Welcome to another Totally Overdue Tuesday book review. I am working on reviving this blog and catching up on some long overdue book reviews.
The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose was originally published in July 2016.
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.
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 — jewlery that is very special.
Opaline has a rare gift: 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...- mjrose.com
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but this beautiful glorious cover matches the lyrically stunning words inside. The Secret Language of Stones is the second novel in the Daughters of La Lune series and builds on the world created in The Witch of Painted Sorrows. However both titles can stand-alone and be read separately. While not a romance, there are certainly romantic elements present along with a blend of supernatural and history to create a delightful, unique novel. I’ve also always been a bit of a nerd about minerals, gems and crystals. I used to carry around a little pouch of my favorites: rose quartz, tigers eye, lapis, snowflake obsidian...you get the gist, LOL. So I loved that Opaline’s gift involved stones.
I can’t wait to read the follow-up novel, The Library of Light and Shadow. Look for all M.J. Rose’s novels at your local bookstore or click the link under the synopsis to visit her website. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Atria Books, for a free e-ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.