Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin is a magical and romantic tale. The book is told through the perspectives of the two main characters: Lou, a witch on the run, and Reid, a young man who has only ever known the life of a chasseur, or witch hunter. When events force them together and they are coerced into marriage, both of their lives change in ways they never expected. Especially when they realize they might not hate each other, after all.

What Worked For Me

All the French. French folklore, French words, France patisserie. I adore anything French. The city of Cesarine, the church, the theater, the chateau were all wonderfully descriptive and magical settings. As much as I love French, I haven’t read a lot of French mythology and folklore so reading about the Dames Blanches, and the Dames Rogues was new and exciting.

The Magic System. Shelby Mahurin’s magic system was unique and refreshing. The visual representation of magic was amazing. I loved the way Lou used magic and how the author explained it. It leads room for so many interpretations and ways to explore it. I’m also hopefully we will find out more about the other system of magic in the next book.

The romance. The romance in this book was such a pleasant change from romances in other young adult books I’ve read lately. The protagonists don’t like each much at the beginning, but they are rarely cruel to one another. I also really appreciated while both protagonists change over the course of the book, they learned to appreciate one other for who they are. Reid is totally #bookboyfriend goals.

The side characters. A book always needs great main characters, I love a book where the side characters are just as intriguing. This book had a great collection of side characters, including a third act introduction who does his best to steal the show. There are characters you love to love and love to hate. And one cinnamon roll of a chasseur who I just want to hug and make sure nothing bad happens to him every again.

The twists. I love me some good twists in books. Serpent and Dove had a nice of “oh I totally called that” twists and “wow I didn’t see that coming!” twists. It’s just a satisfying feeling when the breadcrumbs fall into place and a big twist happens.

What Didn’t Work For Me

The historical part of historical fantasy. This book deals with the history and mythology of the Catholic Church. I didn’t love this aspect. I’m usually not big on historical fantasy for this reason. It’s hard to piece together what is based on real events and what is fabricated by the author for the book. I usually don’t want to spend time researching to figure it out, I would much rather just read something that I know is completely fiction. But I won’t fault the author for one of my personal preferences.

(Somewhat) Unsatisfying ending. The ending doesn’t really give much resolution. It’s not really a cliffhanger, but things don’t feel finished from the main arc of the book. It does set the next book in the series up, but I still felt like a bit of emotional resolution was missing. The BIG THING happened and then the characters just kind of talked about what they were doing next and that was it. I wanted to see more emotional resolution, especially between the two main characters. It wasn’t terrible I just wanted something…more.

Overall

The book was a really fun read. It’s fast-paced and exciting. I enjoyed both main characters, which isn’t always easy to do in a multi-POV story. I’m looking forward to the next book, Blood & Honey which comes out in September.

Blurb

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 ene-mies 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.

Links

Serpent & Dove and the next book Blood & Honey can both be found on Amazon. The picture is the regular book and the exclusive book jacket I received from the Bookish Box. Links are affiliate links.

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