Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (The Vine Witch #1)

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith // VBC Review

The Vine Witch (The Vine Witch #1)
Luanne G. Smith
Published: Oct. 1, 2019 (47North)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Elena Bourneanu lost seven years of her life when she was cursed to live as a toad. When she finally makes her way back to human form, and her sense, she discovers that the home she’s always known—Chateau Renard in the Chanceaux Valley—has been sold to a mortal man, Jean-Paul, who has no use for or belief in the ways of the vine witches. Regardless, Elena is determined to seek revenge upon whomever cursed her. She suspects it is her ex-fiancé whom Elena spurned after his greedy intentions with the Renard vineyard came to light.

When mysterious animal deaths begin happening with more frequency around the Valley, Elena fears a witch has broken the sacred covenants, signed centuries ago to help keep dark magic at bay. Elena will discover just what kind of power she wields.

I don’t know about you, but I think 2019 has given readers some wonderful Fall books. What a perfect time of year for ghosts, vampires, and in this case witches.

I loved the organic feeling of the magic in The Vine Witch. How much the actual act of growing the grapes and tending to the vines, anticipating the change in weather and the soils requires a finesse that is, in itself, a kind of magic. Hitting home the idea of working the land and the changing of the seasons (a la Fall). Luanne G. Smith just enhances this almost preternaturally honed talent that is passed down through generations. Most all the magic encountered within this first book had that “born with” feeling as opposed to something that is learned.

I thought it was interesting that Jean-Paul being an outsider—not originally from the Chanceaux Valley—and a mortal cannot see the threads of magic in the way Elena can. That there’s this other layer to looking at the world that is elusive to those who aren’t witches. I’m very interested at exploring a setting outside of the Valley, seeing if the potential divide between mortals and witches is as polarizing as it seems based on Jean-Paul’s initial thoughts about magic. 

The romance is rather unassuming yet invariably sweet. It’s a little too light for my liking, but the main draw of the book was figuring out who cursed Elena all those years ago and if they are linked to the disturbing animal deaths occurring throughout the Valley. There’s just so much untapped history and lore that I feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface of with The Vine Witch. I kinda hope this is a series that follows different characters in the same world because there’s a real sense of vastness to the book.

Overall, The Vine Witch was an enjoyable read. A very promising start to a new series, and just perfect as we get closer to All Hallows Eve. Enjoy!

Sexual content: References to sex

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