Book Review: The Glamourist by Luanne G. Smith (ARC)

The Glamourist

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Publication Date: 09 June 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Fantasy

Pages: 282

Publisher: 47North (Amazon Publishing)

A spellbinding novel of bloodlines, self-discovery, and redemption by the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Vine Witch.

Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.

Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be? 

So in case y’all were unaware, there are two things that I love most in this world: wine and witches (sorry to my husband lol). And the fact that Luanne G. Smith brilliantly delivered this in The Vine Witch (here is my review), you can imagine that I was tripping over myself when she announced The Glamourist.

Elena Boureanu is back with her fiance in tow. Elena is a revered vine witch at Château Renard, which is known for its renowned wines. But Elena wasn’t actually born a vine witch. That was the vocation of her adopted family. Rather than focusing on her duties at Château Renard, she is called in to address the poison witch heritage that her biological mother possessed and that lurks in her veins. Before she’s even allowed to explain herself, her vine witch status is revoked and she quickly finds herself as an outcast.

Yvette Lenoir is a known criminal who has always felt inept when it comes to magic. An unfortunate mishap lands her back in the city that wants her head on a spike. When her adoptive mother gifts her with a token from her mother, Yvette is determined to unlock the magic that she knows that she’s always had. Yvette enlists the help of Elena. Together, both women can finally unlock the secrets of their bloodlines without breaking a thousand laws while doing so, or can they?

While I loved that The Vine Witch focused more on Château Renard and the role that Elena played as a vine witch, this book gives us a greater insight into Elena and explores abilities that she has but were never discussed. Additionally, we see the parallels between both Elena and Yvette as they come to terms with these abilities that were passed down biologically but are vastly different from the ones of those who adopted them. This really calls into question the life long debate of nature versus nurture, and I loved watching it play out with these two women.

I found that the magic and mayhem in this book was really turned up several notches. That’s not to say that Elena wasn’t hold her own in book one, but this one really felt like that action packed adventure as they two were out defying the law in order to determine their place in the universe (all while discovering some really amazing magical abilities).

I honestly commend the author for creating these magically laced immersive stories that leave me wanting for more as I finish savoring those last few pages.

Thank you so much to Luanne G. Smith for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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