The Vine Witch – Luanne G. Smith

a084c191561ed7d59732f717441434f414f4141This book is set in an alternate version of the turn of last century where witches can have many talents to help things along in the natural world. Elena is a vine witch – she’s been working at the Chateau Renard since she was a child, and the wines she’s been able to produce have been works of art.

As we start the story though, she’s just been able to emerge from a curse – seven years stuck as a toad. And when she finds her way back to the Chateau, she finds that her mentor, the woman she refers to as Grand-Mere, has had to sell the vineyard. The buyer is a man from the city who does not believe in magic. What he can’t see is that the entire vineyard is also cursed.  So Elena must find a way to convince the new owner to let her help him help the vineyard, as well as find the person that cursed her.

I liked this book – the magic is interesting, and the world shows a lot of promise. It does seem a little rushed – the romance (which you can see 5,000 miles away) was a bit rushed, and there seemed a lot of other opportunities to flesh things out that weren’t taken. The author has another book coming out that centers on one of the other characters – I’ll be interested to see where that goes, and how the world building continues.

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