When I saw this book on Twitter I just knew I needed to read it – witches & wine? Yes please. I’ll have a double. Luanne G. Smith has created a fantastic, original world of magic, one which has so much potential. I guzzled down this story, & I can’t wait for book two!
⚠️ Blood magic, mild violence & bewitching writing ⚠️
A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.
For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.
Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favours science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.
In The Vine Witch, protagonist Elena saves herself from a curse that turned her into, none other than, a toad. But, that’s where the witch stereotypes end! This book is original, addictive & really well written & I loved it a lot.
The Vine Witch opens with our protag escaping a curse that had turned her into, none other than, a toad… but, that’s one of few witchy-stereotypes that you’ll find in Luanne G. Smith’s fantastic debut. I love the magic system in this story – I mean I was always going to love a book with witches & wine, but I’m so excited to learn more about the different types of witches in this world throughout the rest of the series – especially as it seems we’re only given a taster of what this world is like in the first book. I relish the idea of the wine I drink being created by vine witches & it’s something I really wish was real.
Going into this story I wasn’t really sure of what the plot was going to be about – the witches & wine combo sold me on the story so I didn’t read the synopsis properly, but I’m so glad that the plot itself was as fantastic as the magic system. Things start off quite calmly; Elena comes back to her life to find a lot has changed since she was cursed, & she takes it upon herself to help repair the vineyard that she grew up nurturing. However, things take a sinister turn when her ex-boyfriend, & the person she believes cursed her, is murdered & Elena is blamed. Que drama, a fleeting visit to a carnival, the introduction of other kinds of witches – oh, & some blood magic too. This story started off as an interesting & chilled out read, but by the end it blew all my expectations & I’m so excited for more of Luanne’s work.
Luanne’s writing was really engaging from the start & this was one of those books that I couldn’t help but be absorbed by – very early on I felt like I knew Elena inside/out & her fight became mine the instant it started. I felt all her emotions vividly, meaning I was emotionally attached to the story from the start. I really felt like I went on Elena’s journey with her, that I was a part of it, & in some ways a part of her, & it’s not very often that I feel this kind of connection to a book of this length. I really did adore this book, if you hadn’t already worked that out – it was original, exciting, addictive & alluring, & yeah. I just really, really loved it.
Words seem to have failed me with this review – I feel like I’ve repeated myself a lot, but I hope that my repetition has convinced you to pick up this book. I have a feeling Luanne G. Smith is going to be hugely popular among bloggers & readers like me.
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery
Find the emoji-key here.