Jul 25, 2016

Book Review: The Secret Language of Stones

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.

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Talk about incredible!  Ms. Rose has penned a beautiful and evocative paranormal love story with set back in Paris during WWI.  Even if I didn't care for books set back in history, I would be changing my tune after reading THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES.

As a lot of my readers know, not only am I an avid reader but I also enjoy creating jewelry though I can only dream of being such a jeweler as Opaline.  Her 'gift' from her family line as a Daughter of La Lune is the ability to hear messages in the stone.  And when she creates one of her memory lockets she will hear a message from a fallen soldier to give to his family.

The problem is that Opaline hates and fears her gift.  She doesn't want to be part of this bloodline so she hasn't learned any control of her abilities which she now fears are driving her insane.  Especially since one of the fallen is now communicating with her on a regular basis.

I can't say enough good things about this book.  The characters are beautifully portrayed and have so much depth.  I just love the way that Ms. Rose weaves facts about the war and life during that time into the fictional story.  And her writing is so dang silky and sensual that it swept me away.  I highly recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy  paranormal love stories or historical romance.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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