the darkness the world bestowed upon him and was only too eager to revenge, have learned to be humble, more realistic and more like a man, a real being that inhabits on earth through the decades that came. I cannot tell which fate shall be better for the benefit of Erik, but I know that losing those we cherish is a cruel fate, and living in fear of losing them is the cruelest of all. No one can blame him on letting out the Angel, not Nadir, not Christine. The Angel may have tortured the Persians for his revenge and pleasure, but at least he saved those Erik cherishes from further harm.

    Yet despite their differences, I still see them as the same, I cannot just see the Angel as something that needs to be defeated or thrown away as we cannot deny ourselves. I trust that to be your reason of using ‘I’ when describing the Persians’ deaths. If the former taunts were an attempt to be free as the Nightingale hates confinements, no matter young or old, then the continuing nags seemed purely out of the purpose of driving Erik mad. Yet I do not think the Angel would conduct such an act as Erik’s worsened condition is his as well. From his retrieve after the slaughters, I can only assume that he either lacks of strength to keep in command or he wishes no true harm to the people whom the other he has learned to trust and love.

    Though the Angel speaks ill toward love and care, mocks the concept of family, he was originated from a child who craved for his mother’s attention and affection, who was willing to sacrifice to let her live a carefree life. The Angel of Doom knows no mercy for his enemy, but in his unusual, sometimes even twisted way, he cares for those around him. So I assumed that the latter unstopping voices are not issued, at least not entirely, from him.

    Erik’s mind has always been a tricky thing, from the chamber of mirrored memories to the melodies fueling his life, he cannot deny the darkness lurking within his temper just as he cannot deny his past. The Angel of Doom, the Angel of Music, the false pleasure of causing harm or death for a trivial cause or an order from the Shah, Nadir was right that he once embraced the role as assassin and executioner. Though he may look back with remorse now, the dark nature was never truly abandoned. Sooner or later, even if not provoked by the Persians, he would still have to fight this war within himself. I can only hope that he would still have Christine, Nadir and Charles on his back. (Well, I have not started the forth yet, but that does seem something that needs to be worried about.)

    I love your Erik and Christine fluffs, it’s so good to see them caring and understanding each other in their own way, the common sharing with an undeniable love is just a great comfort through the tormenting days.

    Yet sometimes love can also tear people apart. We’re more ignorant to our words or behavior around those we valued most, it is a sign of letting down our guard, yet it also indicates that our recklessness can harm those we care and care us easier and deeper. Children, in particular, are the ones to issue or become victim to harsh remarks. They expect to be cared for, be forgiven, be put into the center of their parents’ world. The beauty of reading the conflicts between Charles, Christine and Erik is that it made them so real, it’s like they are built out of flesh and bone instead of words and imagination. It’s a life to be lived and savored, not a mere shadow of true existence.

    Erik and Christine considers events from different perspectives, she worries over the safety of those she loves while he has been used to the exposing danger. Charles, on the other hand, struggles to make his world balanced. Like every child living under a pair of famous parents, he has to try harder than anyone else to make others recognize his achievements as his own. The teenage gang is also a factor that affects his relationship with Erik. During those years one cares so much about others’ perspective and can be driven to conducting some rash, even unwise decisions by the words of peers around you. To get along with Erik, understand and truly love him as a father, Charles still has a long way to go. If he does not learn quickly upon the nature of the world and change his still so innocent view, I fear there not to be enough time until the world has to force its cruelness upon him.

    Truly you’re a genius in building up the tensions. The added fuels to boil up both Erik’s and my temper, the followed relieving to hold us from ‘explosion’. How I both love and hate these strategies.

    I could not fully identify the reason, but I do find each and every one of your meddlesome villains hateful, the chapters for the secret gatherings always boil my temper and pull my nerves. They didn’t truly know who they were dealing with, yet they dared to speak against him in such an irritable way. It is true that Erik really bought these for himself, he was and still is a man of numerous sins, some of them highly tragic and uncalled for, but I do stand on a side that he is the priority no matter the issue.

    It’s somehow sad for the three Persians, or at least the other two called together by Vahid, they have already made a future without their father’s aid, they achieved height through their own hands, resources that made them capable of hiding in a foreign country and gain help from the professionals. An assassin who plays violin good enough to sit in a second chair or a villain wonderfully disguised as an upper class cannot appear out of thin air. Painstakingly they made all these plots to destroy a man who existed four decades ago, while they could have put their talent into better use. Especially when all their efforts were destroyed, vanished into thin air by one tiny mistake, one simple revelation. So easily was the foundation shaken and the whole scheme crushed to the ground.

    Reiniger’s role was more critical than the Ballard’s, playing three faces at a time, the real self of assassin at night, the hidden glances and carefully planned ill-speaking toward Erik, and the good colleague for the rest of the Symphony Society. The way he tried to fit in in the first place was full of loopholes, his fluent English, his ‘starving’ claim as to draw sympathy, and the sudden death of Wallbeck. But people have a tendency to overlook these suspicious things in their face, especially when you have no real reason to doubt a man for. Unless one has a beast-like instinct for danger like Erik, it’s hard to notify the odd things around him. Also, murdering a promising second chair only to gain the chance to troubling the first chair is such an odd idea in common senses.

    The only person capable of saving Erik is Erik himself.
    The only person capable of destroying Erik is Erik himself.

    Erik strives for a kind of pure, innocent light. A shining ray that came directly from heaven. Christen and the Nightingale along with various other things that served as his muse contains that kind of light within. As a source of it, they attracted Erik toward them. But they cannot provide it for him, only he himself has the ability of gaining his own light and let it truly shines upon his soul.

    Even without the Persians, Erik is highly likely to wear himself out one day when his body and mind refused to be further strained. With a tendency of taking on too much work and pushing himself to extremes, Erik always seem to forget that he is still human, with all the limitations the race possesses. Sooner or later, the string would one day break and like a domino, everything will fall apart. What the Persians did merely accelerated the process. What truly threatened his mind and brought to his mental breakdown was still the troublesome images and voices played inside his head.

    The nightingale that gives him inspiration is a notion that came throughout the whole history, an awesome resemblance to Erik himself. Sailed to a foreign land in confinements, ignored by the common people as they cannot truly understand its talent. And once freed, gives back the world the crown of music out of pure gratitude and hope. Its heartrending songs shined out with all the possible glory. Then the false conception of safety slowly tore down their guards and at last, they fell from the pinnacle, ending up lying limply on the ground.

    But luckily for Erik, his love-sick songs had been truly returned while the little nightingale could only sing his heart out in search of a mate that he will never find. The scene with the music box was touching. Confused and hurt, the nightingale proceeded in the false hope that his melodies can be matched and returned, much like Erik’s self-deception when he was acting as Christine’s Angel of Music.


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