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Mother of Souls

(Alpennia #3)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  48 reviews
At last! Return to the enchanted realm of Alpennia for the eagerly awaited sequel to Daughter of Mystery and The Mystic Marriage.

All her life, Serafina Talarico has searched in vain for a place where she and her mystical talents belong. She never found it in Rome—the city of her birth—where her family’s Ethiopian origins marked them as immigrants. After traveling halfway
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 17th 2016 by Bella Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  155 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been a long wait...almost a year and a half, but I finally got to go back in time to my favorite fictional European country--tiny, landlocked Alpennia and her quaint courtly customs, intrigue and politics; I got to catch up again with the goings-on of my favorite lady aristocrats and got to know their ever-widening circle of 18th century 'feminists'--this time including commoners and even a foreigner.

Compared to other historical romances, the Alpennia series is distinctive for its very
Surely Miss Jones, this cannot be the end of the series because it ends on quite the cliffhanger!

Wow! Again, this series is soooo hard (if not impossible) to write a review for. With layers upon layers of intricate plot, the many threads that run through this story, both political and mysterious. These fabulous characters, their love, their ambitions, their struggles. It took me the whole of book one Daughter of Mystery to get familiar with the players, the political climate of Alpennia, the
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love these books for their elegant flowing prose that draws you in like a warm cocoon.

In book 3, we are back in the richly-woven tapestry that is Alpennia, following our protagonist Serafina, who can sense the power in musical mysteries, but is unable to perform them herself. Serafina arrives in Alpennia in search of knowledge and runs into Luzie when looking for lodgings. Luzie supports herself through her music compositions, and is unaware of the gift she carries in her music. The main
Frank Van Meer
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The return to the realm of Alpennia did not disappoint. I'm not entirely sure how to review it properly, because a lot (and I mean a lot!) is happening in the lives of our beloved characters.

While The Daughter of Mystery was primarily focussed around the Barbara and Margerit, the sequels have an ensemble cast now. The circle around Barbara and Margerit is expanding rapidly: a group of women who, in a society strict with rules of propriety and protocol, slowly but with determination carve their
Darlene Vendegna
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic visit to the fascinating fictional country of Alpennia. Chock full of strong female characters, dense and interesting story construction, with just a touch of magic and romance.
Ms Jones creates characters that come to life on the page and leave the reader wondering what happens in their lives after the story ends. I look forward to many more installments, though each book stands alone effectively, in my opinion, full appreciation comes from reading them all in order.
K.J. Charles
Jun 30, 2017 added it
Shelves: fantasy, f-f
Delving further into the Alpennia world, a gloriously female-centric alt 19th century European principality near Austria. Alchemy! Sort of religious magic! Court intrigue!

This is fantasy with romances woven through it, so we get loads about the couples from the first two books as well as a rather wistful minor-key new central pair. Deeply immersive, detailed world, really def best to start with book 1 for ease of following along. And all sorts of fascinating possibilities opening up for other
Eva Müller
This is without a doubt a book in which things happen. Many things. And there were people who had goals which they tried to achieve. Many goals...and a fair number of people (six POV characters: the designated couple from this book and both from the previous books and several non-POV side characters we mostly met before).
But none of it felt connected, except for the fact that these characters who had goals and did things knew each other. And it didn't feel like there was a big goal they were all
Sara Uckelman
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical-f-f
It's difficult for me to judge this book, because while I love many things about it (and all of the Alpennia novels), the pacing is odd and the emphasis on events often seems off; at the same time, I'm coming to realize that this very slow, multi-stranded plotting approach is a feature of the author's style. This novel introduces one new protagonist -- Luzie Valorin, a widow who makes a living teaching music but who has a talent for composition -- and promotes a secondary character from the ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Over three books, I've watched the Alpennia novels transition from awkwardly tropetastic Ruritanian/Heyeresque romance, emphasis on the romance, plus some magic to graceful, coherent fantasies that just happen to be set in a country that doesn't exist and include a lot of women who fall in love with each other to varying degrees. This is the book where the transition really gels: the depictions of Alpennian society (as always, shown from the perspective of an outsider, or several) and politics ...more
Cristina Domenech
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a terrible when the time comes to give five stars. I just feel five stars is too much, even if I loved the book. It must be more than just liking it, I must feel it is a really good book in many other aspects and I usually end up struggling and giving four. Now, having said that, this book is getting five stars, no question or shadow of a doubt. I would give it four if it was a stand-alone, but this is the third in a series that keeps delivering. Beautiful prose, good plot, lovable ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Cudahy
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another beautiful installment of Heather Rose Jones's Alpennia series, which introduces us to composer Luzie Valerin and Serafin Talarico, a vidator who is blessed with the power to see fluctus but not invoke it. Serafin appeared briefly towards the end of the second book The Mystic Marriage, but here her story is taken up in full. Born in Italy to Ethiopian parents, she escapes a loveless marriage to pursue her study of thaumaturgy, lodging with Luzie, a widow and musician who struggles to make ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-wlw
i am so impressed with heather rose jones’ historical understanding of lesbianism in early modern europe and it really shows in the quality of her writing... this series is very well plotted and i am enjoying all her distinct characterizations and more subtle romantic arcs and dynamics than one would traditionally find in the historical romance genre. anyway hasn’t every girl always dreamed of being an unmarried eccentric in a large mid-european city studying alchemy and magic along the minds of ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Next installment in Jones's terrific Alpennia series (start with "Daughter of Mystery"). I get a deeper understanding of the world building with each book and it's lovely to visit with old friends and new. Highly recommended!
This was so disappointing. The book feels like a series of unrelated snippets. The snippets cover so many characters and plots with so little depth that the reader isn’t invested in anything & there’s no sense of purpose, much less tension.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Regency Magic (April 2018)

