Book Review by Mel: The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox

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the vintner's luck elizabeth knox

The Vintner’s Luck, by Elizabeth Knox
Series: Vintner’s Luck, Book #1
Publisher: Picador
Release Date: August 5, 2000

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


One summer night in 1808, Sobran Jodeau sets out to drown his love sorrows in his family’s vineyard when he stumbles on an angel. Once he gets over his shock, Sobran decides that Xas, the male angel, is his guardian sent to counsel him on everything from marriage to wine production. But Xas turns out to be a far more mysterious character. Compelling and erotic, The Vintner’s Luck explores a decidedly unorthodox love story as Sobran eventually comes to love and be loved by both Xas and the young Countess de Valday, his friend and employer at the neighboring chateau.


Mel has requested that this novel not be tagged. She says: I think the protagonist might be bi but I don’t think this is a fitting description for the time and the book, so I left this open. It’s also not really a classical romance although it tells a love story…

Paranormal Historical Fiction


Could we only this once make an exception? Only once? I tell you to read this book and you just do it?

Because the book left me rather speechless, you see? So please, don’t expect this review to be very eloquent. I fear it might be a little unsubstantial.

I wish I could talk about The Vintner’s Luck with wisdom and insights because I feel like this is what it deserves, but, annoyingly, I find myself lacking. So I’ll be focusing on feelz instead…

The Vintner’s Luck is beautiful and sad. It’s holding unto your heart and feels wonderful and terrible at the same time:

I had to give myself up to you for your lifetime. What is faith when you feel you’ve lost something forever? I had to have you – someone I could lose forever.

This book touched me deeply and while the feeling of wonder and amazement was predominant, I think it also hung heavy over my head.

Sobran and his angel Xas meet every year, and I thought this allowed for some very interesting and unique pacing. We’re following Sobran’s whole adult life and partly that of the people he knows and loves.

‘Plant a pepper tree. It should be big enough within twenty years to set a table under – all summer for your family, and for us, on our one night.’

Sobran’s and Xas’s relationship goes through many phases and not all of them are pleasant but my fascination and caring always won over the negative and the heart-break.

What I think is very fascinating is that we find many modern and quite forward themes in this book that is set in France in the first half of the 19th century. Although still befitting the time in its depiction of women, relationships, and religion, for example, I love that the book surpasses conventions and expectations. Basically, I think that there is a lot of depth and invention to all of these aspects. The book takes these themes and creates something new and challenging – even to us today – by not letting itself be put into boxes.

There’s a sequel to this book that I’m really looking forward to. Elizabeth Knox is a new to me author and I’ll make sure to look into what else she has written. The Vintner’s Luck for one goes straight to my favourite shelf and I highly recommend it.


Elizabeth Knox was born in Wellington‚ New Zealand‚ and is the author of eleven novels and three novella and a book of essays.

You can buy The Vintner’s Luck on Amazon

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2 thoughts on “Book Review by Mel: The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox

  1. I don’t know how I feel about a sequel. I can’t imagine Xas with someone else, even if not necessarily in a romantic way. I kind of selfishly want to keep him and it (the story) just the way it ended.


    • Heh… I think it’s a good place to stop as it feels complete and in a way satisfactory, but I just want to see Xas happy again 😉


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