Tuesday, July 19, 2016

#REVIEW - #NEW #RELEASE "The Secret Language of Stones: A Novel" (The Daughters of La Lune #2) by MJ Rose!

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).

5 STARS!!!
First thing we cannot ignore about this book is the absolute GORGEOUS cover! Wow! The publisher and author, and the designer of this cover did a great job matching it to the story, or at least I felt that way! I have read this author's first book in this series, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, (The Daughter of La Lune #1) HERE, and I LOVED it! I am able to tell you that both of these books can be read on their own or as a stand-alone book, but I would still suggest reading them both because of the way this author writes! She does a beautiful job painting scenery and things that are going on with words that you becomes so absorbed into these stories. The written word on these pages of this book pull you into this book even faster than the first book did, making our world of reality slip by which is one of the things I like most about this author, MJ Rose, and the books she writes! When reading her books I just do not want to stop! This is definitely one of my favorite authors because of her talent with that! I really was shocked several times to look up and see how little time passed and yet how much I was into both of these books, especially this second one in this series is even better than the first, in my opinion. In my review of the first book, I made mention it seemed as if it took a little time for the story to get going, but definitely not with this second book. This second book needed no time at all to get going, and it felt as if it just seemed to fly by it was so good! I wanted it to slow down, but I could not slow down reading!
In this book, it is 1918, and World War I has been raging on for the past several years already, but these characters don't know it's nearing the end, so each day is as was the day was before, trying to stay safe and out of the way of any fighting, bombs, specifically. The characters try to move along in life the best they can given the circumstances. 
Opaline Duplessi is our main character in this book, and she is the daughter of Sadrine. Sadrine dabbled in the dark arts, and Opaline did not want to be a part of that at all, nor did she want to be compared to her mother, either. Opaline does succeed in staying in Paris and working there, too, despite what her parents wanted for her. They had wanted her to go to the US, but she snuck off the ship her parents were so comfortable putting her on, thinking they were getting her out of harms way by having her go to the United States. Opaline did not want anything to do with leaving Paris, so she snuck off the ship to stay behind and work in Paris with Pavel Orloff, who at one time worked as the protege to the famous Faberge' (you've heard of the Faberge Egg?) These eggs are some of the most opulent and exquisitely sought-after, expensive pieces of art and/or art/jewelry made in the shape of eggs standing on four opulent legs. Not many can pass up the beauty of these. Today, the only thing you'll ever pass on after seeing these absolutely gorgeous things are the price! They are truly exquisite! 
As Opaline works with stones making jewelry and talisman in remembrance of the men the mother's, wives and girlfriends have lost to the war, Opaline learns she has a very special rare gift while working with these special gemstones when paired with something personal from the one who has passed, such as their hair. She will often hear a message from that someone who has passed, and it is usually that soldier she is making it for, and they did not get a message to their loved one before they passed. Now Opaline has that message for the women. People seek her out for this gift she has, and she accommodates, until that day day she hears her own fallen soldier who starts to speak to her . . . Hmmm. Did she hear that right?
This is just the beginning of this journey! Enjoy!

Here is this author's MJ Rose's Pinterest page which will give you a look at this series, more so from Book One, but still applies to this entire series. What a great way to show images beyond the books!
Here is the author's Facebook page for MJ Rose 
Here is the author's Twitter page - @MJRose
Here is the author's MJ Rose's Website 
(At this website, I see she is still advertising her boo, The Book of Lost Fragrances AND The Collector of Lost Breaths. "Those books" are my ALL time favorites of this author's, along with THIS BOOK, The Secret Language of Stones! I LOVED that book! It is still with me today! That is the book that got me addicted to this author!)

ebook: $12.99
print:   $17.14

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