Rose, M.J. The Collector of Dying Breaths. New York: Atria Books, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1-4516-2153-2. Hardcover List Price: $25.00. Paperback List Price: $16.00.
This was a book I picked up by chance, not realizing it was part of a series, and despite my typical fanatical need to read in order, I dove in. And it ended up being amazing, with just enough information about the backstories of the characters (some of whom appear in previous installments, based on the synopses) that the reader doesn’t get lost, and is able to focus on what’s going on in the present story.
This is a book that combines all the elements I love into one book: rich historical detail, paranormal elements, lost and rekindled love, and of course, suspense. And these elements come together to form a narrative with a powerful message regarding death and immortality.
Of the two narratives within the story, I found myself more absorbed into the historical one following Rene le Florentin and his work in Catherine ‘de Medici’s court. I had heard rumors about her practice of witchcraft and that she was a formidable woman, and while that is a facet of her character, I like that Rose does not villainize her, but chooses to write from the perspective of someone who was one of her closest confidantes for years.
The modern narrative was not lacking, however. I like how the arcs fit so seamlessly together, with both arcs beginning and ending with death, as a way to present the over-arching message of the story.