Serpent & Dove

Serpent & Dove

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 t...

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Title:Serpent & Dove
Author:Shelby Mahurin
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Serpent & Dove Reviews

  • Jordan

    I was lucky enough to read SERPENT & DOVE before publication, and it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. If you're a fan of Sarah J Maas' mature themes, then this is a MUST-READ. Below I've jotted some other reasons to pick this up. Don't mind my scrambled brain. Also, PICK THIS BOOK UP. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

    Things SERPENT & DOVE has that I never knew I needed until the second I did (in random order... because I said so):

    1. Forced Marriage: I swooned with the rest of

    I was lucky enough to read SERPENT & DOVE before publication, and it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. If you're a fan of Sarah J Maas' mature themes, then this is a MUST-READ. Below I've jotted some other reasons to pick this up. Don't mind my scrambled brain. Also, PICK THIS BOOK UP. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

    Things SERPENT & DOVE has that I never knew I needed until the second I did (in random order... because I said so):

    1. Forced Marriage: I swooned with the rest of the world while reading Outlander and seeing Jamie and Claire's relationship blossom, but the marriage of convenience in this is. so. good. Like, blow your socks off, melt your brain, and make you binge on Ben & Jerry's good.

    2. Chasseurs (AKA French Witch Hunters Affiliated with the Church): Brooding fae-men with wings are hot. Vampires are sexy. BUT THIS BOOK'S WITCH HUNTER, REID, IS THE PERFECT COMBINATION OF HOT, SEXY, SWEET, AND PURE. I will fight for Reid. I will die for him. And I will die for this dynamic of witch and witch hunter thrown together. AND HIS CHARACTER ARC.... UGHHHH. This is a man who learns his lesson. Multiple times. And it's fantastic.

    3. L O U: Our main heroine is so spunky, so sassy, you'll be cracking up with her on every page. With a tragic backstory, and, tbh, a tragic present, it's amazing she never once turned mopey or broody. She leapt off every page, and I don't think it took a single chapter before I knew she was going to be my best fictional friend. She's strong, funny, independent, and she puts Reid in his place often. So often. When life throws a challenge at Lou, she smashes it to bits and demands a sticky bun in return. SHE IS THE HEROINE YA NEEDS.

    4. The Sides being a bit more than Sides: Okay, so I could put each of these wonderful "side" characters into their own sections, but then I'd want to spoil and gush, and I CANT DO THAT YET. GAH. BUT, I will say, Coco, Ansel, and even lovely, stubborn Beau, will split your heart into three as you toy with who to give it to. Just share it between them and be done with it. Trust me. None of these characters feels forced, all of them have personalities and dreams and lives, and the way they compliment each other gives me SO MANY FEELS. I want to weave all the moment of Lou and Coco together and use it as a blanket. THIS IS A GOOD FRIENDSHIP LADIES AND GENTS. THIS IS A FRIENDSHIP I WILL WALK THROUGH FIRE FOR.

    5. Villains Being Beautifully Gray: THERE IS NO GOOD SIDE TO TAKE IN THIS STORY. EXCEPT PROBABLY LOU'S. ALSO BECAUSE I SAID SO. There are motives abound. This isn't some hastily put together nemesis who blabs about taking over the world and destroying enemies. This is real and raw. This is an age old fight between two sides- both in the wrong. Both in the right. And it's executed to actual perfection. There are so many layers to each antagonist, each read-through is a new, eye-opening experience.

    6. WITCHES: I know. I know. This is a witch book, and I was unaware I wanted witches. Going into this, the only witch stories I'd read were urban fantasies. I've never seen witches utilized in a historical fantasy such as this. There is darkness and depth. Maturity. Nuance. Shelby Mahurin made me more of a fan of witches than I imagined possible. Their magic system is so unique, so fresh, I want it etched into my brain forever as a HOW-TO-WRITE-MAGIC-PROPERLY example. And the witches relationships with one another, and to the earth, makes my heart pound double-time. I love them so much. Even if they're a tad creepy... and bloodthirsty.

