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The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune #3) by M. J. Rose: A Book Review

The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune #3)
Author: M. J. Rose
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Publisher: Atria
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 Synopsis: In this riveting and richly drawn novel from “one of the master storytellers of historical fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams), a talented young artist flees New York for the South of France after one of her scandalous drawings reveals a dark secret—and triggers a terrible tragedy.

     In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd.

     Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

     Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu—in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open.

     My Review: Delphine Duplessi has a gift of exposing people’s secrets through painting. At a party in Manhattan, Delphine’s gift causes a rift between two brothers that leads to a tragedy. Feeling responsible for the incident, Delphine declares to never use her gift and falls into a deep depression. Her twin brother decides to bring Delphine back to France to help bring her back to spirits. Delphine finds a new client, an opera singer, who is obsessed with finding The Book of Abraham by Nicolas Flamel that will reveal the secrets of immortality. When Delphine arrives at the chateau to help look for the missing book, she discovers magic, mystery, and danger lie within the castle’s walls.

    Delphine is truly a complex character. She is very vulnerable. She is insecure and afraid. She wonders if her gifts are truly good or if it will only bring pain to others. Because of her doubts about her abilities, she wants to live her life without using them. However, she realizes that her gifts are a part of her. Therefore, Delphine constantly struggles trying to love and be happy with herself. Because of Delphine’s inner conflict, I empathized with her. I rooted for her to come to terms with herself and find her own happiness. Thus, in the Daughters of La Lune series, Delphine is my favorite character so far!

   Overall, this book is about love, loss, and recovery. The message of this book is about coming to terms with one’s self. It is also about letting go of the past and looking to the future. The characters are very compelling, and I wanted to learn more about the secrets that each of them wish to hide. I also loved the mystery and the quest surrounding the novel. The author gave us more information about the ghost of La Lune and answered some questions that I had in The Witch of Painted Sorrows. The only things I disliked about the novel was that it had a slow start, and too many flashbacks. Also, I wanted to know more about Opaline after The Secret Languages of Stones. The writing was very lyrical and evocative, and it sucked me in from the first page! M.J. Rose’s writing will literally take your breath away! I cannot recommend this novel highly enough! Daughters of La Lune may be one of my favorite series. I want to go back and reread these books again. This series is perfect for fans of The Other Side of Midnight, The Architect of Song, and Named of the Dragon.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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