Hello! I am so excited to be participating the Fantastic Flying Book Club (FFBC) book tour for Vine Witch, a fresh and unique book that is part fantasy, part mystery, and part romance. This was a light and quick read and perfect for reading by the fire on a cool fall evening, sipping pinot noir. Check out below for the synopsis, my take on the book, some favorite quotes, and more info about the blog tour and how you could win your own copy of this one!
Title: The Vine Witch (Amazon, Goodreads)
Author: Luanne G. Smith
My Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
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 part fantasy (or maybe magic realism), part mystery, and part romance, and that is a combination I can get behind. I loved the very original setting and premise: the idea of “vine witches” who help the vineyards of France to thrive and produce incredible wine? That is pretty cool! And I liked that our main character, Elena, was strong enough to stand on her own two feet and use her quick wit and intellect to solve problems and make her way through life. Beyond that, though, I did have a little trouble connecting with the characters and caring about what happened to them. It was like I was being told all about Elena and her past experiences, instead of getting to see them for myself and vividly feel what she feels. The same for Jean-Paul. It felt like the author did a lot of research to get the setting and the details of the magic just right, and the character development and oomph took more of a back-burner, if that makes sense. The interesting little magical details were enough to keep me reading right through to the end in almost one sitting, but I think the characters and story will fade from my mind pretty quickly because I just wasn’t very emotionally invested.
“What the eye couldn’t see, the imagination filled in. We put names to the unexplained. Cast it as something to either fear or worship. And yet just because a thing can’t be seen doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”
“She couldn’t imagine how stunted life must be in the city to form such an attitude toward magic. All that stone and steel must obstruct the mind’s eye.”
“She gave the wine a swirl, and Jean-Paul knew if there was ever magic in the world it was in that glass of perfectly blended seven-year-old pinot noir.”
“In my profession we use faith to see; in science it’s the microscope. With magic, we don’t yet know how to quantify that range of unseen energy. We lack the proper tool. But not so for the witch.”
“The world had changed, not him. Though that wasn’t quite true. For good or bad, he would never be the same after the things he’d seen.”
About the Author: Luanne G. Smith
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.
Blog Tour Schedule
Prize: Win a copy of THE VINE WITCH by Luanne G. Smith (US Only).
Start Date: 1st October 2019
End Date: 15th October 2019
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