    7. OTHER THINGS I CAN'T SAY BECAUSE SPOILERS: Wow. This plot is something else. You get pulled in because of the characters. Their dialogue took seconds to drag me under, but the plot kept me hooked. It's new. It's different. And I'm so obsessed with how this story plays out. The main plot, the romance, the friendships, everything ties together in the most poetic way possible. It's like reading Shakespeare, except I can understand it.

    All in all, SERPENT & DOVE is one of my favorite books of all time because it's different, but not. It has tropes we love in YA: hate-to-love, a bubbly, real best friend, war, tricky relationships, but it spins them on their head. It's not typical hate-to-love. It's not your usual bubbly best friend because Lou is equally as bubbly. It's everything I wanted in a book after devouring ACOMAF. Mature relationships and developed characters. Witty dialogue and beautiful prose. This book delivers in every way possible. I'm 1000% certain this book will RUIN the world. In the best way, of course.

  • ELLIAS (elliasreads)

    Holy Fuck.

    .

    Full review to come.

  • Helena of Sparta ✰

    This was amazing! What a

    ! I did

    think, going into this, that it would be earning itself a place on my

    ! If uni hadn't been such a hindrance (lol whyyy), I'd have absolutely torn through this in one sitting! If this is what Shelby Mahurin has to offer, I'm excited for what's to come in the future!

    This was an

    , reminiscent of Matthias and Nina from

    (aka my OTP of the series), but instead of

    ,

    was a

    an

    This was amazing! What a

    ! I did

    think, going into this, that it would be earning itself a place on my

    ! If uni hadn't been such a hindrance (lol whyyy), I'd have absolutely torn through this in one sitting! If this is what Shelby Mahurin has to offer, I'm excited for what's to come in the future!

    This was an

    , reminiscent of Matthias and Nina from

    (aka my OTP of the series), but instead of

    ,

    was a

    and

    was a

    .

    Setting the book in a 17th century French

    world (as in the Loudun Witch Trials) really added to the

    of the story. Also, the French student in me really enjoyed the smattering of French words throughout the book, hehe.

    This

    was so compelling and addicting! However, I will say that this book is definitely

    , as there is an explicit sex scene and tonnes of profanity, so be forewarned.

    In this new world of

    ,

    by order of the king. The

    are responsible for hunting them down and burning them at the stake. After fleeing her coven,

    , Lou resorts to a life of

    on the streets. Unfortunately, one bad event leads to another and she finds herself

    to the Chasseur, Reid. From then on, she struggles to

    from her husband -- a man who would see her dead if he knew what she was -- while also coming to terms with her

    for him.

    This

    novel was so well done and perfect for this time of year, so I can't wait for the sequel to be released next year. I'd recommend it to fans of

    ,

    , and

    .

  • ✨ A ✨

    Few things compare to that feeling you get after finishing a book that lived up to your expectations. Ever since I read the blurb of this book

    I was going to love this and

    .

    It had everything I adore:

    In the land of Belterra witches are burn

    Few things compare to that feeling you get after finishing a book that lived up to your expectations. Ever since I read the blurb of this book

    I was going to love this and

    .

    It had everything I adore:

    In the land of Belterra witches are burned at the stake and the Chasseur (Witchhunters), with the Archbishop as their leader, are ruthless. Their number one rule:

    Two years ago Lou left her coven (for reasons I shan't go into) and was forced to live a life of suppressing her magical nature and living in constant vigilence. She has to do what she can to survive. That being: lie, steal and kill if necessary. For life is hard in the city of Cesarine, especially for a woman.

    She's managed to live for two years undetected. She was careful... up until one burglary (gone wrong) set the wheels in motion.

    With the Chasseur on her tail and enemies of her past close on her heels, Lou slips up

    and ends up in a compromising position with the Caption of the Chasseur. The Archbishop comes up with a solution: Lou can either go to prison for the rest of her life or she can marry the Captain and save his virtuous reputation.

