I read the first book in the Daughters of La Lune series and felt it a must to read the following installment.
And so, when approached to review this one, I immediately accepted. On this opportunity I’d like to thank InkSlingerPR, the publisher and the author for the review copy.
This one is centered around Sandrine’s daughter, Opaline. She is a young woman on the cusp of WWI ending, running away from her parents when they’re about to ship her off to America, only to end up in Paris close to her grand-grandmother, working as a jeweler with a rare gift.
Opaline creates emulates with a personal item and a gemstone and is able to connect with the dead. This way, she helps widows and mothers of dead soldiers get closure and feel close to their lost loved ones.
Then she connects with a young man who can actually speak to her mind, and they communicate on a near daily basis.
Her mentor at the jewelry store is a relative to the Russian Tsar, conspiring to find and assist the Russian royalty against the Bolsheviks. Working and living so closely, Opaline finds herself in a dangerous conspiracy while trying to help her paranormal friend.
The writing is exquisite and the story is developed beyond what anyone could expect. For me it was a little too much as I felt lost in all the imagery and history, and lost track of the plot and details. It was almost it was a little too heavy – even recognizing the brilliant way the story was crafted.
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).