Book Review, Paranormal, Young Adult

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

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.

Serpent and Dove was a wonderful book to read! I enjoyed the characters and story line. I did not know this was the author’s debut novel. I give her kudos and am looking forward to book number 2.

Lou was a character I enjoyed. She hides behind her armor of sarcasm, humor, and profanity. She wants everyone who she does not trust to feel miserable or agitated around her. Lou is a rounded character once you understand her. She only trusts a small group of people do to her being a witch and not only a witch, but someone important for her coven. In this novel, keeping her nature a secret is a life or death situation. I understand where some readers have an issue. Her wishy-washy choices contradict her character. I feel this was intentional because Lou herself does not know what she wants on a personal level. She knows she needs to hide from the Chasseurs and her coven or her mother. Her coven raised her for a reason and purpose, and she does not know how to look forward. 

Reid was an okay character. He was your typical brain washed character. What I like about him was, he was an honest and loyal character. He was loyal to the Chasseurs and the Archbishop and honest to Lou on how he felt about her. He was honest about his way of life all until the Archbishop forced Reid to marry Lou. He may not have wanted to be with Lou, but he took her as his responsibility for keeping her safe from others. His perspective on the world was black and white where Lou’s was gray. I believe he could have been more developed, but I think his character will flush out more in the next book. At the end of the novel, he was shaken up with what happened, and he will continue to be tested.

Coco and Ansel are great side characters. They keep the main characters Lou and Reid on their toes and question their decisions. Coco tells Lou how it is and gets away with it. They have been friends since childhood and both care for each other like sisters. They both would do anything for one another, and this shows in the story. Poor Ansel haha, he is easy to manipulate, especially around Lou, but I think it is Lou and Coco who shows him the world is more than black and white like the Chasseurs believe. I want more of these characters and will look forward to more development in the next book.

The world building is not that heavy in this book, but it has a French medieval feel towards it. The fight between the witches and the church, the Chasseurs, who are like warrior monks, but not like the knights templar, is very heavy and driven in this book. What I loved was the way the Author had explained the different covens, (two that we know of), and how their magic works and differs from one another. The magic is unique from each witch. 

I recommend this book to those who enjoy the enemy’s love story or the story of witches vs the church. This was a great read and am looking forward to the next book.

I give this book a 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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