    Lou, being the smart girl she is, chooses marriage to the handsome Captain Diggory ; ). Being married to a Chasseur also grants her the protection she desperately needs from those who (also) hunt her.

    Reid Diggory is a dedicated witch hunter. Despite his views on witches, he is honorable and loyal. It was such a pleasure reading about him. He is so set in his ways and it was amazing to see him loosen up and change.

    The beginning was really funny as neither of them trusted the other and they were always bickering. Watching as Reid and Lou's relationship slowly blossomed, how they opened up and became more than two people stuck in an unwanted marriage was so beautiful.

    Their relationship reminded me so much of Matthias and Nina from

    . So if you loved those two, you're gonna love this!!!

    I'd actually tag this as more of a New Adult than YA.

    A warning for the youngins or for anyone not comfortable with it:

    Kinda like ACOMAF.

    The romance is a big part of this story but Lou has a part to play in the war between humans and witches and we're always made aware of what could happen if Lou's enemies were to find her.

    This whole story revolves around the Church against the Witches. I liked that

    One of the most important things for me when reading is whether I connect with the characters. And I feel like the author did a fantastic job in that regard. I felt their joy and their inner turmoil and by the end I would give an organ for any of these precious characters.

    I just loved everything about this book. The romance; the action; the plot twists — IT WAS BRILLIANTLY DONE.

    I could go on and on about how much I love this book but I think I'll stop now.

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    I wasn’t attending to the star giving auctions for too long but finally I FOUND A… ( oh no I couldn’t find an adjective to express my feelings about this book. Fantastic! No! Too weak! Extraordinary! No! Not emphasizing my emotions enough! Okay let’s get over this auction as I resume my brain storming to find the right words!)

    One zillion stars… Did I hear three zillion! What the hell! Five gazillion! What! One jillion, one jillion! Okay two, three jillion! Oh the read head crazy lady already wro

    I wasn’t attending to the star giving auctions for too long but finally I FOUND A… ( oh no I couldn’t find an adjective to express my feelings about this book. Fantastic! No! Too weak! Extraordinary! No! Not emphasizing my emotions enough! Okay let’s get over this auction as I resume my brain storming to find the right words!)

    One zillion stars… Did I hear three zillion! What the hell! Five gazillion! What! One jillion, one jillion! Okay two, three jillion! Oh the read head crazy lady already wrote 5 squillion starred review check! SOLD!

    I still haven’t found an adjective to describe how I fell in love with this book and it will need to be removed from my hands with an operation at the hospital because I accidentally glued my fingers as an answer to my husband tried too hard to pull it back and force me to sleep. Sorry pal, too many books not enough time is motto of my life!

    The reasons for a passionate real reader to fall in love with this book are:

    -Amazing story telling, fast-pacing progression, heartbreakingly enjoyable, likable, adorable characterizations, satisfyingly well rounded improvisations!

    -Main character Lou is a freaking WITCH falls in love with her own hunter, chausseur Reid! Yes, there is flaming, undeniable chemistry, forbidden, impossible, heart-wrecking, angsty, edgy love story! The enemies to lovers and becoming every adorable thing of each other kind of heart throbbing, sweet stories are always my big winners!

    Lou is witty, brave, tough, badass witch you want to choose to be on your side because she is more dangerous than she looks. And my dear Reid Diggory, charming, sweet chivalry in his shining fitting armor is one of the most loyal and genuine men in the earth. He still wants to protect Lou which is so noble intention as you consider the woman is already trained enough to protect herself as well.

    This is amazing journey took place in 18th century France! Do I need another reason to add for liking this book? O lala! Now I’m sipping my Sancerre that I saved for special occasions (I know my husband will kill me not wait for his birthday to change the bottle with cheap grape juice!) and absorbing each words slowly by touching the pages gently (I bought its ten hardcover copies to share it my friends but I decided I love this book so much and I’ll keep all copies with me! Please don’t tell my husband, I used his credit card that I borrowed to buy him plane tickets for his business trip which I didn’t! Shh!)

