Every once in a while, you read a book that just blows your mind. I happen to have my mind blown a little more frequently than “once in a while,” but there is one author that does this with every.single.book she writes. Oh, you guys know who I’m talking about: Ronie Kendig.
Yeah, I know. You aren’t at all surprised. Good. It means I’ve done my job of touting her well.
Her latest novel, Crown of Souls, is INCREDIBLE. When I was reading it, I was drawn to the idea that the “legacies” in the story had such legends behind them. So I thought I would do a little digging and see what other legends or ideas might be behind these jewels!
Jasper was apparently a hot commodity way back when. Thousands of years ago, it was used to carve other minerals (including lapis lazuli, which we’ll get to in a few!). Who knew?! (If you knew, please don’t tell me…let me continue to think I’m teaching you guys something new.)
This mineral was also considered to be sacred, thought to bring healing and spiritual protection. Warriors would actually carry Red Jasper for protection. No wonder it would show up in a crown Tox is after. Fun fact: some jasper amulets found in Egypt had scripture engraved into it to protect the wearer from death.
Birthstone fact: Jasper is the “mystical” (Tibetan origin, dating back over 1,000 years) birthstone of October.
The name, Onyx, actually comes from the Greek word…well, “onyx,” meaning the nail of a finger or claw. A Greek myth says that Cupid cut Venus’s fingernails while she was sleeping. Those clippings fell to the ground; since no heavenly body part can die, the gods turned those clippings to stone—later known as onyx.
So we normally think of onyx as strictly black (well, I did), but it actually is found in white, reddish brown, and banded. There’s another form of onyx that is reddish brown with white and lighter red bands. Very cool.
Birthstone and fun facts: Onyx is the mystical birthstone of December (so I get to claim it as my birthstone!). It’s also given on the 7th and 10th wedding anniversary.
My husband owes me. 😉
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know much about this gem outside of the fact that it’s often used for beads and cameos. But I was able to find a few interesting things about it.
Ancient Egyptians believed that wearing a carnelian ring would eliminate bad tempers, hatred, jealousy, and anger. During the Renaissance, it was believed to have the ability to offer protection…and prevent skin and blood diseases, nosebleeds, and insanity.
Fun fact: Carnelian is found in light to dark orange, pink, red, and…dark gray.
Okay. I think this one is my favorite. It’s so gorgeous!! I just might have to ask the hubby for some lapis lazuli jewelry. 😉
Lapis lazuli is actually not considered a mineral. It’s a straight-up rock. It is made up of various minerals, but includes calcite (the white), sodalite (the blue), and pyrite—also known as fool’s gold. In order to be considered a mineral, it would need to have only one component. Interesting!
This rock was often ground up for various uses, including medical and cosmetic. The Egyptians used it for seals, eyelid cosmetics, and even carved it into vases and figurines. It was often used as a powder mixed with milk to relieve ulcers and boils. And, uh…the Romans used it as an aphrodisiac.
Kinda ruins the moment, huh?
Birthstone fact: Lapis lazuli is actually the traditional birthstone of December, and is a modern alternative to today’s turquoise.
These jewels play an integral part of Crown of Souls. But to find out why, you have to read the story. No spoilers here!
Read my review of Crown of Souls.
Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig
When You Stare Into the Abyss It Also Stares Into You
The bullet that rips into Cole “Tox” Russell was never meant to kill. It was meant to send a message. Only one man is skilled enough to have taken the shot, a rogue Special Forces operator who vanished months ago.
Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he’s out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier.
Afraid his old friend could be right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team are forced into another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is harnessing the power of a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.
Buy it on Amazon (not an affiliate link).
Have you read Crown of Souls yet? If so, what drew you to the book? What gems are your favorite or interest you the most?