by Shelby Mahurin
Series: Serpent & Dove #1
Published by HarperTeen
Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Magic
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
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.
Best YA Debut of 2019
I’m calling it now: Serpent & Dove is my favorite book of 2019. Hands down, this book is also the best debut of 2019. Shelby Mahurin hit it out of the park. This debut has something for everyone. Allow me to enlighten you.
These people will enjoy this book:
~Enemies to lovers fans. Reid is a witch hunter. Lou is a witch. Need I say more?
~Forced/fake relationship fans. Reid and Lou are forced to get married even though they can’t stand each other. Reid thinks Lou is a lowly criminal while Lou knows Reid is a witch hunter.
~YA Fantasy fans.
~Fans of Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. Lou is feisty and fierce with a ton of swagger like our favorite assassin.
~Fans of witty banter. Witty banter is my Achilles heel. Believe me when I say the banter is top-notch in this book. It’ll satisfy all of your banter needs.
~Everyone. What can I say? I’m confident in my love for this book.
Serpent & Dove follows Reid, a chasseur aka a witch hunter, and Lou, a witch. This book is told from both of their perspectives which I loved. Lou and Reid have a few encounters–not good ones, I might add–before they are forced to get married. I won’t say why they’re forced to get married because it’s more fun to find out on your own. From the outside, this marriage is a shock. Chasseurs are allowed to get married, but it’s not that common. The few that do get married usually end up leaving their positions behind. Reid is captain of the chasseurs and refuses to ever give up his position. He was raised to become a chasseur. In his eyes, nothing can or will ever sway him from his purpose–ridding the world of evil.
Lou, on the other hand, is a young witch in hiding. When we meet her she is after a magical ring. We don’t know what it does or why she wants it. All we know is that she needs it for protection. Being forced to marry a chasseur was not part of her plan. But, soon she starts to see some merit in it. Her enemies would never look for her with the chasseurs. What sane witch would live amongst the witch hunters? Oh yeah. Lou would. However, Lou is walking a fine line. She needs to practice magic to prepare for when she is found by her biggest enemy, but magic leaves a distinct scent behind. If the chasseurs catch wind of Lou practicing magic she will be burned at the stake.
I can’t say enough great things about this book. Mahurin captures the essence of France in this particular time period perfectly from the atmosphere to religion to the particular view and treatment of women by society. You will truly feel transported to the past when reading this book.
The character development for Lou and Reid is also executed extremely well. One of the overarching themes of this book is prejudice. Reid and Lou are tested in many instances. They’re forced to learn that not all people–chasseurs and witches, in particular–are alike. This leaves them with the options of either sticking to their convictions and preconceived ideas or learning that they may be wrong.
The side characters in this book are written well too. I can’t wait to get to know them better in the next book. Coco and Ansel are amazing. Coco is the friend we all desperately need. She’s loyal, bold, and courageous. Ansel, on the other hand, is the cinnamon roll of this book. He truly must be protected at all costs. Quite frankly, he’s too pure for this world.
Lastly, the romance is everything I hoped for and more. It’s written very organically which makes it feel realistic and authentic. You’ll fall for Lou and Reid as they fall for each other. It was amazing to see them lower their walls and be vulnerable in front of each other.
If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of this book. I encourage everyone to give this book a shot. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If you read and love the book, let me know! I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts!
Hi, I’m Skye! I’m a college student by day and a bookstagrammer and book blogger by night. 😉 I’m also fluent in the language of sarcasm, so my kryptonite in any book is great witty banter.
Check out my Instagram account if you want to see my latest book obsessions! Also, feel free to reach out to me on social media if you ever need someone to fangirl with! I love meeting new bookish friends. 🙂