    This book makes you clap your hands with joy! It makes you smile, gives your soul a genuine laughter, brushes your heart gently and also makes you eat all your nails at the edgy parts and finally makes you jump up and down at your seat with its emotional turmoil.

    Oh I felt like non-stop talking PR person and exhausted already to find better words to describe my love about this book but I’m not good at talking. I’m a mediocre writer but I’m a quite lover of reading extra-amazing-fantastic books.

    THIS IS ONE of THEM AND SO FAR THIS YEAR’S BEST FANTASY BOOK I’VE EVER READ! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED NOT ONLY FOR GENRE FANS BUT ALSO FOR ALL GOOD READERS!

  • Prince Charming Doesn't Exist
  • arini

    ahh i love this book so freaking much!! and i've been walking on air since i finished it. this is an impressive debut novel that doesnt feel like one at all bcs of how outstanding the author’s writing craftsmanship is.

    im not good with summarizing, but basically this book is about two sworn enemies who, after a stunt gone wrong, are forced into a matrimony. however, there’s more to this book than just the slow burn enemies to lovers blooming roman

    ahh i love this book so freaking much!! and i've been walking on air since i finished it. this is an impressive debut novel that doesnt feel like one at all bcs of how outstanding the author’s writing craftsmanship is.

    im not good with summarizing, but basically this book is about two sworn enemies who, after a stunt gone wrong, are forced into a matrimony. however, there’s more to this book than just the slow burn enemies to lovers blooming romance.

    it has a distinct magic system, bloody action sequences, constant dilemmas between right and wrong, a strong female friendship, heart jolting plot twists, an unlikely alliance among different sets of characters, an alluring 17th century french inspired setting, and so much more.

    reading this book had been a living on cloud nine kind of experience. you know that stinging sensation you get in your chest when you feel touched by something?? well this book gave me lots and lots of that zap in my chest. it pretty much felt like this,

    i would strongly recommend you to

    !! but please don’t let the hype get to you. i would hate for it to ruin the surprise for you. just start the book with an open mind, and let it do its job to wow you.

    ___________

    ___________

    i love her to the moon and back. she’s sassy, spunky, clever, strong, independent. with the threat of her terrorizing past looming over her head and the chasseur incessantly hunting down for witches to burn, lou’s safety hangs in the balance. i love seeing her inner turmoil and how she slowly learns to view things from different perspectives, including that of her enemies. she’s so relentless in her pursuit to stay alive that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to survive. and i really admire this about her.

    that’s an insult laced with flattery if you ever heard one. his character lacks complexity, but i still like him nonetheless. i mean, even

    am not immune to pompous jerks with anger management issues. i found reid’s hatred towards the witches to be a little unconvincing. a lot of his reasons come from what he saw being done to other people instead of his own personal traumatic experience. he was also raised to hate them, which i can admit is understandable but also really judgemental on his part.

    _____________

    _____________

    - the romance between lou and reid is everything!! i love every single moment they have together. their banter is off the charts and super entertaining. their tension and emotional complexity could use some improvement. also, reid’s inner turmoil when he found out lou was a witch lasted too short. i think it’s because the author decided to reveal this detail to his character a little too late nearing the ending phase that reid didnt have enough time to be conflicted and reprocessed his shattered belief. regardless, their dynamic is satisfying.

    - she’s such a confident badass!! i love seeing her friendship with lou. she’s always so supportive and resourceful. seeing these two teaming up and doing all kinds of shenanigans together really warmed my heart. we need more of this strong female friendship portrayal in books. they’re seriously bffs goals!! also, since the next book is going to explore more about coco’s type of magic and her aunt’s coven, i hope to learn more about coco and her past. im still undecided which one of ansel and beau i ship her with more.

