Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin – Book Review

Hello Humans! Today I’m excited to be reviewing a book which contains some of my favourite things – witches and romance. Yes.

I received Serpent & Dove in the latest Harper 360 mailout and I had absolutely no idea what to expect which I often find leads to some of the best reading because you’re not tied down in expectations. So, with a bus journey ahead of me I set out to see what was going on.

Serpent & Dove

Goodreads Summary: 

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.

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I think it’s going to be difficult to avoid comparisons to Enchantée for this one, it’s unfortunate that these two ‘hidden magic in French settings’ published so close to one another, ’cause these two are actually fairly distinct – but, if I’m honest, I think for my preferences Enchantée is the stronger of the two. I think that might just be my bias against romance-focussed YA so let’s just say if you liked one it’s likely you will enjoy the other.

But let’s look at Serpent & Dove in and of itself. I am a bit of a sucker for a forbidden magic story, so this hit my buttons at least a little bit. I liked how magic worked in this book and I thought the way that the ‘coven’ was dealt with was, while dark, pretty interesting. I was only a little bothered by the idea that ‘only women can be witches’ because it wasn’t overly plot-relevant and thus the sort of transphobia/ trans erasure of that statement wasn’t the worst?

Where I did feel it got a little ludicrous was the fact that Lou, a hidden witch, ends up married to one of the people who is attempting to kill her and her kind? I enjoyed it purely for the sake of just how silly it was, and mostly I think the book was self-aware? It knew what it was doing was a little funny but did it anyway – and you have to respect that.

I think anyone who enjoys a vaguely cheesy romance will like this book – it certainly made me smile at times, these two are exactly what you might expect from a book marketed on unlikely pairings!

Overall, I think this book was fun, don’t get me wrong it gets pretty darn dark towards the end, to the point where it was almost jarring in comparison, I’ve been on a bit of a run of dark books lately but if you’ve been reading more ‘fluffy’ fiction (I say that as a compliment) it might be a bit intense.

My rating: 3/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, all opinions are my own.

Serpent & Dove is out October 17th!

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

What say you? What lighthearted romantic fantasy do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below!

J

2 thoughts on “Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin – Book Review

Add yours

  1. This one hit all the right buttons for me, guess I was here for the cheesy romance!! 🙂 I agree the initial concept is one that takes a bit of suspension of disbelief, but Lou was a character who stole my heart, so I went with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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