A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy set in turn-of-the-century France.
This is going to be a spoiler-free review of my experience reading The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith.
The Characters & World Building
The beginning of this book develops a significant intrigue towards the characters. Particularly the main character, Elena Boureanu. You are left wondering why she was cursed for a significant portion of the book and it is this that fed mostly into my investment her as a character. Aside from that, I didn’t feel like I really knew her? or any of the characters. I knew who they were and their relationship with Elena but I feel like the book could have done with significantly more characterisation.
The romance lacked something for me as a result. Because I didn’t feel especially attached to anyone, I wasn’t really routing for any of the relationships. Which I admittedly do like in a book.
The world building was done well and I could vividly picture the vineyards and almost taste the wine just from reading!
The Plot & Story Progression
The plot was an interesting take on romance, betrayal and witch culture. I really liked how the magic system was implemented, it’s so detailed and highly descriptive. In fact it provided some well needed inspiration for my own writing!
“The heart had a tendency to harden off after being forced to survive inside a life two sizes too small, deprived of the oxygen of dreams.”The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
The middle of the book did slow down significantly which meant things got kind of boring but I understand that it was for plot development. For those of us that like to read face-paced story lines the middle portion of this book may prove a struggle. Listening to the audiobook was helpful in overcoming that though. Not to mention at just over 240 pages-ish, The Vine Witch is a very short book!
That being said, the twists at the end were worth the slog through the middle. My mouth was agape at the final few chapters, it was satisfying to know that the build up for all those slower chapters was for something so mind blowing!
Want to read The Vine Witch for yourself? You can do so using my Amazon affiliate link, here.