I really enjoyed the first book in this series The Vine Witch. Interesting magic, self-contained story, solid pacing, believable romance, fun mix of characters. The Glamourist, the second entry in The Vine Witch series, loses a lot of the fun and magic of the first book. While still a self-contained story which I greatly appreciate, The Glamourist lacks focus and fails to add anything interesting to the stories of characters that stick around. It’s– fine.
Vine witch and potion master, Elena Boureanu, finds herself in Paris with her betrothed in order to settle the issue of her registration as a vine witch. She can’t rightly make wine and also be known as a venefica, a witch who specializes in deadly poisons and potions. While in Paris, Elena runs into one of her cellmates from time past, Yvette Lenoir. Yvette is still a fugitive and still has not shown any magical promise despite knowing she comes from magical parents. Together, Elena and Yvette endeavor to solve the mystery of Yvette’s lineage while evading capture by the police and bandits from Paris’ seedy underbelly.
Overall, this book really is fine. Though not as fun as The Vine Witch, it is still an enjoyable, light read to get you through the weekend. The main issue is the constant jumping around between Elena and Yvette’s stories. The lack of focus means that we can’t fully dive into either story or develop any really connection to the outcome of either of their plights. I wish that Yvette had been the focus of this book entirely with Elena existing in a supporting role rather than trying to have the two share the spotlight. Sidra, the third jailbird of that magical jail cell, also makes appearances throughout the book but largely as a deus ex machina.
I will still be reading the third book, The Conjurer, when it is released. This book hasn’t undone all the goodwill of the first.