Things are finally settling down for us after our recent move across Canada. I am slowly getting back into my reading, bookstagramming and blogging routines.
My first read this month was Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.
Title: Serpent & Dove
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Length: 513 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.03
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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.
Based on the synopsis of this book, I thought it was going to definitely be a 5 star knockout for me. However, while I did like it, I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would and that surprised me.
A witch and witch-hunter falling in love against their better judgement is right up my alley. Nina and Matthias from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology are one of my favourite couples ever. However, as much as I was trying to love this book – there were a number of things that kept getting in the way.
Firstly, while the world-building and magic system of the book were intriguing – I did not think they were fully fleshed out enough. Also, the similarities between the Church in the book and the Catholic Church were jarring for me. While I understand the point Mahurin was making -with all of the similarities it seemed like it would make more sense to have the book set in an alternate France with witches and chasseurs, rather than a French inspired fantasy world. Maybe that’s just me though.
I also noted many similarities to other YA book series. While I am not opposed to that, again, I found that they would sometimes take me out of the story because they were so noticeable. For example, our main character Reid is reminiscent of many other book heroes – right down to his scent.
All of that being said however, I still did enjoy this book. Lou and Reid are strong characters, and I enjoyed how their romance developed organically. Coco and Ansel are also interesting, and I am looking forward to seeing more of them. There are also some very interesting plot twists – that’s what really elevated this book for me. At first it felt overly familiar, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it – but then bam – it got interesting and hooked me.
I gave this book 3.5 stars – I had some issues with it – but even so – I enjoyed the story and the characters. I appreciate what the author was going for and definitely want to see where she goes with the story in the later books.
If you are a fan of enemies-to-lovers stories, witches, and plot-twists – then I think you will find something to enjoy in this one.
Have you read it? Am I off-base? Let me know.
Happy Reading! 🙂