Blighted from birth by horrific facial disfigurement, Erik, a sensitive and uniquely gifted child, is driven by the superstitions and persecution of 19th century society to explore the darkest paths of survival. Rejected by his mother and the rural French community into which he was born, Erik progresses from a fairground freak exhibited by gypsies to a stonemason’s apprentice in Rome; from a sinister magician wielding political power¬† at the Persian court to the mysterious genius behind the architect of the Paris Opera. A turbulent life lived in constant danger produces a formidable and mysterious man; a man who uses his otherworldly talents to defend himself from the intolerable pain of believing he can never be loved for himself. The story of the Phantom of the Opera was first told by Gaston Leroux in 1911. Here, in an imaginative tour de force, Kay explores the Phantom’s life from birth to death, and beyond.¬† Cover art by Fletcher Sibthorpe.