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.
I found the idea of vine witches taking care of vineyards very refreshing. The rest of the world building with villagers accepting different kinds of witches and their magic (rather than prosecuting them) was also quite appealing. Plot has some magic, some suspense and some romance in it. There is very little of real drastic graphic cruelty in it but be prepared for some killings, bad witches and vicious demons. And , as a cherry on the top, there is also a surprising ending
I recommend this book to everyone who likes reading fairy tales. It is a perfect escapist book with likable and not over complicated characters and interesting magic world. Great debut.