Blog Tour

Blog Tour: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

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I’m the last stop on this blog tour and this book was an unexpected delight; witchery, wine-making and wevenge (revenge, geddit?)

Vine Witch

Title: The Vine Witch
Author: Luanne G. Smith
Pages: 263
Publication Date: 1st October 2019
Publisher: 47 North

Synopsis

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 favours 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.

Review

The Vine Witch started with a great hook – how did Elena Boureanu survive seven years cursed as a toad? How did she escape? And who cursed her?

I really enjoyed the different elements of the supernatural in this book, especially as we see them both through the eyes of Elena, and Jean-Paul, as this world is slowly revealed to him. I especially loved the idea of being so close to the natural world that there is something beyond what can be seen, from malignant creatures to the energies running through everything.

And quite honestly, I just loved the idea of a ‘vine witch’ – of someone who not only sees and cares for the vines, but is intrinsically linked with them. Of having a witch’s workshop, filled with bottles and potions and remedies. Glorious.

This all adds to a Chocolat style of magical atmosphere – the French setting, the period/fantasy background, the threat of something external and the combination of something both magical and whimiscal.

I did find parts of the story a little repetitive, and there were times when a chapter recounted an action, rather than allowing the reader to experience it – this at times felt like you had fallen asleep, and the story had carried on without you (but always caught you up). This sometimes felt like being jolted in and out of the story.

I also have a few questions about the magic system – some of this was explained through the witch purges and Covenants of the previous century, in this setting. But with so many witches in this world, and with so many areas of strength and skill, it seems strange that they have allowed themselves to be confined to ‘side’ acts in this world. Some of that can be explained through the ‘period’ of the fantasy setting, but aside from society, there appeared to be no limits to a witch’s power.

All in all, in was an enjoyable story, an enjoyable world and a lovely pastoral setting with an excellent mild threat. For me the ‘who’ became obvious, but not the ‘how’ – and that’s what made the ending particularly good. I’m also especially pleased to see that there is a book two coming out soon – the ending doesn’t require it, but this is a world that I would gladly dip into again.

4 stars.

About the Author

AUTHORLuanne 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.

GoodReads Website Twitter Instagram

Giveaway Time!

This tour has a giveaway! Enter to win a copy of The Vine Witch via this Rafflecopter link. This giveaway is only open to the U.S. and you can enter up until October 15th.

I received an early copy of this book from Amazon First Reads and was pleased to be selected to take part in the Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour.

 

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3 thoughts on “Blog Tour: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

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