Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M. J. Rose


"I almost died because a criminal with a gun shot at you and I pushed you out of the way and was hurt. Jac, please." He put his hand on her shoulders and pulled her toward him so she was twisted around, facing him again. "You can't throw us away because of something you don't even believe yourself."

~~~Posted for That's What HE Said Thursday

Title: The Collector of Dying Breaths
Author: M.J. Rose
ISBN: 9781451621532
Publisher: Atria Books/2014
Pages: 384

This is the sixth book in Reincarnationist series and the third one featuring Jac L’Etoile. I have read the first, The Book of Lost Fragrances. I am yet to pick up the second one, Seduction.
This novel is set in two different time periods, one contemporary and other historical, set in the sixteenth century where René le Florentin is a young apprentice in an Italian monastery. He is wrongly accused of poisoning his master, apothecary Dom Serapino. Catherine de Medici saves him and takes him along to France as she is about to marry into the French royality. René is a now a perfumer to the French court. His knowledge of fragrances, potions and poisons makes him valuable for Catherine. She makes use of his knowledge to eliminate enemies of the state. Meanwhile, René continues to work on a secret project of collecting a person’s dying breath. He thinks that if he discovers the right combination of ingredients to mix with the dying breath, then the resulting mixture can  bring back the soul. However, his knowledge of poisons has disastrous consequences on his personal life....
Coming to present day France, Jac L’Etoile's brother Robby dies and he had been working collecting dying breaths. L’Etoiles are a family of perfumers. Jac has always stayed away from creating perfumes because certain scents bring back vivid memories of the past – not just her own but other people’s too. When a rich and eccentric woman, Melinoe Cypros asks her to continue with the work of Robby (which is René le Florentin's work), Jac agrees. Working for it, Jac finds herself haunted by visions of  René le Florentin and the woman he loves.
The historical parts were well developed and were very compelling. Catherine de Medici was portrayed well and I liked the interactions between Catherine, Rene and Ruggieri, Catherine's astrologer. Jac is able to see her past life and somehow can connect to her present day lover, Griffin North to René le Florentin, she being the woman he had loved. This works well as a standalone novel and the suspense element remains intact throughout. 

4 comments:

Julie S said...

Tell us more about the situation leading up to the quote. Thanks for linking up.

Elin said...

Sound interesting. Love it :)

Susan @ Reading World said...

I haven't read anything by this author yet, but these books are definitely on my list.

stacybuckeye said...

I want to read this one but can't until I start at the beginning! I;m so OCD about series reading. :(