Book Review: The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J.Rose

Posted by

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

In 1500-s there was a monk who was exploring an interesting theory. The last dying breath of a person contains the soul, and if that breath is inhaled in another person, the soul continues to live in another body. After his death, his apprentice Rene le Florentine took over the job and soon became the personal perfumer of Catherine de Medici. He made perfumes, creams and poisons for the queen. But he was always working on his teacher’s theory in order to bring back in life the two people who he loved the most and lost them, his teacher and his bride-to-be.

In modern time, another perfumer is working on the very same theory. After his sudden death, his grieving sister will do anything to bring him back, he is the only family she has. So she connects with two people to finish his job. But these two have other plans. Jac wants her brother back, but Melinoe and Serge want eternal life. Melinoe owns the twelve bottles with twelve collected dying breaths that many centuries ago Rene collected. Jac is the one who has to find the way to inhale the dying breath in a living person. Was her brother Robbie right? Is human soul eternal? Can we live forever?

What a wonderful mix of mystery, suspense, history and romance! Here we have the time of Catherine de Medici where it is so vividly described the way she ruled. Lies, betrayals, gossips, anything, just to keep the throne. Poisoning is so ordinary thing here. Black magic among Catholics is so common, you have no idea who is who behind the closed doors in the queen’s room. 

Making perfumes is another story. As a pharmacist by myself, this part of the story intrigued me very much. I loved the way Rene chose the fragrances, mixed them, tested them. Every fragrance has a different smell on a different person. I enjoyed reading for extracting the fragrances from the plants, mixing different ones and making such a wonderful and unique perfumes. It reminded me a lot of the book “Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer”which I loved it so much. 

Back in the present, I connected with Jac as a main character. She is well connected with her brother, they love each other very much, cause having each other is all they have after their parents died. So after his death, if finishing her brother’s crazy theory is only way to bring him back, she’ll do it. Jac also suffers from visions from the past, visions from different times. Is she hallucinating or maybe her previous lives are coming back to her now? 

So, mystery lovers, history lovers, perfume lovers, grab this book and enjoy this so vividly narrated story sprinkled with fragrances of jasmine and roses.

My opinion: 5 / 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *