Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose - Review #TSLOSBlogTour #Historical

My thoughts
I love reading books by M.J. Rose. She writes with such atmosphere, and not only is there connection with the characters, there is also connection with the material world. It's like being immersed in a lovely cocoon as you read her books. Even more so with this series, The Daughters of La Lune.

The psychic phenomena experienced by Opaline, the book's main character, is portrayed as a gift and a curse at the same time. Opaline is having difficulty coming to terms with her powers, and until she encounters someone she feels a deep connection with through her powers, she is almost ready to shut the door on them forever. This says much about the character of Opaline. She is so much of an individual that she wants to break free from the legacy of her mother, and her ancestor, La be that individual. Yet, she recognizes the importance of this connection she has made. Opaline has depth and I love her (plus, my birthstone is opal...I loved learning about the ancient beliefs about the power of the opal). That's the true beauty of an M.J. Rose novel. You will fall in love with the characters.

Another aspect of this book I enjoyed was the incorporation of history. The horrors of WWI were heartbreakingly described by those who were experiencing it on the homefront in France. We're shone that war is tragic for all involved...those fighting and those keeping things together at home. Also, the inclusion of the subject of the assassination of the Romanov family was an interesting element, as that is a story that endlessly fascinates me.

I'm always excited when a M.J. Rose releases as new book. Truthfully, The Witch of Painted Sorrows (book one of the La Lune series), and this book can very easily be read as stand alone novels. However, to me it is so much the better for us readers that we can continue to experience these stories via the series. I can't recommend this book enough. You need to read it!

About the book
The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 320 Pages
Series: The Daughters of La Lune, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

“A spellbinding ghost story that communicates the power of love and redemption through Rose's extraordinary, magical lens.” (Alyson Richman, internationally bestselling author of The Lost Wife)

About the Author
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visit her online at

Connect with M.J. Rose on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

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1 comment:

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  1. "It's like being immersed in a lovely cocoon as you read her books." That is the perfect way to describe her writing -- I couldn't have put it better myself. The La Lune series is wonderful and thought Secret Language of Stones was a great second helping. Fantastic review Michelle!

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