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4.4 8
by A. G. Howard

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This YA novel from New York Times bestselling author A. G. Howard marks the beginning of a new era for fans of the Splintered series. Rune Germain moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is a Phantom of the Opera–inspired retelling


This YA novel from New York Times bestselling author A. G. Howard marks the beginning of a new era for fans of the Splintered series. Rune Germain moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is a Phantom of the Opera–inspired retelling in which Rune’s biggest talent—her voice—is also her biggest curse. Fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Splintered series will find themselves captivated by this pulse-pounding spin on a classic tale.
Rune, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained at the end of every performance. Convinced creative direction will cure her, her mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts, rumored to have a haunted past.
Shortly after arriving at RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The mystery boy she’s seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn’t have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the 19th century, she realizes that in his presence she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. As their love continues to grow, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the phantom, the only father he’s ever known.
A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Connection

"Part vampire lore and part love story, this will appeal to those who enjoyed titles like Beautiful Creatures and Vampire Academy."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"The mysteries and the ingenious ties to Leroux’s work are enough to attract plenty of fans, and the lush, sensual details complete the atmospherics of the neogothic settings."
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Rune Germain has sung opera since she was four years old, as her father played arias on his violin. She sings beautifully, and often the music becomes so strong that it bursts out of her, but each performance leaves her feeling ill, especially following her father's death. After Rune has a devastating encounter with a boy at a party, her mother sends her to her aunt's music conservatory, RoseBlood, near Paris, hoping that it will cure Rune of her "affliction." The school has a past that scares Rune. Originally a theater modeled after the one in Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, the building burned down and has been partially rebuilt with funds from an anonymous benefactor. At RoseBlood, Rune experiences cruelty from jealous classmates, but she also makes good friends, and at night, lovely violin music lulls her to sleep. Then, in a secret encounter, she meets violin-playing Etalon, who helps her understand the mysteries surrounding the school as well as her own identity. In a complex interweaving of teen school story, romance, and horror, the novel combines Phantom narrative elements with a cast of energy-sucking psychic vampires. Rune is a multifaceted, artistic character whose actions and reactions feel believably young adult as she confronts questions about family secrets and heredity. This is an accomplished undertaking, although the slow reveal may fail to engage some readers, especially those unfamiliar with the source material. VERDICT A good purchase for paranormal romance collections, and the connections to a classic work of literature add appeal.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton
Kirkus Reviews
The Phantom of the Opera is reborn in this supernatural tale of music, passions, and love.When Rune sings opera, everyone is captivated, but her gift comes with a price. Singing is a compulsion she can’t ignore, and each song sickens and weakens her. In an effort to cure Rune, her mother sends her to RoseBlood, a performing arts boarding school in France that is rumored to have ties to the legend. Not long after Rune’s arrival, the mysteries start accumulating, and at the center of them all is her gift. When she meets Thorn, a masked figure who seemingly appears out of nowhere and teaches her to control her mysterious ability, she is convinced she’s found the Phantom. But Thorn has spent most of his life serving the real Phantom—and the Phantom has plans for Rune. The harder Thorn falls for Rune, the more dangerous his path. Howard combines Gaston Leroux’s original Phantom of the Opera with the legend’s real-life inspirations to create an original story that is both beautiful and haunting. Through Rune’s and Thorn’s alternating narratives, readers are treated to colorful descriptions and intriguing back stories that come together in an unexpected twist. Thorn is French and described as olive-complected, while Rune is white with a “gypsy” heritage that plays a role in her character. A rich, atmospheric story that readers will be hard-pressed to put down. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

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3 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

A. G. Howard is the author of the New York Times bestselling Splintered series and is a huge fan of the classic Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera. As a writer, A. G. is most at home weaving all things magical into everyday settings and scenes. When she is not writing, A. G. enjoys rollerblading, gardening, and visiting 18th century graveyards or abandoned buildings to appease her muse’s darker side. You can find her online at @AGHowardWrites or at AGHoward.com.

