How did it take me so long to start this book? Once I began reading, I was swept away in the magic.
Title: The Vine Witch
Author: Luanne G. Smith
Genres: Historical Fantasy
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 favors 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.
- This book is set in France, and I really felt the author did a great job of creating a feeling of place, filling it with atmosphere, not overloading with details, but still made me feel completely immersed in the setting.
- The minor characters in this book are so colorful in personality—I truly loved them all!
- The romance is paced really quickly, which admittedly was not my favorite thing. I did root for Elena and Jean-Paul, but I didn’t feel totally enamored by their romance.
- The magic system in this book is so fun and fascinating. I can’t wait to dig more into it in the next books.
I enjoyed the characterization of Elena and Jean-Paul immensely. Elena is firmly rooted in her vine witch ways, and she’s not at all apologetic and what she is. Jean-Paul, on the other hand, is so very strictly scientific. When the two meet, it’s wonderful and fun to see them clash because of their differing beliefs.
There are some very surprising twists that I didn’t see coming at all! When they happened, I loved that I could look back and see the clues for myself. The way it was all set up was very satisfying.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fun, witchy fantasy that I ate up as quickly as I could. I’m excited to read the other books.