Incredible. That is the word that instantly sprang to mind the second I began reading this captivating novel. This hauntingly beautiful novel is one that crosses time and space to bring readers into the world of 16th century Florence at the height of the de Medici power, to present day Paris, in all of its’ intrigue and glory. The characters are so exquisitely crafted, there were times it seemed as if they were speaking. I must say, this is one of the most enchanting novels I have had the pleasure to read, at times both beautiful, and still haunting and somewhat chilling. It is the sixth book in this series, so I would suggest reading in order. This novel is one that will draw readers in, and will leave them haunted, and begging for more.
Florence, Italy, 1533. A young Italian by the name of René le Florentin is taken from the hands of poverty and brought to the home of Catherine de Medici in order to become her perfumer, and to travel with her. In her travels, he brings with them a packet of secret documents stolen from the monastery where he was trained that contain the recipes for fragrances and potions, and one supposed to contain the forbidden potion to bring back the dead. Upon reaching France, René then becomes the most dangerous as well as the most famous perfumer as he creates numerous poisons for the Queen to use on her rivals. But what will it cost him? In present day Paris, Jac L’Etoile, a famous mythologist is trying to overcome a personal tragedy through work. She has discovered the work of René le Florentin, and this causes her to run into a former lover, Griffin North. As Jac and Griffin search through René’s works, unknown forces are working against them. What could success cost them, and is the cost worth it?
From the internationally bestselling author, a lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as passion and obsessions collide
An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate the dead.
In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, René doesn’t begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.
Paris, France—The Present:
A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile—trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work—learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomesobsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breaths he had collected during his lifetime.
Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection, a woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir . . . for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means.
This mesmerizing gothic tale zigzags from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first-century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.