Yeah, okay, I stole the tag line from Lucky Charms but really, if fits so perfectly!
I honestly think anyone who likes great books should read these, but they are must reads for historical fans, especially if you’d like a little magic in your historical romance.
Seriously these are some of my new favorite books. They are set in the early 1900s in France. THE VINE WITCH (book 1) is set in french wine country, and THE GLAMOURIST (book 2) is set in The City (aka Paris).
The creativity and world-building in these books is simply magnifique. Yes, it helps if you love France (c’est moi) and if you like magic in your books (bien sûr). But I’m pretty sure that most readers will appreciate the imagination, creativity and craftsmanship in these.
The storylines are very complex – there is mystery, romance, so many unexpected twists and turns, both mortal and mystical, that you never know what to expect. The writing and the world-building are simply lush and gorgeous.
Against the already inspired inventiveness of her inspired magical canvas, Smith weaves in historical realities of the era—the interest in spiritualism, the complicated class dichotomies of La Belle Époque, the distinctive architecture of Paris in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and so much more.
Plus, everything is set against the backdrop of a secret magical society that looks down on mere mortals and feels more than a little misogynistic.
The main character of the first book, Elena Boureanu, winds up in prison and meets two other magical women who are the main protagonists of the next two books.
THE VINE WITCH and THE GLAMOURIST were among my favorite books of 2019 and 2020 (I think I can call it, even though we’re only in August, I liked it that much) and I can’t wait for THE CONJURER (book 3, which releases in January).
Have I convinced you? Read these books! 🙂
THE VINE WITCH
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.
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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