The dust jacket description of Viper Wine sounded promising, and I was really looking forward to seeing what author Hermione Eyre would do with such a unique and fantastical premise. (Well, I say “fantastical,” but, FYI, the story is supposed to be based on real events). In a nutshell, beautiful Venetia hates that she is not as attractive as she once was. She starts taking a mystery potion to make herself look younger, but her magical elixir has unexpected and very destructive side effects.
Despite its promising subject matter, the book was surprisingly boring. It sprawled and meandered without ever providing much substance. Venetia’s character, especially, was disappointing. I was intrigued by her in the beginning of the novel, but she never developed into anything more. In fact, many of the characters fell flat, in my opinion; they seemed more like caricatures than complex people.
The one positive thing I can say about Viper Wine is that it definitely evokes a specific time period in history. So if you are someone who likes to go hang out at a Renaissance fair and get lost in the romance of the past, you might like this book more than I did. As is, though, the book’s wordiness, coupled with its unimpressive plot and characters, made it a disappointment, in my opinion.