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Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
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Serpent & Dove

by Shelby Mahurin

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17311107,833 (4.03)1
"A brilliant debut, full of everything I love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night. Serpent & Dove is an absolute gem of a book." --Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Court of Thorns and Roses series Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland. 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. As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation--marriage. Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all. Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave readers burning for more.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
It's been awhile since I enjoyed a book with a fresh plot line. Very easy read. I swallowed this book in two days because I couldn't put it down. I love Lou and Reid as a couple and separately. The secondary characters are dynamic and believable. I even loved the villains. The story kept me locked in and hungry for more. I can't wait for book two.

Few things I didn't love. I felt the dialogue could've used some maturity. I know the book is geared toward YA but it would have benefited from intelligent dialogue. Second, Lou was consistently immature with no personal growth. Being that she had been through so much, I felt she should've changed and matured by the end of the book. Change in characters and character development are what keep the readers coming back. Third, being Lou is suppose to be this rebel, I felt the acceptance of the marriage was out of character for her. There should've been more rebellion and maybe a waiting period before she accepted.

Being that this is the author's debut novel. I felt it was good overall. If you want an easy read, this is a great book for you. ( )
  KateReads13 | Jan 6, 2020 |
I liked this one more than I expected I would, especially after reading some unfavorable reviews before I started it. The whole thing is fun, cute, flippant but with a serious heart. It contains some great discussions about right versus wrong, evil for the greater good, and blinding loyalty to any cause. There are enough answers to make this a one-and-done story, so I was surprised to see that it is the first in a series. I am not certain how Ms. Mahurin is going to make it happen without the story becoming repetitive. Also, I do think we need more sexy times between the characters because they are done so well.
  jmchshannon | Dec 28, 2019 |
4- man I hate the mother in this, really really hate her. The father isn't much better, so prepare yourself for some crappy parent figures. I had to get that out, i was that mad at them when I finished this book. This was an unexpected enjoyable read. Great characters with deep dark secrets, danger, and challenges in beliefs, it all made for a great read. Now i need book 2, there was a cliffhanger ending and I need to see one character go down ! ( )
  TheYodamom | Dec 27, 2019 |
I very much enjoyed the whole story behind SERPENT AND DOVE.

The characters in SERPENT AND DOVE, definitely make the story strong. Lou was strong, smart and independent. Reid is an interesting character, but hard to read most of the time. I had a love/hate relationship throughout the book due to his beliefs, but going through the motion of learning about him, you understand where his prejudice is coming from and why. He doesn't quite live up to the man I thought he should be until it's almost too late. Lou and Reid are NOT in love, they don't even LIKE each other. They are forced together and tolerate each other for most of the book as they slowly learn to coexist, then like, then respect, then more.

Lou and Coco's friendship is awesome! There is nothing like a bestie that has your back no matter what life throws at you.

I had no trouble falling into the emotions of the story. I was heartbroken right alongside Lou at times and joyous at others. The world building wasn't the strongest aspect of the book, but the characters and their story make up for it in my opinion.

I plan to read book two.

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Nov 13, 2019 |
Literary Merit: Great
Characterization: Excellent
Recommended: Recommended
Level: High School and above

This might be one of my favorite books I’ve read all year. Probably top 5 for sure. The writing was great, the plot flowed nicely, the plot twists were somewhat predictable, but juicy non the less, and the characters were so fun.

In Belterra, witches are burned at the stake at the behest of the Archbishop and his Chausseurs, a fancy name for “witch hunters.” They’re seen as vile creatures, who only use their magic to torment and hurt others.

Lousie Le Blanc, or Lou as she prefers, is a witch who left her coven two years prior because of details that are too spoilery to get into. Living in the village of Cesarine, Lou does what she has to in order to survive. Having suppressed her magic so not to be discovered, she often resorts to thievery and lies to get by. When a misunderstanding in public leads Lou to an arranged marriage with witch hunter Reid, so many delicious plot elements begin to unravel.

The romance and growing relationship between Reid and Lou is definitely one of the main focal points of the book, so I went into this thinking I was reading a fantasy/supernatural romance, rather than just a straight up fantasy, which I think made me enjoy the book more. The world building is still great, and I had a very clear understanding of the general rules of the land, so it’s still a great fantasy, but if you’re not in it for the romance, it may not be as enjoyable.

The chemistry between Reid and Lou is fantastic and firey and just everything that makes this book fun. I love Lou’s strong-willed nature and her determination. She is such a smart cookie, I adore her. Very Lila Bard, if you are a fan of the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. And then there’s Reid. So sweet at the core, with a tough exterior. He was raised to believe witches are evil but he grows to love Lou and has a completely different mindset by the end of the novel. He has great growth and a really nice character ARC that I think will only develop more in the next book.

I just loved everything about Serpent & Dove. The characters, the pacing, the plot, the witches, the tropes; it all worked really well for me, and I highly recommend checking it out. ( )
  SWONroyal | Nov 12, 2019 |
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