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July 17, 2017

#BookReview: Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose #MondayBlogs

by MK French

Delphine Duplessi has a talent for drawing "shadow portraits," pictures drawn while she is blindfolded that reveals the secrets that the subject wants to hide. Most are rather innocuous, which allows her to use it as a party trick in 1925 New York City. But some secrets are not so petty, and the book opens with a party that ends in tragedy. Delphine retreats into depression, and her twin brother brings her back to France for a change of scenery. A tragedy had sent her away from France, however, and it haunts her as much as the doomed romance she had run away from. But her brother is working with an opera singer obsessed with finding the works of Nicholas Flamel, and Delphine will try to find the alchemist's book if it saves her brother's life.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free book was provided for an honest review.

July 2017; Atria Books; 978-1476778129
ebook, audio, print (368 pages); gothic romance
Library of Light and Shadow is amazingly well done. The characters are solid and real, even in their worst moments, and Delphine's past is deftly interwoven with her present.

She was driven from France to New York by fear, and she has to find her way back from that darkness. The shadow portraits are a kind of magic, which her family is known for, and trying to keep from using her gift isn't any better than trying to control her emotions or keep them locked away. They're very tied together, which is often a theme for books about creative people.

Emotions and talents are intertwined, and unlocking talents usually involves coming to grips with emotions and not being afraid of them.

The subplots all come together neatly at the end, and the lush scenery is so deftly described you almost feel like you're there. This is the first book by M. J. Rose that I've read, and I doubt that it's going to be my last.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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