Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Witches
Page Count: 528
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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.
“I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt…I don’t know if she returned that love, and I didn’t care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.”
You can set my pyre on fire. I’ve found my new enemies-to-lovers fave. All I needed to know is that a witch and a witch hunter fall hard for each other. Then I’m hooked. But if you’re looking for a filthy but perfect romantic fantasy, Serpent & Dove is your book! I fell for this book. It took me weeks to dig through my emotions and thoughts. Shelby’s debut novel may be one of my favourite reads of 2019. And I wasn’t expecting such a reaction though.
Shelby crafts convincing, endearing main characters who make you invested in their journey and struggle. While the plot is a solid read, I believe the characters are what makes this debut. Louise le Blanc, a witch who abandoned her coven, makes me laugh, cry, and squeal. Yes, squeal! Her mouth is dirtier than mine. And I adore how she has survived so much. She’s ruthless, but she’s universal.
Shelby’s storytelling gives you a unique outlook into Lou’s and Reid’s inner thoughts. Each chapter offers up a stronger understanding of these multi-faceted characters who were pawns in a larger game. Reid Diggory, the holiest witch hunter I’ve ever read, may be my next love. Seeing him evolve from a naive boy into a male of worth is one of the best character developments I’ve seen lately.
The romance and the writing follow at a close second. I cannot separate them since they work together beautifully. This love story will break your heart. The writing and storytelling will keep you fighting through the pain. The hype is strong yet real, so don’t let that worry you though. Serpent & Dove is a superb debut worth the read.
“Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from you.”
“Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay.”