Review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)

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.

Oh, what a ride. What a fantastic ride to board when I'm trying to motivate myself to read more.

I've been avoiding long books, as my attention span seems to be so short these days and so as a result I have a back log of long, rich fantasy books that I just haven't read and really need to read. Today I told myself I was going to read Serpent and Dove because the hype was so huge and frankly, I was expecting it to let me down.

It didn't.

I mean, yeah, this book is tropey. It is hella tropey. It has as many tropes as a fanfiction and in so many ways it reads as one. 

But does that necessarily need to be a bad thing? Just because Serpent and Dove doesn't do anything too out of the box doesn't mean that it doesn't put all of the tropes together in a really well thought out way. It was unpredictable in a way that was predictable, like I knew that twists were coming and certain things may happen, but I didn't know the when or the how, so it did keep me guessing.

I absolutely loved the characters as well. Lou was spunky and funny and just a likeable character. She was vindictive and manipulative, but in a way that fit with the character and made me cheer her on rather than disliking her. Reid was adorable in this good boy being corrupted but still keeping his core values (to a degree). Coco was very likeable and supportive and I loved her little side story - I feel like I'm going to see more of her in the upcoming sequel. Bas was a wasted character though - we get all these words about their past in the first bit of the book and then - poof, he's gone and then Beau just turns up which seemed a little out of the blue.

The romance did develop quite quickly and it didn't feel entirely natural to start with but as soon as they both admitted their attraction, it just clicked for me. And yes for good, well written sex scenes. I've not read anything that steamy in a YA novel in a looong time and I totally appreciated the inclusion.

The only thing that did sort of throw me off at times was the dialogue. I understand that in fantasy books the dialogue has to suit the setting, but some characters justs eemed stilted and try hard - namely the Archbishop and also Morgane. It did seem to veer into fanfiction as opposed to rich, fantasy setting.

The pacing in this book was excellent though, from start to finish I was engulfed and absorbed and could not put it down. I was reading while cooking, while cleaning, while feeding my baby, while trying to shove a pacifier in my baby's mouth so I could finish it. It couldn't put it down.

Now I need to go crack open Blood and Honey and pray that Reid and Lou get their happy ending because I might cry if they don't.

Book released 3rd September 2019 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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