Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – ARC Review

 

My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  3 September 2019

Publisher: Harper Collins Australia

Format: Paperback

Pages: 519

 

Blurb

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.

 

 

1

Review

Thank you so much to Harper Collins Australia for providing me with a copy of Serpent & Dove, in exchange for an honest review.

 

After escaping a terrible past, Lou is living as a thief to make ends meet.  She is a witch who renounced her magic and spends every moment in public making sure no-one knows what she truly is.  The witch hunters of the church, Chasseurs, would burn her at the stake without question.  When the captain of the Chasseurs, Reid, attempts to arrest her as a thief, things go horribly wrong and the Archbishop insists on Reid and Lou marrying, to avoid humiliation for Reid.  With Lou’s old enemies breathing down her neck, can she hide with those who would kill her if they knew her true origins?

I have been anticipating this books since I first heard about it (and let’s be honest, since I first saw that stunning cover!).  Although the start was a little slow, my hopes were definitely not disappointed by the end!  The story is a slow burn, with a wonderful amount of fun and humour thrown in.  The characters were incredible.   Told from dual points of view, Lou was a foul mouthed, gutsy girl who loved nothing more than baiting the refined and straight-laced Chasseur’s around her.  Reid was both sweet and fierce in his beliefs, mostly that witches are abominations and his life duty would always revolve around ridding the world of their kind.  Even the side characters were interesting and memorable.  Sweet, nervous Ansel, strong and beautiful Coco, Madame Labelle, who runs the local brothel, Prince Beau, they were all people I couldn’t get enough of and I hope we learn more about in the next book.

The magic systems in Serpent and Dove were brilliant and well described.  The ‘exchange system’ of magic Lou and her ancestors held was so thought provoking and I found myself putting the book down for a moment a few times and thinking up exchanges that would work!

There is a strong theme of the pitfalls of prejudice within the story, as both Lou and Reid hold the belief that  no-one on the opposite side of the war to them, witches or chasseurs, could ever be good.  I loved the way the story didn’t go down the usual path of a clear cut ‘villainous side’ and ‘good side’.  Both the church and the covens were in the wrong – but within each side resided people with not such black and white views.

I enjoyed this story so much and I am dying to read the next book already.  I have to say, I really can’t believe this is Shelby Mahurin’s debut novel, it read like a seasoned writer’s book!

If you’re a fan of enemies to lovers, witty banter, bad-ass female characters, witches and magic, make sure you add this one to your TBR!

 

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