Having just finished reading M.J. Rose’s newest novel The Collector of Dying Breaths I can once again attest to just how beautiful and amazing her novels can be so I am extra excited to kick off her tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours! This time she takes us from the court of Catherine de Medici to modern day on a journey that will hold the reader spellbound. For me reading a novel by M.J. Rose is like slipping into a whole other world; one that I find myself completely immersed in until I reach that final page. With perfection M.J. Rose weaves historical fiction, suspense, adventure, passion, and obsession in a novel that is sure to please readers old and new! And I can’t help but mention that this cover rocks – it is as gorgeous as the novel is!
The Collector of Dying Breaths is the latest installment in the Reincarnationist series but can easily be read on its own as there is enough background given for the reader not to be lost in the story. I’ve enjoyed the books featuring Jac L’Etoile and I loved getting back to her story in this one. While Jac is a mythologist she also has the rare talent of not only being able to see her own past lives but those of others as well. For reasons I won’t give away Jac finds herself trying to replicate an elixir that is made from the dying breaths of an individual. In turn this elixir could be used to enable this individual to live another life. It is all very fascinating! The research takes her on a journey back in time that could prove dangerous to those she loves and even Jac herself.
Going back in time to the 1500’s and Catherine de Medici’s court we are introduced to Rene de Florentine who is saved from poverty by Catherine de Medici to become her personal perfumer among other more distasteful things. It is he that believes the dying breaths of a person can be captured and released again in someone else. It is there that Jac must travel back in time in order to learn more about this elixir and how to recreate it. In this she finds help from her old lover Griffin but it isn’t long before the two find themselves embroiled in more and more danger. Will Jac find the answers she’s looking for? Will she ever find the life she desires most?
One of the most interesting things about this book as well as the one before it is the focus on scent and perfume making. I have always had a passion for perfume and the way different scents smell on different people. I really enjoyed reading about the mixing of scents to come up with a unique perfume. For me a scent can evoke a special memory or make me feel beautiful. For Jac a scent can take her back to a different time and place entirely. I have to admit it would be kind of cool to see into people’s past lives especially in a historical sense.
M.J. Rose has crafted another tale that takes you into the world of reincarnation and past lives. Don’t mistake this novel for a novel of magic because it isn’t although there is a kind of magical quality in thinking we’ve lived past lives. The novel itself is presented in such a way that makes the idea of past lives very believable and if you are someone like me you believe in that kind of thing anyway. M.J.’s writing is beautiful, the story fantastic, and I highly recommend it!
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.