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RoseBlood 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
book_junkee 6 months ago
I absolutely loved this book. I’ve always been a fan of Phantom and never mind the fact that it was Anita’s words, I didn’t even know I wanted a Phantom retellling until I learned about RoseBlood. Rune is an interesting character. She’s got this amazing talent that has made her withdraw a bit. She’s still grieving for her father and as she learns things about herself, she is constantly second guessing things that happened in the past. At times, Rune appears to be a fragile and meek kitten, but then she’ll surprise you. I’m not sure how much I want to share about Thorn. He’s a complex character and I loved getting his story in pieces. And with him being a creation of Anita’s, you know there will be swoons. There is also a heartbreaking backstory and perhaps some redemption. I definitely can’t leave The Phantom out of the list of main characters, but I’m also not going to tell you a thing about him. If you’ve read the book or seen the play, discard what you know about him. Anita’s Phantom takes those incarnations and makes something completely unique and hers. He’s dark and disturbing, but also sweet and charming. This is another slow burn and I’m starting to think that Anita thrives on torturing her readers. There are so many intricate details and layers and twists and each piece is sloooooowly revealed. We get Rune and Thorn POV and I loved being in both of their heads. It’s maddening and delicious and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Overall, between the atmospheric setting and the imaginative plot line, RoseBlood will satisfy any reader, even if they don’t know the chandelier’s lot number. **Huge thanks to Anita for providing the arc free of charge**
Alyssa75 6 months ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** RoseBlood by A.G. Howard Publisher: Amulet Books Publication Date: January 10, 2017 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera. At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known. What I Liked: I'll admit - I don't know too much about The Phantom of the Opera. I think I've seen a movie version at some point in elementary school, but I don't remember that well. I know the basics of the story, but it has never really intrigued me. Still, knowing the basics of the story made me curious about this book, because The Phantom of the Opera has an interesting romance. I didn't like Howard's debut trilogy (well, the final book, anyway), but I loved this standalone. Rune has an immense operatic talent, but she feels like she's cursed - she's always left drained and exhausted after singing. What's more, she did something awful, and she's pretty sure it's related to her singing ability and the exhaustion she experiences afterwards. Her mother and aunt pulls strings and get her into RoseBlood, a French arts conservatory, located in an opera house. Rune notices strange things at the academy; her uniforms go missing, she hears strange noises in the vents, and she keeps seeing a masked man dressed in Victorian-era clothes, but no one else seems to notice him. Everyone insists that the Phantom isn't real... but what if he is? He wants something from Rune, and Rune will have to understand her past in order to control her future. This is a Gothic contemporary novel, set in modern-day France, but obviously with fantastical elements. There is a paranormal side to this book that I won't reveal, but it has everything to do with Rune's extraordinary singing ability, and her crippling exhaustion after singing. I loved the world-building of this story; I don't think I've read a story with a setting like this. I happen to adore boarding-school-esque settings, and this one did not disappoint. Plus, it's set in France! Close to Paris (though I'm not really sure where exactly). That was cool! I liked Rune almost from the start. She didn't want to move all the way to France and go to RoseBlood, and she doesn't even want to sing. Her singing bursts forth and then leaves her exhausted, and there is nothing she can do about it. My heart ached for her, because it was almost as if her singing was controlling her. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
pooled_ink 3 months ago
pooled ink Reviews: Right on the very front cover we are told that this is “A Phantom of the Opera-inspired retelling” and indeed it is! The book is chock full of little references and ties to both the original story and to the famed Broadway musical. Some are more obvious while others lie hidden wrapped within the prose but it’s equally fun whenever you spot one. Overall I enjoyed ROSEBLOOD. But I enjoyed it as a YA paranormal book more than I enjoyed it as a Phantom of the Opera-inspired book. That’s not at all a bad thing though, it’s just that the musical in particular is so beloved and breath-taking that it’s hard for anything related to come close to it. So I really loved all the references and subtle hints, jokes, or tidbits, but as a Phantom retelling? It was good. As just a YA paranormal novel? It was pretty stellar. The research was thorough, the concept of flamme jumelle was beautiful and alluring, the twist of vampires who feed off energy was surprising and interesting. This book was not entirely what I expected but I enjoyed it all the same. Definitely packed full of creativity and love for the Phantom story, ROSEBLOOD brings a 19th Century legend into the modern light unveiling a few otherworldly surprises as it goes. Read my full review on my Wordpress blog: pooled ink
