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.
If you are keeping up with the bookish community on social media at all, you’d know the hype Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin has gotten. I’m always a bit hesitant when it comes to hyped books, as I’m sure many of you are too. When a book is made up to be perfect, fantastic and wonderful, you are almost bound to be disappointed. Right?
Well ladies and gents, believe me when I tell you this book did NOT disappoint me. In fact, I think it was fantastic. Let me tell you why.
Plot and Romance
First of all, I think you should go into this book excited for a broody, enemies to lovers romance. You will 100% get what you came for. I expected little else but the romance, and was actually pleasantly surprised by the worldbuilding and exciting plot. However, if you go into this book expecting an epic tale about witches and an intricate magic system, you will likely not enjoy this book as much. I do think Shelby Mahurin did a fantastic job of switching up the more character heavy, romance scenes with exciting fight scenes and some lovely plottwist.
I will be an Ansel stan for life. He is such a sweetheart and funny and overall perfection.
The friendship between Coco and Lou was also amazing. I am so glad we’re over this YA (although this book reads more like NA for sure) female-hating-female competition thing. Give me strong, loving female friendships! We support each other and want the best for our friends!
The character development was especially amazing for Reid. He underwent a huge personality change, but the build-up was in my opinion done in such a way that his actions and reactions felt completely natural.
What I liked, and what I didn’t
‘He really was too tall. Abnormally tall. Entirely too big for this small of a space. I wondered if he had some sort of disease. My eyes cut back to his chest. Probably.’
This book was absolutely hilarious. Lou is this tiny, pretty woman with a foul mouth while Reid is an almost 7 feet tall man who is continuously shocked by his little heathen. The contrast between the two is extremely funny and endearing. There is a lot of foul language (and some bawdy tavern songs as well) so you’d have to be able to deal with that, but I loved it.
The way the witches formed their own society and beliefs was extremely well done. They are strong in their femininity, and don’t shy away from entering into F/F relationships. If the covens are accepting new initiate witches, I’m totally available.
The only thing I did not entirely love was that the writing style was very modern. In a sort of medieval setting (again, the world building isn’t that extensive) it was jarring and took me out of the story sometimes. But it was also very easy to read and I flew through this book, considering I am also studying for my finals.
Overall, I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommend!