by Shelby Mahurin
Series: Serpent & Dove #1
Published by HarperTeen
Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Magic, Romance, Suspense, YA
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Now, can I just say. . . . .
This book, I can’t even begin to describe in the appropriate words how much I LOVED this entire narrative and plot and characters and everything. Just, everything.
One word does come to mind though and that is: GRAY
Let me explain. The world or storytelling isn’t gray in that it’s bland or even boring. Oh no hunny, this story is anything BUT. What’s gray is the fact that we have two sides, witches and witch-hunters, one good and one bad right?
What we know and what we think we know gets completely turned around and we are left with villains and heroes on all sides. This story isn’t black and white, there is no villain with a grand evil plan and will rule everyone and practically the world. Nope, this war is an ancient one. It is a war that cannot and will not end with a hero saving the day when all is said and done, this war has shaped the minds of witches, witch-hunters and ordinary people. And our main character Lou, is in the middle of it all. Centuries of magic, betrayal, love, and beliefs are tested and showcased so brilliantly in this novel. It took me a little longer than usual to read it because there were moments where you just had to pause and take the scene or moment for what it was and just think about it.
This is an aspect that made me put this book above the rest I’ve read in the past, it made me think. It made me view the world in a new lens, and that is what a book should do. No matter if there is no magic or an ancient war happening between witches and witch-hunters where I live now, I could connect to this book. I could connect to Lou and Reid in their differences and similarities.
I could even connect to the side characters. Every person in this book had a purpose, they had great development and a successful arc. It’s a book that you love to read and you have to re-read again, and again, and again just to make sure you got everything. The writing was so well done, and it made the flow of the book so easy. I was never bored, waiting for the action. Even without the fighting (which was awesomely constructed), I felt as if the characters in the most mundane scenes were just as important, if not even more than the scenes filled with action.
Lou and Reid are also two characters you do not want to miss out on. They each have their flaws, they have their pain, their tragedy, the slow-burn romance (CHEMISTRY UGHHH), and they have their humor through their witty banter. They have their stories to tell and it’s about living with their past and learning to trust one another with their hearts and story. To be who you are, flaws and all and want to be better. Trusting us as readers with their story. The friendship with other characters and their friendship with each other is also built so beautifully.
I also feel as if I need to comment on the whole marriage aspect, and I’ll admit, at first, I was nervous. I felt as if it’d be too forced. I truly wondered in reading the summary, in what ways could Mahurin force these two characters together into a marriage that I would not see coming? And truly be surprised by.
Well, Mahurin does it, and I did not see it coming. In expecting it, I found myself still gasping in shock when this marriage takes place, and when it happens it just flows so wonderfully and as a reader, we never miss a step. We are walking right beside the characters and everything makes sense, you don’t question it. The magic and the way its rules are constructed make sense and they are consistent, along with the witches. It was really well done and the story moves at a natural pace that as a reader, we never feel bored. I could tell just how much research and information that was done and incorporated into the book along with how it was so well planned out and created.
You do not want to miss out on this novel, it is a one of a kind read and it’s something that one just has to journey through for themselves. Trust me, you’ll want to experience the amazingness that is Serpent & Dove.
Hi, I’m Elizabeth!! I am 22 with a bachelor degree in English Literary Studies. I love to read and talk about books 24/7, and when I’m not reading I am usually rewatching my comfort movies and shows for the hundredth time—specifically, anything Jane Austen!