DJ_Kile 5 months ago
“Erik is not truly dead. He lives on within the souls of those who choose to listen to the music of the night.” ― Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera    First off The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is one of my all time favorite stories and musicals; so this book was a must have for me once I heard the premise. RoseBlood by A.G Howard is a standalone as far as I know that is a retelling in sorts of the beloved Leroux tale but in my opinion is much deeper and so much more than a simple retelling. It envelopes the original story weaving its own music of the night throughout it, bringing back the Phantom, Christine and the entire Opera popular to life. Within a few pages this book reached me on an extremely personal level. The character of Rune who is seen on this amazingly gorgeous cover was described how my features have always been, pale, black hair, green eyes and freckles with an affinity to fidget just a bit. Then her heritage was so exact to mine I have never felt such a connection to a character in my whole life that I haven’t written myself which makes this book so, so dear to my heart. Then if that wasn’t enough, her background is brought to light along with a few gestures I wont give away because its spoiler free that I also used to combat my own anxiety and issues which were extremely similar to hers with her father. So needless to say not even 15 pages in I was crying ugly tears. If the massive impact on my soul wasn’t enough I fell in love with the other main characters and animals. The animals ,oh my,  I want to hang out with them so bad, they are so fun and brilliant. Then when you’re introduced to Thorn, I immediately fell in love with him and was so intrigued by him just as I was Eric when I first read Leroux’s. Her entire take and major plot twists combined with the extensive magical details truly brought this tale to life. I could hear the music as I read and never wanted it to stop. This is a masterpiece in my opinion and I can honestly say it’s one, if not my all time favorite novels of all time. She didn’t retell The Phantom she continued on in Leroux’s majestic footsteps bringing this sequel if you will to life and creating a story I will cherish till the end of my days. It was my most anticipated read of 2017 and it surly didn’t let me down.  If I could, I would give this all the stars in the sky but because it’s all I can, 5 out of 5!!!!!! Thank you A.G Howard for creating such a whimsical masterpiece, now I have to go and buy the Barnes and Noble edition as well just for the extra pages which are Christine’s Letters. Also everything about this book down to the red wording is gorgeous. “If I am the phantom, it is because man’s hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me.” ― Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera   
ShannonAThompson 5 months ago
RoseBlood by A. G. Howard I love A.G. Howard. She dances on the line of literary in young adult, and it’s both magnificent and wonderfully entertaining. Her lyrical voice is strangely hypnotizing, which sets the perfect tone for her latest novel. RoseBlood is a gothic story inspired by Phantom of the Opera. (Not a retelling, per se, but something that borders the concept. If I explained why, I’d ruined a million surprises about the book.) It’s seductive, musical, and mysterious. There are masks and secret hallways and old opera houses waiting to be explored. Not to mention an awesome cat named Diable. Told from two perspectives, I was amazed I never stumbled over the perspectives changing, especially since there’s a tense change, too. But I enjoyed Rune and Thorn, flaws and all. In fact, I think the flaws made this tale. They were dark, sometimes torturous, and challenged the characters to not only overcome their pasts, but also their sulking moods. The back and forth between the characters also blended in with the past-and-present setting. RoseBlood takes place in a boarding school in modern-day France, while also somehow clutching onto the past. It’s also reminiscent of her Splintered series, with gorgeous landscapes, lush rooms, and magical moments—no matter how small. Though, I would say there is a bigger focus on romance in RoseBlood. That said, there were a few things that made me uncomfortable: The use of “gypsy” for one. And the fact that a French school only accepted American students. (Seemed sort of glossed over and strange.) I also wish we saw more of her friends, because they were awesome side characters. But if you loved Splintered, you’ll more than likely enjoy this new take on the Phantom of the Opera—and all the strange, unsettling moments that come with it. ~SAT Recommended to: YA romance readers, paranormal romance in particular, and fans of Phantom of the Opera (though if you’re looking for a retelling, this might not be for you. It’s just inspired by the story.) Favorite Quote: Thorn, however, preferred the monsters of those tales. Their tragic misbalances and flaws were so much more compelling than any perfection could be. (pg. 65) Favorite Word: Taphophiles: a cemetery tourist: Wednesday, when we finally get some quiet moments to sew without students coming in for measurements, she tells me she and her husbands are taphophiles—aficionados of all things graveyard. (pg. 106)
LeighKramer 5 months ago
