Book Review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

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Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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So I’ll be honest, the reason I decided to grab this book off my shelves and finally read it was because:

  1. Everyone on bookstagram is/has been raving about it, and
  2. I saw a really amazing piece of fan art that blew my mind and got me falling in love with the main characters before I even opened the cover. (it’s completely NSFW though so I won’t link it here.)

I am so glad I decided to pick it up though because I really enjoyed reading this book! I smashed through it in a matter of hours and it was just so entertaining. For some reason going into it, I assumed it was a stand alone book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we’ll be getting a sequel!

Serpent and Dove is your classic enemies to lovers/ fake marriage troupe (one of my favourites)! The story follows head strong and foul mouthed Lou, a witch in hiding stealing to survive and the stoic and loyal Reid, sworn into the church as a Chasseur and lives by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. As their lives intertwine they are forced to confront their prejudice and forget everything they think they know about one another.

So one of the things I really loved about this story was the magic. It had a really eerie and interesting quality to it that was really immersive to read. It really did feel like something that could be feared! I would love to learn more about how the magic system works for each of the different witch covens too, but I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming book(s). The world building was awesome and really atmospheric! I felt like I could have been there with Lou on the roof top of the old theatre watching the stars, or walking along cobblestone streets, eating sweet buns!

The characters! Lou was so sassy and fun! I loved that she was so outspoken and forward thinking. Reid was a bit of a cardboard box to start with, but that was to be expected given his character. He had a lot of great growth in this book and I’m sure he’ll have a lot more in the next. The supporting characters were all really interesting and added something different to the plot (particularly Ansel, bless him)!

Overall this was good and I will definitely continue the series. I’m really looking forward to where these characters will go next, particularly after one very exciting and interesting revelation at the end of the book! I’m hooked! I’ll be giving Serpent & Dove 4 stars!