Serpent & Dove has been a highly anticipated release for a ton of people! I’ve seen so many raving reviews before the publication date and I couldn’t wait to read it. Storytel had the audiobook so I was able to listen to it pretty soon after it was released. This was marketed as a witch and witch-hunter love story and even though I’m not a romance lover I was intrigued! Let’s get into it!
"A brilliant debut, full of everything I love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night. Serpent & Dove is an absolute gem of a book." —Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Court of Thorns and Roses series
Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland.
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.
As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.
Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.
Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave readers burning for more.
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Published by HarperTeen on 03/09/2019
I adore the cover! It’s simple yet it has so many details. The color scheme fits the book quite well. I can look at this cover for hours and really want it in my collection. The design fits the story and the title and get’s me excited to start reading right away.
Un malheur ne vient jamais seul. Misfortune never arrives alone. —French proverb
When listening to the audiobook I realized I didn’t actually read the synopsis of Serpent & Dove. And I actually really liked that I went in pretty blind. I did know this was a witch x witch-hunter romance but that was pretty much it. The setting was pretty French and I loved it. We get a couple of French proverbs before some chapters, and I wished I wrote them all down. They were quite beautiful and fit the story perfectly.
Serpent & Dove brings us back to the time of the Inquisition when the church was on a witch hunt. However, this time around, the witches are real. I love reading about witches and this has quickly become a favorite witchy read. The magic system was interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. I especially liked the consequences, that’s not something you see often.
The plot was quite interesting as well. I did see some of the twists coming, but definitely not all of them. And I think that’s partially because I was so engrossed in the story and the characters so I didn’t really think ahead. But also in part because the twists were well-written and just not that predictable.
I really don’t want to say too much about the story. The setting and world-building are great, with a wonderful magic system. We also dive into action pretty quickly, and the rest of the book keeps a good pace. I enjoyed the writing style a lot and would highly highly recommend Serpent & Dove.
“I never said it was your god. Your god hates women. We were an afterthought.”
While I really liked the story and the setting, what I loved most were the characters. Louise ‘Lou’ Le Blanc is our main main character, a witch in hiding. First off, doesn’t she have the best name? Second, she was amazing! I adored her humor and laughed out loud quite a couple of times. Lou can take care of herself and is not what is expected of proper ladies in this city she’s living in. She wears trousers, she swears, she steals, and she manipulates when its needed. While she’s pretty far from perfect, she was perfect to read about. I can’t wait to see more of Lou.
Reid is our other main character. He is a Chasseur, a witch hunter for the Church. Reid is so uptight and quite stuck in the Church’s ways and believes. But he shows a lot of potential and was pretty lovable in my opinion. I loved that we got an enemies-to-lovers with a forced marriage and think these were the perfectly matched characters for this situation.
We also get some wonderful side characters. My favorite two are Ansel and Coco and they need to be protected at all costs. Ansel is a Chasseur in training and such a sweet hard. He is also super loyal and would love to have him in my corner. Coco is a blood witch (so cool) and Lou’s best friend. I really enjoyed the friendship between the girls and loved that it was still present even though we got a plot and a romance. So many YA friendships are forgotten once the plot progresses or when the main characters falls in love. But here we kept seeing Coco, who is also loyal and super cool.
“I was no one’s sacrifice. Not then. Not now. Not ever.”
All in all this was an amazing debut and I can’t wait for the sequel. This might be one of my favorite witch reads and I hope to read more from this author. The ending had me craving the conclusion to this duology right away and I need to develop some more patience now haha. In the mean time I would love to get some witch-y recommendations in the comments!