The Vine Witch
Luanne G. Smith
Audio and Book
Free Narration with KU
A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy 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.
Uncaged Review: This is the 2nd book that did double duty this month, in both audible and reading. I would switch between the two depending on if I was inside or outside. The audible is fine, even though I tended to lose interest easier than if I was reading, which didn’t happen on the first book. So when that happened, I would pause the audible and go back to reading again. That doesn’t mean it was a boring book, it was a decent read. My attention span just wasn’t up to par.
This book starts out a bit strange, in that the witch has been cursed into being a toad for the past 7 years, so we are hearing her thoughts as a toad, so it was a bit confusing. When she breaks the curse, she finds that the vineyard that she keeps watch over has been hexed with a dark curse. In this tale, vine witches are the keepers of the vineyards, matching perfectly the picking ages of the grapes and keeping diseases away for the best harvests and wines, but the new owner does not buy into her explanation.
One thing that is not very clear in the beginning, is that this is set in historical France, and it becomes better realized as you get into the book more. There is a bit of romance and a bit of suspense and I think it’s a good debut book from this author. Reviewed by Cyrene