The Library of Light and Shadow

Written by M.J. Rose
Review by Nicole Evelina

The Daughters of La Lune have had magical powers for centuries, but Delphine’s gift is a bit more sinister than those held by her mother and sisters. When Delphine paints blindfolded, she can reveal the sitter’s deepest secrets. Often, this is no more than a party game, but when what begins innocently leads to death, Delphine fears a repeat performance—for she has seen in the shadowy darkness that the only man she’s ever loved may be the next victim, a circumstance she will do anything to prevent.

Filled with the delicious, atmospheric magic and skillfully rendered description that saturates all of M. J. Rose’s novels, this is historical fantasy that makes you want to live in the novel. After finishing this book, I feel like I have truly visited the Languedoc region of France. Adding to this, the characters are vividly drawn, with a wonderful multidimensional heroine in Delphine; a romantic, tragic figure in Mathieu (who I may just have a crush on); and an unexpected twist involving a not-so-heroic protector.

Only two things stuck out as points that could have been slightly more developed. The resolution of the quest for the book and its titular library is rather abrupt, leaving me with unanswered questions. Also, because 95 percent of the relationship between the hero and heroine is recalled from the past, it feels a bit removed from the events of the story. I would have liked to have seen a little more development between them in the present action before the resolution of the story, which would have made the ending more natural.

But I still very much recommend this book to anyone with an eye for the mystical and a love for gothic settings. M. J. Rose has penned another hit.