The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
When this appeared in my mailbox, I was immediately captivated. The cover is gorgeous and just drips with magic and intrigue. Reading the synopsis got me even more interested. The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose is a historical fiction intertwined with magic. Taking place after the first Wold War, the story follows Delphine Dupressi, descendant of La Lune, a famous witch and courtesan. After regaining her sight, Delphine can see people's secrets, and she has turned her gift into an almost parlor trick, painting "shadow portraits" for people on commission and at parties. After a shadow portrait goes wrong, Delphine flees New York and returns to her home in France. Here she hopes to find healing, but instead finds herself knee deep in the hunt for the writings of Nicolas Flamel.

It turns out this is actually the third in the Daughters of La Lune series, although it's said that each novel can stand on its own. I found this to be true, at least for this installment, and thought there was plenty of description and explanation that allowed this to be consumed independently of the other two books. I haven't read the other two, but now I'm so interested in the La Lune descendants that I might have to!

The writing in this novel was captivating and beautiful, transporting you right into postwar France and New York. I don't typically like historical fiction, as I simply find them boring, but the magic element completely eliminated that here.

I adored the cast of characters in this story. Delphine was strong but very human in her insecurities. Emma Calve was an outstanding side character, reminding me so much of Carlotta from Phantom of the Opera. I really enjoyed that so many famous individuals from the same era were characters, including Pablo Picasso himself. I thought the plot was good, although a little slow in the middle. 

Interspersed in the book are excerpts from Delphine's Book of Hours, where she has chronicled all her time spent with her former lover Mathieu. These were nice to read but I didn't really find them necessary overall until the last few entries. 

For the most part, the book really lived up to the beauty of the cover. With great writing, strongly developed characters, and a decent plot, I really did enjoy this read.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

A big thanks to Atria Books for sending me a copy of this beautiful read! The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose is available now in paperback, so be sure to pick up a copy!

13 comments

  1. Interesting book! And yes, what a pretty cover! I expected the story to be about books, what with the title and all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to have to get my hands on this

    ReplyDelete
  3. This does sound interesting! I may need to check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great review! I'll be honest, I probably won't read the book. But, I have to thank you because I now have a new answer to "if you could have any superpower, what would it be?"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ordinarily I wouldn't have looked at this one, but your review has me intrigued

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do love that cover and your review has piqued my interest

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a beautiful book and title, seems to be my type of story!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like an interesting book- and the cover is just gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm always a bit nervouse to read a book from a series even if it says it can be read as a standalone. I always feel like I'm missing out on something. Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great review, this book looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and very intriguing. I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you so much for sharing your awesome post and for putting this book on my radar.

    ReplyDelete