An old world story of magic... The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (Review & #Giveaway) @The_FFBC

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The Vine Witch
(The Vine Witch #1)
By Luanne G. Smith
Adult Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 268 Pages
October 1st 2019 by 47North


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.

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My Review

THE VINE WITCH is one of those books that immerses you in its setting, historical with a touch of fantasy. The characters are likable with a mystery and touch of danger that keeps the story engaging from beginning to end. Recommended to historical fantasy readers who like their stories on the lighter side.

This reminded me just a little of A Discovery of Witches. It has that same kind of old world feel with a mystery that unfolds as the protagonist, Elena, comes back to herself after a spell. She finds a man has taken over her beloved Château Renard vineyards and she has to piece together what happened and find who cursed her. There are plenty of twists and the story keeps you guessing as to who exactly the villain is (I had a guess, but then I questioned it). There is romance, but it's a bit of a side story, which was just fine.

I enjoyed both the character development and the plot of this story. I liked the way Elena has to find herself again and then undergoes a bit of character development as she figures things out. I also really liked the whole idea of a vine witch and how they coax the vines with magic while partnering with nature. The magical aspects are woven into the story in almost an instinctual way that just feels natural, and don't become an intense part of the story until the climatic ending. The whole story just builds to it as the pieces fall into place. And that ending... marvelously done.

There were parts of the story that were crude and blunt. There were references to drinking and making love, etc. It's to be somewhat expected in an adult novel, but I would have been okay without the content.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed reading this. It was easy to fall into and want to stay until the end. Likable characters and an intriguing plot with just the right amount of romance and magic.

Content: Closed door scene, references to love scenes, drinking.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through the Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author

Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

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