Serpent & Dove Book Synopsis
Serpent & Dove is book one in a trilogy by author Shelby Mahurin and takes place a few years after that fateful birthday where Lou’s own mother tried to have her killed. Lou is now 18 years old, at the start of Serpent and Dove, and, with her friend Coco gets into all sorts of trouble. She’s also a Dame Blanche, a witch, and witches are hunted in Cesarine by witch hunters. Enter Reid, a witch hunter brought up to hunt and burn witches under the old adage ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’ When something goes wrong Lou and Reid find themselves thrown together in an arranged marriage where Lou needs to keep her heritage a secret from Reid, in fear that he will kill her. My short and snappy goodreads review is here.
Serpent & Dove is 528 pages long and for a book that focuses on romance and secrets it actually moves really fast. I think the dual perspective really helped move the story along because you weren’t ever second-guessing what the other character was thinking. There are some real laugh out loud moments and scenes in the book which I really loved.
Serpent & Dove Book Review
I first purchased Serpent & Dove on audible as part of my monthly subscription. I love listening to audio books as i fall asleep as i think the narration gives the fiction more personality. However, as i usually listen at night I often miss parts of the story and you can usually buy the kindle version of the book fairly cheaply if you already have the audible version and vice versa. I really liked the audiobook. Serpent and Dove is written in dual perspectives and I liked the casting for having a female narrator for Lou and male for Reid so it really feels like you’re getting two completely different perspectives when listening and I think each narrator conveys the characters personality really well.
Since becoming a bit more involved in the bookstagram community (you can follow me I’m @KatCandyfloss) I’ve seen so much love for Serpent and Dove so i thought i’d give it a read too and i’m so glad I did! This has helped me find some amazing Serpent & Dove merchandise, character art and discuss the book more in depth with fellow Witch lovers.
The best thing about the bookstagram community is getting involved in the preorder for the second book, Blood & Honey which I am really excited about. If you want to buy Serpent and Dove you can use my affiliate link below.
What I Loved About Serpent and Dove
Serpent and Dove is told from the perspective of two characters, Lou and Reid. Lou is angsty, tough, a theif, has to disguise herself and, most importantly, a dame blanche; a witch. After eaves dropping in on a conversation at a brothel her and her two accomplices, Bas and Coco, decide to steal a ring and this leads to a world of trouble for Lou.
Reid is a few years older than Lou, around 21 or so maybe and is a holy man, devout, strong, incredibly tall and very proper. He was an orphan raised by the church and then became one of the chasseurs, a warrior, a killer, a witch hunter. He’s there the night Lou tries to steal the ring. She gets away but they run into each other again and the chase resumes leading to both of them falling into a compromising position.
Enter my favourite bookish trope; Enemies to Lovers
The plot thickens when, to save the reputation of his captain, the archbishop forces the two to marry. A witch and a witch killer in holy matrimony. Of course, there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Throughout the story we see Lou and Reid deal with the difficulty in being married to someone they don’t know or understand. Their interactions together are funny, because it’s so obvious Lou has no care for the devout ways of her husband. Lou has had to toughen up for the last two years and she struggles with the lack of freedom her new life, stuck in the chasseurs tower. Reid, however, was in love with another woman who told him to put the church before marriage never expecting to find him married to someone so different.
Preorder Blood & Honey using my affiliate link
I really loved this story. The character interactions had moments of great tenderness as well as comedy. Both characters are fierce and stubborn in their own ways and dealing with a life they never saw for themselves. Lou has secrets that could get her killed at the hands of her husband if he knew she was a witch and is balancing on a knife edge throughout trying to keep her secret whilst trying to train her repressed magic to keep away from her enemies.
Serpent & Dove will be a trilogy
There is nothing I didn’t enjoy about this story. You really feel Lou’s anguish during the conflict of the book and it’s easy to start disliking the main antagonist when you finally meet them. The sub characters, Ansel and Coco are likable and really help to steer the characters concious. There is sexual tension which just makes you want to shout at the characters and get them to finally kiss. The writing just keeps you turning pages. I read this over a weekend as i just couldn’t put it down.
Serpent and Dove is an excellent young adult read with likable, interesting characters, great conflict, tension and surprise reveals. I loved it. lou is my new favourite, favourite female lead. blood and honey, (preorder with affiliate link) the sequel, will follow Serpent and Dove and i can not wait to get my hands on the next book! The author, Shelby Mahurin, is currently working her way through book 3 so it’s been confirmed that Serpent and Dove is the first book in a trilogy which is really exciting. I’m glad to know that there will be more to come in this world and I can’t wait to learn more about the characters and see what happens next. The Serpent and Dove age rating is Young Adult but it is fair to say that this book contains swear words and sexual activity so a book for the readers discretion to decide. It has been hinted at that Blood & Honey is darker (and sexier) so I would recommend this for older, more mature readers that enjoy YA books.
Serpent & Dove Book 2 – Blood & Honey
I have gone a bit mad for Blood & Honey preorder boxes and have got two coming in September. I went with the Beacon Box Blood & Honey collectors edition and managed to snag one of the Fairyloot Blood & Honey boxes. I’m also hoping to get the merch only Fabled Gifts box which I believe has full size candles and goes on sale in August. Shelby is currently running her preoder campaign where if you submit your receipt for a preorder you get some digital exclusives emailed back a few weeks after publication date including a Serpent & Dove excerpt from Book 3 which will be amazing. Find out more information about the preorder campain on Shelby’s instagram.
Have you read Serpent & Dove? What did you think? Have you already preordered Blood & Honey? Is there any exclusive merch you’re excited for? I will be unboxing my special edition boxes on my YouTube channel in late September and as I will have two copies of the books, one signed and one with a signed bookplate, I will be considering hosting a giveaway too.
One of my goals for 2020 is to read 52 books or around one a week. Some might be new, some are ones I’ve had for a while or been meaning to read, some I haven’t quite finished yet and some will be recommendations from others. You can see all the books I’ve read so far on my Good Reads 2020 Reading Challenge.