Author: M.J. Rose
Series: The Daughters of La Lune Series #2
Publisher by: Atria Books
Published on: July 19, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Fantasy
Page Count: 320
Format: eARC, eBook, Hardcover
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)
The Secret language of Stones was a beautifully crafted story that blended history, fantasy, adventure, and romance.
Though I don’t read them often, I adore historical novels. Last year I came across this series but I hhaven’t had the chance to read it. There was something so intriguing about this synopsis for book 2, that I couldn’t pass up this series again. With the world building and the history infused into each page, this story quickly captured my attention.
The book is set during WW1. While Paris has always been a beautiful city of lights and wonder, the war has dulled it in many ways. Opaline, is twenty-two, and comes from a very unique past. Her family are decadents of La Lune, a courtesan that practiced the magical arts. Opaline is a jeweler but she was also a necromancer. She has the ability to use the energy from stones to speak, hear, and, see the last messages of those that have passed on. After she lost someone very dear to her, she headed to Paris to work at the La Fantasie Russie, the shop owned by friend’s of her family.
I found Opaline to be fascinating. She was just a normal girl but she was her own person. She had an adventurous spirit. She always questioned her abilities and if she was doing the right thing with the powers that she had. It effected how she loved and cared for others. While she made many trinkets, her true talent was the talismans that she made for the loved ones of those that had passed on. Normally she only receives snippets of messages from the dead. Whether by fate or by chance, soon after making a particular charm for a solider’s mother, Opaline beings to experience strange new things.
The imaginary in this novel was so vividly detailed. I felt I could see each stone sparkle, each piece of art came to life, and the sights and sounds felt so real. I loved pacing of the book. At times the flow of events seemed rushed, but some how Ms. Rose was able to balance it out well. There were many pieces to this story and I enjoyed the mystery and adventure of it all. As for the romance….. it was not your typical romance. Yet it the connection , care, and concern for each other was there. It wasn’t the exactly the center of the story but it was always present. Throughout the book I was rooting for my ideal outcome, even if it seemed impossible. The ending was so fitting for this story. I may have shed a tear. I can definitely see myself continuing on with this series.
My mother was disappointed I wasn’t following in her footsteps and studying painting but agreed jewelry design offered a fine alternative. I knew my choice appealed to the rebel in her. The field hadn’t yet welcomed women, and my mother, who had broken down quite a few barriers as a female artist and eschewed convention as much as plain white handkerchiefs, was pleased that, like her, I would be challenging the status quo.
When I’d graduated lycée, I convinced my parents to let me apprentice with a local jeweler, and Timur often stopped by Roucher’s shop at the end of the day to collect me and walk me home.
Given our ages, his twenty to my seventeen, it wasn’t surprising our closeness turned physical, and we spent many hours hiding in the shadows of the rocks on the beach as twilight deepened, kissing and exploring each other’s bodies. The heady intimacy was exciting. The passion, transforming. My sense of taste became exaggerated. My sense of smell became more attenuated. The stones I worked with in the shop began to shimmer with a deeper intensity, and my ability to hear their music became fine-tuned.
The changes were as frightening as they were exhilarating. As the passions increased my powers, I worried I was becoming like my mother. And yet my fear didn’t make me turn from Timur. The pleasure was too great. My attraction was fueled by curiosity rather than love. Not so for him. And even though I knew Timur was a romantic, I never guessed at the depths of what he felt.
M.J. Rose’s THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
What the Cat Read – Excerpt
Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt
Fiction Adventures – Excerpt
Mes Livres – Review
Adventures in Writing – Excerpt
The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt
Hart’s Romance Pulse – Excerpt
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Socially Awkward Book Nerd – Excerpt
Novel Addiction – Excerpt
Brooke Blogs – Excerpt
Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt
I Read Indie – Excerpt
Zach’s YA Reviews – Review
A Brit and a Yank – Excerpt
The Book Sirens – Excerpt
Sassy Moms Say Read Romance – Review
Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt
Gaga Over Books – Review & Excerpt
Kick Back & Review – Excerpt
Only One More Page – Excerpt
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Okie Dreams Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
KT Book Reviews – Excerpt
Vampire Book Club – Excerpt
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review
Romance Book Nerd – Excerpt
Rachel’s Rambles – Review & Excerpt
My Fictional Escape – Excerpt
Literaria – Review
Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Excerpt
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Julalicious Book Paradise – Excerpt
Love Affair With Fiction – Review & Excerpt
G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt
Rebel Heart Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt
With Love for Books – Review
BCS reviews – Review & Excerpt