“World War I Paris is a dangerous place for the young witch Opaline Duplessi. Still in denial about the true extent of her powers and hopelessly in love with a man she can never have, Opaline becomes caught up in a Russian emigre's plan to save a Romanov from Bolshevik spies on the windswept English coast. Magic and intrigue collide in this captivating follow-up to The Witch of Painted Sorrows.”
— Paula Longhurst (E), The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
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).
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author M.J. Rose grew up in New York City exploring the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.com and cofounder of 1001DarkNights.com She lives in Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
“A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose's paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller." — Library Journal (Starred review)
"An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale." — Booklist
“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose's story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities...So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.” — RT Magazine (Top Pick)
“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Rose transports the reader 100 years into the past into a city known for romance but torn apart by war…Rose's best novel to date.” — Jeff Ayers
"M.J. Rose’s bewitching novel The Secret Language of Stones explores the devastation of war upon the hearts of those who remain. In this tale set in World War I Paris, a young female jeweler with magical gifts learns to listen to the stones she works with, providing comfort to bereaved women by sharing their loved ones’ messages. In doing so, she learns to listen to her own heart, as well, when one of the stones speaks directly to her. Can Opaline possibly be in love with a dead soldier? A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss, and intrigue, enhanced by vivid period detail.” — Melanie Benjamin, New York Times-Bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife
“A haunting story of love and espionage in World War I Paris that both surprises and delights.” — Lauren Willig, New York Times-bestselling author of The Other Daughter
“A spellbinding ghost story that communicates the power of love and redemption through Rose's extraordinary, magical lens.” — Alyson Richman, internationally bestselling author of The Lost Wife
“M.J. Rose is simply one of the master storytellers of historical fiction; in The Secret Language of Stones, she serves up yet another feast of history and enchantment, as a jewelry maker creates a passionate, otherworldly connection to a soldier lost on the battlefields of the First World War.” — Beatriz Williams, New York Times-bestselling author of A Certain Age