I'm a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. When I saw the cover for RoseBlood, I wondered if there was a connection to the Phantom. And when I saw it was, I immediately begged for an ARC. I needed to read this. Did it ever blow me away! RoseBlood is part YA, part gothic novel, and 100% unputdownable. I was spellbound from the start, wondering how much influence the original story would have. This is almost a spin off because while the Phantom does indeed have plans for Rune, this takes place after the original story. When Rune arrives at her new French boarding school, she is grieving the death of her father a couple years prior and still untangling complicated family dynamics...like her grandma trying to drown her. Grandma's in jail not to far from Rune's new school and while Rune welcomes the opportunity to get to know her aunt (her father's sister), she has no interest in giving her grandmother another chance. At the same time, she's trying to figure out her unusual singing ability. She becomes ill if she doesn't sing but is also left physically drained when she does. She also worries her voice could harm others. And she's also caught up in the mystery of the school itself, as well as the disappearing gardener Thorn. I loved Rune's friends at the school and the part each ultimately plays. I also loved her burgeoning friendship with Thorn and getting to see things from his point of view as well. The way Rune and Thorn bond over music is beautiful, as is the way Thorn's virtuoso violin playing helps Rune better understand her gift. There's some solid character growth and I was seriously agonized at some points, wondering how it would all work out, particularly Thorn's battle over what his heart wanted vs. what his foster father wanted. I don't want to spoil the plot so I'll leave it here. Even if you know the Phantom of the Opera well, you'll be surprised by the story's twists and turns. It's obvious Howard loves her source material and it plays off in such wonderful ways. I loved how much history was included- from Leroux, Paris itself, and Rune's family tree. One of the best parts of this book was the way the author brought music to life. The descriptions were incredible, not only in how Rune and Thorn felt about their gifts but the actual musical pieces themselves. It made me want to track down more than a few operas so I can aurally experience the ones Howard included. It also made me want to read Gaston Leroux’s novel and see how it differs from the Broadway show. I haven't read anything else by A.G. Howard before but I plan on diving into her backlist. Based on how much I loved this one, I'm sure to enjoy the rest of her work. Disclosure: I was provided an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
itsraymarie 6 months ago
I…am still not sure what to think of this book. I did enjoy it as I read it but it was also just very…odd. I love anything Phantom of the Opera and so I was super excited when I saw this. I’ve heard great things about A.G. Howard’s books, although I haven’t read any myself. This isn’t a retelling of Phantom as much as it is a sequel. I loved that idea, and for the most part, I think the story is executed very well. But this book also fell a little flat for me. Writing: the writing was beautiful, and I can see why people are drawn into Howard’s story. The prose is lyrical and haunting, perfect for this story. But it is also so overly detailed. I got lost in the story, because the writing was sometimes confusing and overshadowed the plot. This story is not very fast-paced to begin with. I almost DNF’d 3 times in the first 50%, but pulled through. I did like the dual POV, as I thought it added more depth and interest. Characters: I think I liked the characters. That may be a weird thing to say, idk. But they had so much potential, and I think I liked who they could have been. But again, it was overshadowed by a lot of the weirdness going on in the book. For the most part, Rune knew what was going on was creepy af, so any bad decisions she made, she knew they were bad. I loved her group of friends, and wish we got more of them in the story. I loved Thorn and the relationship with the Phantom, and thought that part of the story was well-done. Plot: The plot definitely could have been better. I like the idea of the plot. And the way it played out wasn’t terrible. But as I mentioned, the book dragged for the first half. And then I feel like everything happened too quickly all at once at the end. And did I mention that this book was just weird? Don’t get me wrong, I love weird. But this book had me wondering what the heck is going on right now way too much to actually enjoy it. The whole destined lovers definitely put me off, as it was not romantic, just creepy. I can see why people would love this book, and just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it’s not for you. I was waffling between giving this book 2 or 3 stars, but after mulling on it for a few days, I went with 2. I enjoyed it while reading, but my thoughts after the fact are mostly just meh. (Also, has no one else mentioned her use of g*psy, multiple times? It soured the end of the book for me, as I’m not sure how anyone could do as much research as she did for this book and still use that as often as she did, which at my last count was 10 times). While I would still love to pick up Splintered, this one unfortunately was just not for me.
MarcyMcKay 6 months ago
I didn't think it was possible to love a book more than the Splintered series, but A.G. Howard did it. This time, she retells Phantom of the Opera is such a fresh and unique way. I adored Rune and all her friends. Dark and beautiful, this story struck my heart.