The Architect of Song
By: A.G. Howard
Release Date: August 15th 2016
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Source: Blog Tour
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.
For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.
To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.
International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.
New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.
This book was so, so beautifully done. I’m a long time fan of Howard’s work and this did not disappoint in any way. I loved the characters, story and pacing. This novel was in essence a ghost story. I’ve not had the best of luck lately with ghost stories but this one was exactly what I’ve been looking for.
The main character, Juliet, was so easy to relate to and I found her voice wonderful. I had no problems getting into the story and her headspace. The loss of her mother was so poignant and touching- I think anyone that has lost someone they love will be able to easily relate to how Juliet felt. I felt that her inability to hear was handled very well. I can’t imagine how it would have felt to for her to lose her hearing at a young age and then hide it from the rest of society. It was easy to understand her detachment from other people and how it created loneliness for her. Because of this, the idea that she would connect so deeply with the ghost she encounters- the ghost she can hear- made perfect sense to me.
As I mentioned above, this ghost story worked for me. In a good amount of books the ghost really isn’t all that different from the living. At times, the reader might even forget that they are not of this world any longer. I didn’t have that in this book. Hawking was always apart from the living world. I felt that the way he related to Juliet- physically and emotionally- was very accurate to a ghostly encounter.
Each of the characters were enthralling and I loved the hint of mystery surrounding Hawk’s past and demise. As the reader, I was as riveted as the characters to find out more and more details about who he was and what occurred. The questions surrounding Lord Thornton were just as enticing and really helped pull me deeper in the story.
I had some suspicions on where the story was going and some of the time I was correct. I loved trying to figure things out and then seeing how all the story lines tied together. All of this kept me enthralled and eager to keep reading.
The Architect of Song was achingly beautiful, lush with vivid descriptions and an ability to capture and communicate the emotions surrounding the characters to the reader. I thought this was wonderfully done and I look forward to future companion novels.