Book Review

SERPENT & DOVE by Shelby Mahurin

Rating: 4.5 / 5

I have had my eye on SERPENT & DOVE by Shelby Mahurin since it first came out. When some friends were putting together a buddy read for April I tried to resist adding another book to my already full TBR, but then in the space of about a week I received a SERPENT & DOVE mug and bookmark in two different sub boxes and clearly I couldn’t help but order myself a copy of the book!

SERPENT & DOVE follows two people. Louise is a witch, but a couple years back she ran away from her coven and gave up magic. Not only is the world against witches, but her own mother is out for her blood. Reid is our other protagonist, a chasseur loyal to the church who firmly believes in the principle “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”.

Clearly there couldn’t be a more antagonistic pairing, but a situation arises which forces the pair into marriage. Lou is now living surrounded by enemies who wouldn’t hesitate to burn her at the stake and she must continue to keep her secret well hidden. The battle between the witches and the church continues to escalate.

I had seen several glowing reviews of S&D before I started reading, so I expected to enjoy it from the start, so I was a bit worried when I didn’t feel well engaged with the story at first. I needn’t have worried though because it didn’t take too long before I was fully invested. This is a dark story and the fight between the witches and the men of the church is fierce and bloody. Even as Lou and Reid begin to grow closer, Reid’s animosity against fellow living creatures is not always easy to read. He was raised by the church and is fully indoctrinated to the point where discovering Lou is a witch would likely have him lighting the match to burn her.

I have been figuring out that fantasy reads are ones where I have to give the read time to get me hooked. Between the world building, characters and the magical systems, there is a lot that the author has to tell you in the beginning. Once that is firmly established, this book is full of drama and action with a touch of romance which worked well for me. I am very much looking forward to the sequel due out later this year!

Reading Challenges:

#AroundTheYearIn52Books – a book related to witches

#NerdReading2020 – start a new series

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