October 2, 2019

The Vine Witch Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


The Vine Witch (Vine Witch #1)
Author: Luanne G. Smith 
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: 47North
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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.
The Vine Witch is the first book in a new fantasy/paranormal series that fans of witch fiction are going to love. I personally adore anything witch or witchcraft related, so I was already excited to read this book. Then I read the description and found out it was set in France. Since I'm also a huge Francophile, I knew I absolutely had to read this novel. Witches in France? I don't know if you can get much better than that in my opinion.

I did generally enjoy the story, although the plot ended up being a little dull for my tastes. I liked getting to know Elena and the other major characters throughout the story. They were all pretty realistic and I could identify with them at least a bit. The two things that I loved the most were what I was most excited about - the magic and the setting. I loved learning everything I could about Elena and her vine magic as well as the other types of magic out there. The setting was perfect and the author did a fantastic job of describing it to the point where I could close my eyes and picture it all perfectly. There were two big issues I had with the book. The first I already mentioned - the plot being boring and not at all what I had been expecting, and the writing style the author chose to write the story. She used the third person point of view with Elena as the main character. I personally don't care much for this style and almost always prefer the first person POV. That definitely was the case with this novel. I honestly believe that if the story had been written in the first person POV with Elena as the narrator, I would've had a completely different reading experience. I think the first person POV would have been perfect for this story and would've let me connect more deeply with Elena and invest in the story on a higher level. Sadly, this wasn't meant to be, so I ended up with a less than great reading experience. Don't get me wrong - these are wholly my own personal opinions and don't reflect on the book itself. I know plenty of other readers won't have the same "issues" that I did and will love the story. Again, this is a completely unbiased and honest review and it represents my own personal opinions. This was an okay start to a new paranormal series that definitely has potential. If I had it my way, the next book would be done a little different, but that's just me and my preferences. I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy paranormal, fantasy, witches, magic, and books set in France.

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.

Win a copy of The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (US Only)
Starts: October 1, 2019
Ends: October 15, 2019

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