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The Library of Light and Shadow: A Novel by…
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The Library of Light and Shadow: A Novel

by M. J. Rose

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The Library of Light and Shadow is the best book, so far, in this series. And, I think it's because I just love Delphine Duplessi ability to paint people's deepest secrets. If you have read the previous books do you know about the women in the Duplessi's family have inherited different gifts from their ancestor La Lune, who was a witch. In the first book, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, did we meet Delphine mother Sandrine Salome. And in the sequel, The Secret Language of Stones, is it Opaline, Delphine's sister that takes the center stage.

Delphine ability to paint secrets was triggered by a childhood event when she temporary got blind. That meant that her ability was developed much earlier than usual by the women in the family. She and her twin brother and business manager Sebastian have used her talents at his art gallery. A tragic love story drove her from France to the United Starts. Then, when one of her paintings causes a tragedy between two brothers is she persuaded to come home to France. There her brother tries to get to take a painting job for Emma Calvé, a famous Opera Singer, who wants Delphine to paint the chateau where she lives in a way to get the building to reveal it's secrets. It is said that the Book of Abraham, written by alchemist Nicholas Flamel is hidden there...

I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator really managed to captivate me. It's the kind of story where you feel you really get pulled into the story and you get caught up in Delphine life. The book has one weakness and it is the love story that failed to impress me. Not that I didn't like the flashbacks, it's more that I never felt totally invested in Delphine and Mathieu's doomed love story. It's the kind of love story that just never interested me and Delphine's pining after him just never pulled my heart-strings. I was more curious to learn more about the chateau and the fascinating caretaker that lives there. But, then I'm at heart more a mystery girl fan than a romance fan. However, I did not dislike the love story. I'm just picky and this one just didn't rock my boat.

Now, despite my lackluster interested in the love story do I still think that this book is fabulous. The characters are well-developed, the intrigue is fascinating and I love the whole Nicolas Flamel angle. All and all is this a great book! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
Delphine Duplessi is an artist who paints “shadow” portraits while blindfolded showing her subjects darkest secrets. After an accident involving one of her portraits, Delphine returns home to France vowing to never paint shadow portraits again. Her twin brother and manager Sebastian tries to get her into painting again and manages to cajole her into accepting a commission to search for a book about alchemy hidden in a mysterious château.

It’s been too long since I read the previous books since I’ve forgotten so much about those. In this book were many characters that I just know we’ve encountered before but have no recollection where or how.

I liked Delphine but at times I wished she would stand up to her brother who was so manipulative. They’re twins so of course she sees only the good in him, especially since Sebastian saved her life when they were children, but I thought he was just selfish.

I thought the ending was bit abrupt leaving more questions than answers. We see Mathieu mostly through diary of a kind and I would have liked to see him more in the present. I felt I didn’t really know him and that he forgave Delphine way too easily for leaving him.

This was a really quick read and I wanted to know what happens next. I really hope there will be a book about the 3rd Duplessi sister! ( )
  Elysianfield | Nov 1, 2017 |
Delphine is an artist. Her specialty, shadow portraits. During these sittings, she paints with a blindfold on, her art uncovering the secret of her sitter. After one of her paintings creates a scandal, Delphine's brother arrives in New York, determined to take her back home to France. Despite her desire to give up shadow portraits, her brother cajoles her into painting once more.

I generally enjoy M. J. Rose's books. However, I really disliked Delphine and her brother. Delphine came across as a whiner, someone completely dependent on others, and unwilling to help herself. Sebastian also seemed a stereotype, one who put his own interests before anyone else. Although this book was a bust, I look forward to reading the next book from this author. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Oct 27, 2017 |
This is the third book in the Daughters of La Lune series and it focuses on Delphine, a young woman who does shadow paintings. She has the ability to paint the subjects deepest secrets. Sometimes this leads to problems as one can imagine.

Delphine is a twin and she and her brother Sebastian have a very close relationship. He acts as a manager for her artwork and she trusts him as she trust no one other than her mother. He does not have any of the magical abilities of the women of the family and while he claims to be OK with this one wonders. Delphine had run away to New York but after a disaster there she is back in France and he is now pressuring her to go back to her shadow painting when she does not want to because of the consequences. But it is not a person he wants her to paint – it is a house.

What will Delphine see as she paints the house? What secrets is it holding? The lucky readers of The Library of Light and Shadow find themselves immersed in a magical, mystical world where magick can happen if you are in the right place. I always enjoy Ms. Rose’s books for their mix of history, realism and fantasy. She manages to blend it all together in a tale that rings true.

The post WWI period was a time when people were searching for a way to speak with the ones they lost in the war so there was a rise in spiritualism – much of it motivated by greed. I think we all long to know what happens after we die and those desires play strong in this book.

There are characters from the other two books in the series but they are truly background and you really do not need to have read the other books to enjoy this one. In fact, I have not read The Witch of Painted Sorrows which is the first book and I felt no loss whatsoever. The details of the second book are mentioned only in passing.

I recommend this book for anyone looking for a departure from traditional historical fiction. Obviously with the fantasy/magic elements the reader must be able to suspend belief but the reward is a delight of a book with diverse characters and a wonderful story. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Aug 10, 2017 |
Delphine has a rare talent. She sees secrets. Not only does she see someone's secret she can draw that secret for all to witness. These are her shadow portraits. Her fame grows and she makes her living as entertainment at parties. Her life is going great. She has a fiancé and makes her own money. Until, one of her paintings is so scandalous it leads to tragedy. 


Delphine is an amazing character. She is smart and creative. She can be a little dramatic and she is very dependent on her brother. Oh, did I mention her brother is her twin? He really uses this to his advantage in many ways. He is determined to use Delphine's unique talent to find an ancient book by Nicolas Flamel. 


The story revolves around finding this ancient book. Delphine mystically paints all these ancient rooms in the chateau. These rooms and their history kept me captivated. I felt like I was finding buried treasure! Then the TWIST! No one does a twist like M.J. Rose. 

I love M.J. Rose. She has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. Her books just take you everywhere. I enjoy how she weaves history and mysticism throughout her stories! It's such an adventure to read her creative novels. 


This is the third book in this series. I will say it is probably my least favorite of the three. But, I still loved it!! It was just predictable in places. (This is my problem with series). 


I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review. ( )
  fredreeca | Aug 9, 2017 |
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"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 Paris 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'Ecole 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 Calve, 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"--… (more)

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