Title ~ Serpent & Dove
Author ~ Shelby Mahurin
My Rating ~ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre ~ Fantasy (YA)
Publication Date ~ September 3rd (US) October 17th (UK)
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.
First Thoughts ✨
This book opens on such an explosive chapter, it really shows you that this YA book is more on the adult side right before you jump in. I loved that this chapter set the mood for the rest of the novel – it created an atmosphere I didn’t want to leave. The rest of the book we follow both Reid and Lou (Louise) as they meander through their, not so happy marriage. The Lou chapters definitely out-number the Reid chapters, which I did mind at the start but then when we got to know Lou, I couldn’t get enough of her. This book, like I mentioned, is on the more adult side of YA it nearly crosses into New Adult territory. Which if you know me, you know those are my favourite YA books – some books are too YA, and they feel like middle grade, but this was the perfect blend of that easy to read writing, but great character growth and a few swear words. I haven’t felt this strongly about characters since ACOMAF, and throughout reading this book it just showed me how good Shelby is at crafting her characters.
Overall: The first scene was really good and it really drew you into the novel.
I think the story wasn’t the main focus in this novel, exactly. Or maybe, I was so involved with the characters that I was like where is Lou, where is Reid, the whole time. I really started noticing how smartly Shelby put all of the pieces together at the end of the book. I was blown away at how well the little, not so important things where such major, story altering pieces. It really kept me on my toes. I also loved that the plot twists where so unexpected. I normally always now what’s coming in a book or movie, it’s kinda like a sixth sense — but in this book I thought one thing, and then came another. This really kept me reading as I wanted to see more, and more plot twists occur. My favourite part of the story hands down was the middle. The part of Lou & Reid. Getting to see them acclimate and get to know each other was wonderful. I loved that they were polar opposites – that just made it twice as much fun to read about them!
Overall: I loved the start and end equally, but the middle part was my favourite.
Louise: The first chapter starts off with Louise (Lou) which is expected as she is the protagonist of the story, and let’s just say the bar was raised so high after I met her. She was smart, funny and she wasn’t afraid to do anything as long as it got her where she needed to be. Lou was always two steps ahead of all the other characters. Always, thinking, calculating on what was her best option. I felt like her reasoning for marriage was perfect, she thrust herself into an unknown world, just to make sure she would benefit in the long run. We learn early on that Lou is running from someone, and this person is the only being on the planet that she’s scared of. I loved that it was subtly hinted throughout the novel, but I guessed pretty quickly who this was, and then I got scared for Lou!
Overall: Lou was an amazing character and the bar was raised with her as the protagonist.
Reid: I loved Reid so much, he was the perfect counter to the spitfire that was Lou. He was very controlled and disciplined. He took none of her nonsense. The funniest parts of the story where their dialogue scenes. The way Lou made Reid feel, and be around her was hilarious. I loved that eventually Reid started to warm up to her, and see a side of her that wasn’t so vulgar and vile. Reid very much felt like the water to her fire, they balanced each other perfectly.
Overall: Reid was the perfect balance to Lou’s fiery attitude.
I don’t want to go into the side characters as I wouldn’t be able to describe them fully without spoilers and I think it best for you to experience them first hand.
Last Thoughts 💭
The last part of this book wasn’t my favourite, as I knew this book was ending and I really didn’t want it too. Honestly though, I loved the end part also. It held the action and the incredible plot twists that we were built up too. I couldn’t put the book down during this part as all was unraveling and we finally started seeing everything click into place. It also left on a very “there’s a second book” feeling which made me incredibly chuffed! I can’t wait for the sequel and I highly recommend you guys pre-order/get this book!
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I hope you guys enjoyed my review and let me know if you’ve read Serpent & Dove and what you thought of it. thanks for reading – nick