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 “dazzling” (Library Journal, starred review) 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 to the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But in the summer of 1918, war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning.
It is in 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. Magic is a word Opaline would rather not use, although even she can't deny she possesses a rare gift.
Certain gemstones enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, when 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 a “fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss, and intrigue, enhanced by vivid period detail” (Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife).
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, a founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.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."
“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, Associated Press
"Mesmerizing, complex ... evocative."
– Publishers Weekly
"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