on October 1, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
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.
I was thoroughly surprised about this book. I’m not going to lie, I initially picked this up because the cover is gorgeous and the title intrigued me. And then I read the first sentence in the synopsis and I was like, okay sounds good! So, by the time that I ended this book, which is refreshingly short within the fantasy genre, I was pleasantly pleased with how much I enjoyed this one. I’m not sure if it was the magic or the fact that it took place in a vineyard and I do love my wines. 😉
I’m still somewhat new to the fantasy genre, at least in the Adult Fantasy that is, but this was so well-written and it’s such a unique setting for a fantasy. The atmosphere that Luanne G. Smith creates within this novel is just spectacular. I wanted to savor every drop of this story like I would my glass of Malbec. I simply adored this this book and by the time it was over, I just wanted more. I actually wished that this book was one of the longer fantasy novels. I wanted more of the atmosphere, more of the characterization, more development within the romance between Elena and Jean-Paul.
I was a little surprised at the ending with who ended up being the one who cursed Elena. But only a little surprised. And, the pacing of the book from the climax to the ending, seemed a little rushed, but all-in-all, I am really happy with this book. I think it’s a great cozy read.
I am really looking forward to the second book The Glamourist which is coming out this upcoming June. If you’re a big wine-o, love magic and witches, and books with a great atmosphere, you should really give this one a try!