    ______________________

    ______________________

    i would say that the first ⅓ of the book, the plot is relatively weak due to lou and reid’s new relationship and living arrangement. after hitting the halfway mark, the plot quickly arises during the climax of the story which marks the crack in lou and reid’s relationship as well as signals the coming war between the witches and the church. the ending phase is filled with action sequences. ultimately the book finishes with a somewhat solid ending that’s not entirely a cliffhanger but still holds a series of unanswered lingering questions. it’s enough to give us the anticipation for the sequel.

    i also have to give credits to the writing bcs the author’s brilliance really shone through. it’s easy to read and highly addictive. i feel like even if the other elements of the story were poorly done, i wouldve still kept reading bcs of the writing. the other thing i'd like to mention is the 17th century french inspired setting. idk much about french, its history and culture. but what little of this book has shown really captivated me. i can only hope that the french ambiance will get more prominent and atmospheric in the next installment.

  • jessica

    for the first time ever, i picked up a book without knowing anything about it. i didnt read the synopsis, not the back cover, nothing. and i have no idea if thats why im rating this so highly - because everything was such an exciting surprise - or what, but wow. this had me hooked!

    the first thing that i noticed right away was the writing. my gosh, this does not read like a debut novel. this feels as if its written by a seasoned fantasy author. its utterly divine.

    and the content is sooo magical.

    for the first time ever, i picked up a book without knowing anything about it. i didnt read the synopsis, not the back cover, nothing. and i have no idea if thats why im rating this so highly - because everything was such an exciting surprise - or what, but wow. this had me hooked!

    the first thing that i noticed right away was the writing. my gosh, this does not read like a debut novel. this feels as if its written by a seasoned fantasy author. its utterly divine.

    and the content is sooo magical. its totally giving off massive salem witch trial vibes, but set in old france. there are some moments where the religion aspect of the anti-witch stance gets to be a bit much, but i understand why its included. it helps with some character arcs, so i get it.

    but overall, this surprised and excited me at every turn. i definitely need to start picking up books and going into them blind, because it proved to be such a wonderful reading experience! 10/10 would recommend!

  • Emma Giordano

    4.5 Stars! Such a beautifully rich fantasy debut. I was so pleasantly surprised to find how attached I became to the characters and overall story. This is not a book you are going to want to miss!

    Full review to come.

  • Zainab

    My dudes, this book was...

    .

    Okay so the only time I actually like romance in a book is if it starts off with hate. Dude I love hate. So obviously I was very excited for this book and it did not disappoint- well at least the first 300 pages didn't.

    The thing is, I really liked Reid at first because I thought he was chivalrous and all but there's a difference between chivalry and being a dumbass and our beloved Reid is a cringey dumbass.

    The romance was sudden and cringey and made me want to

    My dudes, this book was...

    .

    Okay so the only time I actually like romance in a book is if it starts off with hate. Dude I love hate. So obviously I was very excited for this book and it did not disappoint- well at least the first 300 pages didn't.

    The thing is, I really liked Reid at first because I thought he was chivalrous and all but there's a difference between chivalry and being a dumbass and our beloved Reid is a cringey dumbass.

    The romance was sudden and cringey and made me want to puke. Maybe it's my INTP side, maybe the romance

    awful. Reid is a very touchy guy like, dude, sheesh, back off.

    The last 200 hundred pages are a bit of a mess. The 'twists' were just thrown in all together creating a big mush.

    Still, there are quite a few things I enjoyed about this book.

    Lou and Coco's friendship is to die for. I actually enjoyed it more than the romance between Lou and Reid.

    Then there is the whole witches thing. My dude that was

    !

    And last but not least, Lou. She is quirky and smart and a badass.

    There's also some other bits but it'd get too spoilery.

    Writing this review taught me two things:

    1- I did not hate this book as much as I thought I did.

    2- I am one bitter hag.

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