Title The Vine Witch
Author Luanne G. Smith
Release Date October 1, 2019
Description from Amazon
A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy 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.
Ok so this was entirely a “bookstagram made me do it” purchase. @xentatine did an unboxing for this book a while back and it looked so interesting, I had to give it a read. Well, technically, I listened to it as an audiobook, but I was really excited about the premise all the same.
Some Things I Liked
- Adult fiction. I don’t read a ton of adult fiction (I lean more toward YA), but I loved that this was a bit out of my usual genre. I liked that Elena was an older character and I found her to be more relatable because of that.
- Fantasy grounded in reality. I read too many stories where everything wraps up neatly and precisely. Characters who you thought were bad turn out to be good and everything is happy. The Vine Witch is filled with realism and I loved that. Elena’s circumstances were terrible, and she wanted to do something terrible in return. I don’t want to go as far as calling her “morally grey”, but, she exemplifies a realness in her struggle to sort out her life.
- Subject matter. I thought the concept of “vine witches” was so unique. I’m not a big wine drinker myself, but I know a decent amount about it from my days as a waitress. I loved the care and detail used to describe both the technical and magical aspects of wine making. Reading this book made me want to like wine more.
I was happy to see the way this story wrapped up. I feel like I have closure with Elena but there are so many open possibilities of future storylines described throughout this book. I could easily see the next book, The Glamourist, being a spin-off story about one fo the other ladies Elena meets in prison. Or, I could also be happy with another story about Elena. Overall, I’d just be happy to go back to the world Luanne G. Smith created.
I adored this book. I am so glad I stumbled upon it on Instagram and now I am a lifelong fan of Luanne G. Smith’s writing. She painted a vivid world with an incredibly captivating magic system rich with characters that I am eager to learn more about. This book was the perfect fall read and I can easily see myself re-reading it next year.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – ok, this is one of my favorite books of all time. I can easily say, if you liked The Vine Witch, you will enjoy The Night Circus. Both stories have such rich world building and are perfect fall stories.
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – if you liked the supernatural elements in this story, witches, demons, etc., give the All Souls trilogy a try.
- Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – once again, if you liked the witches element, do yourself a favor and read this new release by Shelby Mahurin. It’s seasonal, perfect, and has multiple POVs.