Luzie Valorin grew up in a family of musicians. When she married she thought she had put that life behind her but the untimely death of her husband forced Luzie to make some difficult choices. She could have run off to the bosom of her family in the countryside but instead she turned her home into a boarding house for theatrical souls. Though opening her house to strangers didn't make ends meet as
Jess Hale
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book missed the mark for me in so many ways. It just SPRAWLS - it picks up threads from the last two books and runs with them, while also introducing more and not giving a sense of closure to anything.

Really, there are three books in here (and it's long enough for it) - Margerit and Barbara, Antuniet and Jeanne, and Serafina and Luzie. I would rather have read a focussed novella for each to give the plot line justice.

- The "main" couple of this book are Serafina and Luzie. I could almost
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Finished the final installment of Heather Rose Jones' Alpennia Series, "Mother of Souls." In this installment, I got to find out more about Serafina, whom I met in the 2nd installment, "Mystic Marriage," my favourite book in the series! I was looking forward to finding out about her African roots, how her mystical powers would manifest. There were a couple of surprises in her back story and current status, which I didn't expect.

Its a well-written story that weaved around Serafina's determination
Claudie Arseneault
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
Every time I read an Alpennia book, I fall more in love with the universe. I'm starting to think that's why I find each one better tha the last, but to be honest, even if MOTHER OF SOULS had been my first dip into Alpennia, it would still have deserved all those stars.

SOULS's new romance comes between Serafina (queer black woman!! first introduced in the previous book) and Luzie, a widowed music teacher and composer. And *somehow* their story manages to be every bit as interesting, if not more,
I enjoyed this marginally less than its two predecessors (reviewed here and here), not because of any problems with the writing, but simply because it felt more like a "middle book" than the second in the series did, and because the subject matter was less interesting to me personally.

On the first point, by "middle book" I mean one where a lot of different plotlines are going on at once and a lot of sections exist to set up things in future books. There were elements of this in the second book,
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
I am not going to write an actual review for this one, but I did enjoy it.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Man, I love these more than I ever thought I would.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I just finished Mother of Souls and I have a lot of thoughts AND feelings about this book.

I'm not going to bother recapping it. I will say that I love it in a really complicated way and now everything is going to go into spoilers.

(view spoiler)
Morgan Dhu
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The third of Heather Rose Jones’ Alpenna novels, Mother of Souls, continues the story of Margerit Sovitre, wealthy thaumaturge and famed swordswoman Barbara, Countess of Savese.

Their circle of friends and associates has continued to expand, drawing more women from various professions and ways of life. Margerit’s extensive fortune has enabled her to continue being the patron of a number of women, both upper class and working class, who are expanding the scope of the female professions, women’s
Lis Carey
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, f-sf
This is a review of Mother of Souls. I've reviewed Daughter of Mystery and The Mystic Marriage; I'll link to them below.

Serafina Talarico has been looking for a place where she and her magic can fit in. She has felt she might have found a place, with her landlady, Luzie Valorin, with whom she has been collaborating on an opera about the historic woman scholar, Tanfrit. Yet as close as they've become, Luzie can't offer her what she really wants.

Meanwhile, some strange weather magic continues to
Deborah Ross
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This third “Alpennia” book formed a marvelous introduction to this series. Set in the mid-19th Century in an imaginary land somewhere between France and Switzerland, the story has very much the feel of historical fiction in its rich detail and well realized social, economic, religious, and cultural institutions. As in the real world, most women are constrained to be wives and mothers, married for the wealth or political alliances they can bring to their families. Also as in actual history, ...more


Sara Norja
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much comfort reading, yay! I loved the focus on music in this one - it was fascinating to read about the (view spoiler). Again, a nice expansion of / new angle to the magic system. And lots of great stuff on creating - music, poetry, whatever it was that the characters were creating.

There were bits where I felt like emotionally major scenes were skipped, where I'd have wanted more of the emotional reactions to
Nhan Phan
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Heather Rose Jones writes fantasy, historic fantasy, and historical fiction, including the Alpennia series with swordswomen and magic in an alternate Regency setting. She blogs about research into lesbian-like motifs in history and literature at the Lesbian Historic Motif Project which provides inspiration for her fiction. She has a PhD in linguistics, studying metaphor theory and the semantics of ...more

Other books in the series

Alpennia (4 books)
  • Daughter of Mystery (Alpennia, #1)
  • The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2)
  • Floodtide
“I think…I am more than content—no, I am joyful—to be in the place I find myself. And I don’t think I could have come to this place by any road but the one I’ve traveled. If there are limits to what this body can do—” She gestured to take it in. “—they are limits made by others, not my limits. No, I wouldn’t choose to be other than what I am.” 2 likes
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