Book Reviews

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and DoveTitle: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Rating: ★★★

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.

War is brewing (ha!) between the witches and the Church. Lou, a young witch trying to keep her powers at bay and hiding from her mother, runs into Reid (a Chasseur: whose main goal is to not let a witch live) by mere chance. After their debale on a theater stage, they find themselves bound in holy matrimony.

A witch and a witch hunter bound in holy matrimony. There was only one way such a story could end — a stake and a match.

Plot twists, how I do love thee. And Serpent & Dove provided many!

Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay.

I think I am in the minority in saying that I found certain parts of the novel to be boring. And honestly, I felt like some characters were forced…aka Ansel. While easily lovable, his role felt forced and rushed. He went from pretty much being a mute slave to this ultimate stand-up guy the next second we encounter him. But Coco, there is a fun character! She was the only truly believable character to me and by far had the most personality.

Lou and Reid were just kind of “meh” to me. Everyone keeps mentioning a slow-burn romance, but I felt it was rushed and not believable.

One other thing that i felt could’ve been improved upon was the world-building. I didn’t “feel” like I was there. I had trouble imagining the setting. France? I’ve never been there, though, so without some details, it is hard to picture.

C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.
That is love, to give away everything, to sacrifice everything, without the slightest desire to get anything in return.
-Albert Camus

Serpent & Dove is a story of high-stakes, plot twists, and a change of heart. While this wasn’t my absolute favorite, the story line has so much potential! With world-building improvements and a look deeper into the world of covens, I believe the sequel can be a standout novel!

2 thoughts on “Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin”

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