Some of you may remember my complete obsession with The Vine Witch, & I was so excited to dive into book two in the series – & of course, Luanne did not let me down. Luanne G. Smith has created such an incredible world within these books & the magic system is mesmerising. I really, really cannot get enough.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review, however I didn’t read the book until I had bought a printed copy.
⚠️ Some violence, including off-page domestic violence, poverty & child abuse in the form of references to off-page child “prostitution” from a character’s past ⚠️
You can read my review of book one in the series, The Vine Witch, here.
A spellbinding novel of bloodlines, self-discovery, and redemption by the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Vine Witch.
Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.
Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?
I’m usually really good at making notes whilst I read, but every now & again a book comes along that envelops me so completely that I write hardly anything at all, & the Glamourist was always going to be one of those books. The story picks up not long after the end of book one, as we follow main characters Elena & Yvette (& a lil’ bit of Sidra), as they try to navigate their way around Paris whilst dealing with their own issues. During Yvette’s exploration of her past (& Elena’s attempts to please her mother-in-law) Luanne introduces readers to a new list of very interesting people – I adored some of these characters, but other’s were the vilest of villains, & it was impossible for me not to become completely invested in Yvette’s quest.
In The Vine Witch we spent most of our time in the French countryside, however book two is set within Paris for the most part & it was so interesting to see how the magic-wielders existed somewhere more densely populated than what we had read about previously. World-building is always important to me, & recently I’ve developed an obsession with any version of historical France that’s submerged in magic so, knowing that we were heading to Paris was really exciting for me, but if I’m honest, this series could be set anywhere. I loved running around the back streets of Paris, but for once, the location wasn’t make or break – instead, the magic, characters & plot were more than enough to appease me.
As well as being able to explore the city of Paris in The Glamourist, Luanne expanded the world-building even further by introducing a hoard of new species into the mix. When goblins turned up to help Yvette I was so excited & the scenes they featured in always had me smiling, even if the situation wasn’t always something to smile about. Plus, we get to meet some legit fairytale celebrities within the pages of this book & I love how many folk tales & fantasy ideas Luanne has utilised within the series. Honestly, these books, & Luanne’s writing, give off this magical aura so that as you read, you feel like there’s magic in the room around you – I don’t know quite how to explain it but it’s such a extraordinary thing to experience & it’s one of the reasons Luanne is one of my favourite authors. Seriously, the magic system in this series is completely bewitching (excuse the pun) & it’s something that I could so easily believe to be real. The magical creatures of this world live among regular people (some openly, some secretly), with their own rules & laws to abide by, & the way Luanne has crafted this world, & presented it, makes you want to hunt for the secret magical places that must be surrounding us. For a comparison, think Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman & you’ll have some idea of the ingenious creativity I’m talking about.
I really enjoyed that book two’s focus shifted from Elena (as in book one) to Yvette &, despite her story being sad in places, I was ecstatic to finally have some of my questions answered! Yvette was so strong & resilient throughout this adventure & she was a fantastic protagonist; her past was intriguing, emotional & brilliantly put together, just writing about it makes me want to reread it. I really love how this book is kind of sequel-come-spin-off & when I finished reading all I could do was wish for the next instalment to uncover even more secrets, but instead ones all about our jinni Sidra (& as someone who has now read the third & final book months before it’s release, I can tell you for definite that it’s one hell of a closing instalment).
This series is genuinely stunning & I’m desperate for more people to pick it up so I have people to discuss it with. Please, please, please consider getting yourself a copy – you can order The Vine Witch by following the link to my review at the top of this one & you can purchase The Glamourist using on of the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Hive | Waterstones
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