- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (19 August 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062878026
- ISBN-13: 978-0062878021
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 4 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 576 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Serpent & Dove Hardcover – 19 Aug 2019
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"Will cast a spell on romance fans."--Kirkus Reviews
"Mahurin has taken the witch and witch hunter trope and made it new again. The world-building will draw in readers and Lou's strong but wistful nature will keep them turning pages."--School Library Journal
"Drips with intrigue and shadow."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
From the Back Cover
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 ene-mies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
LOVE MAKES FOOLS
OF US ALL.
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However, seasoned readers should probably beware.
I was immediately drawn to this book based on numerous targeted ads.
The plot sounded fantastic. Great cover art. Character names that weren't otherworldly levels of obnoxious (I'm looking at you, Clary).
So, I gave it a shot. Instantly purchased, even though I already have oh-so-many books sitting at home unread.
I cracked this open less than an hour ago, and decided that I can't bring myself to continue.
I don't consider myself an ABSOLUTE snob. I understand no book is perfect. I just want to be transported!
Why did I stop reading this quickly, I hear all two of you asking?
The editor on this book failed.
Seriously, worst editor EVER.
Here are the references to a smile/mouth/laughter in the first few pages alone as a descriptor:
Page 4 (the equivalent of the second page, as it begins on page 3):
"I couldn't help but grin."
"Whose lips twitched in an effort not to grin."
"Forcing a grin."
"Lips curling upward."
(There was also a "winked conspiratorially" which implies a smile yet again.)
"A wide smile."
"She grinned like a cat with cream."
"An alluring smile."
"An evil smile split his face."
"Andre bared his teeth."
(This is where I tapped out, but I'll continue through the first chapter just for your benefit.)
"Babette cast the two a small smile."
"Their grins vanished."
"Licking his lips nervously."
"With gleeful smirks."
"Her smile grew small and cruel."
"Smothering a snort."
"Shook with silent laughter."
"His mouth twisted."
"I could almost see her smile. It matched my own."
Now, maybe I'm just too sensitive and that's really not that bad. But, keep in mind that 1) I probably missed some and 2) this is a fairly easy read, so the repetitiveness of descriptors feels fairly unrelenting.
If this were the only issue, I probably wouldn't have said anything. But poor editing becomes even more clear through other examples.
"Babette glared at us." And then, just a couple short sentences later on the same page: "He glared at her for several long seconds." I don't think it was intended repetition to mirror Babette, but rather, they didn't realize that "glared" was already used above. And if it was an intentional glare, it should have been more obvious like "he matched her glare" or something, to make the two pointedly linked.
Similarly, the word "however" is used at least a few times within the first chapter.
References to "stupid" or idiot/idiocy, also several times in the first chapter.
It may very well be a book with a wonderful plot and full, developed characters - it certainly seemed like it had the potential to be interesting. However, I was so thoroughly taken out of it by the way certain phrasings and descriptors were overused that I decided it wasn't worth it. It felt rough, unpolished, and amateurish in this regard.
If you are not sensitive to cliches in word choices and repetition, you may love this book! I'm not saying don't give it a try - it may just be a "me" issue.
But, to the editor...and author, for that matter...please enter future novels into one of those "overused words" analysis websites online before beginning edits.
No one needs to read the word "grin" six times in one chapter alone.
I had no expectations nor did I read a summary of what this story was about so when I read it, I was hooked instantly. Great introduction to a world of witches. The idea of magic requiring balance, of sacrifice, was interesting and different from what I usually read. The relationship between Lou and Reid was refreshing and genuine and definite slow burn. Their interactions together were funny and endearing. Reid doesn’t easily give up his beliefs over a beautiful woman. There is an inner struggle with each character against what they’ve believed in and what they’ve come to learn. More realistic than most where everything always falls into place or works out for story sake. This story is told beautifully. I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds.