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

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Goodreads

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 love makes fools of us all, this book damn well made a fool of me.

Wow. This just ticked all the boxes. I admit, I’ve wanted this book for so long because of how beautiful the hardback edition is. I’ve also heard so many good things about it and…it has witches. What more could a reader want? But I never expected this book would become, well, one of my favourite books ever.

I picked this up because I was unsure about buying the Blood & Honey Fairyloot box without reading the first book, so I started it so I could make a decision. Immediately, I was gripped. By the time I reached the patisserie on like, page 25, I was in love. Serpent & Dove is set in the beautiful city of Cesarine, which I imagine to be Paris. It feels like a fantastical Paris, and it fits so well. I’m a sucker for fantasy set in a beautiful city, and the way Mahurin talked about the landscape just took my breath away. I was immersed from the start.

There are some things that can’t be changed with words. 

And then there’s the romance. I can’t. This has every trope going, love to hate, slow burn romance, love triangles are even thrown in…but I loved it. Most of the time, cliche tropes will make me roll my eyes, but this just swept me along for the ride. I loved the characters and just wanted them to be together.

Which brings me on to…the characters! Ah, Lou. How I loved your badass spirit and determination, with a soft heart underneath. Reid, with your gentle, loving soul and bravery. Ansel, with your loyalty and resolve. They were broken and real and tormented and I adored them all.

Everything about this book just took my breath away. I wanted to read it constantly and I was thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it. I would read it first thing in the morning, last thing at night. I was reading 100+ pages a day without even batting an eyelid.

Some things have to be seen. They have to be felt.

One last thing to note is I would definitely count this as New Adult rather than YA! It is on par with Sarah J Maas with the…ahem..quite steamy scenes.

As you can probably tell, I loved this book so much. If magic/witches, fantasy in a beautiful city and a slow burn romance sounds like something for you, you need to read this book. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas!


★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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