Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose

Author: M.J. Rose
Series: The Daughter's of La Lune
Genre: NA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Source: Netgalley
My Rating: 1.5 stars
Summary From Goodreads: 
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
My Thoughts

The Witch of Painted Sorrows was a sore disappointment for me. When I first heard about it, I was super intrigued by the synopsis and cover. I don’t read many books set in historical time periods, but the promise of remarkable fantasy and romance aspects pulled me in. Who am I to turn down two of my favorite genres? Also, being published under Atria Indie played a factor into my ARC request. I usually end up loving most of the Atria Indie books I read like The Sea of Tranquility, Hopeless, Sweet Thing, etc, so of course I was pumped to dive into it.

As an avid reader, I’ve become pretty fast at reading, but The Witch of Painted Sorrows seemed to take me forever to finish. In comparison to the time I usually take to finish a book, it felt like I had been reading the book for the whole day. It moved so slowly! I almost DNFed it multiple times but continued to dredge through in hopes that it would improve. Sadly, that was not the case. It seems like I’m a black sheep for this one, but I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t connect to any part of the book at all.

The main character was pretty much crazy and irritating. She refused to take the advice of her grandmother, and virtually accepted the presence of La Lune which is weird. The pacing of the novel was very slow, but then there would be parts with massive amounts of info dumping, which I admittedly skimmed at times. The romance was honestly unappealing. I mean, there’s a scene in which Sandrine tries to seduce Julien while he’s asleep O.o The end had little resolution yet there’s no direct sequel (the second book is about another character).

Overall, the synopsis of The Witch of Painted Sorrows was intriguing, but sadly it was not the book for me.

MJ Rose

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M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.


  1. This cover is sooooo amazing! Too bad the book didn't work for you. That's always so disappointing! Great review!

    1. The cover is one of the factors that drew me in the first place! Thanks for stopping by!! :D