- 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
- Customer Reviews: 485 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"Drips with intrigue and shadow."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"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
"Will cast a spell on romance fans."--Kirkus Reviews
"A brilliant debut, full of everything I love: a sparkling and fully-realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night. Serpent & Dove is an absolute gem of a book."--Sarah J Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Court of Thorns and Roses series
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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The absolute best thing and my favourite thing about Serpent and Dove was/is the romance! I just couldn’t get enough of Lou and Reid.
I’m not normally a big fantasy genre fan but as soon as I read the blurb for this I couldn’t not pick it up. And I’m so glad I did it just had everything I love/adore/cherish in a book.
Reasons to read and love Serpent and Dove:
-marriage of convenience
-witch/witch hunter romance
-intricate magical system
-loveable side characters
-hilarious laugh out loud moments
-inner battle of right and wrong
If that hasn’t convinced you I don’t know what will.
September can’t get here fast enough!!! I need the sequel!!
For fans of Jay Kristoff and Jay Kristoff
Lou is incredible. I loved how fierce she was and how snarky and sassy as well.
I loved how vulnerable Reid was, especially in the face of his relationship with Lou.
The supporting cast; Coco, Ansel, Beau, Madam Labelle were incredible and I can’t wait to read the rest of their adventures.
I also really loved the writing style and the social commentary. It wasn’t done in a way that bogged you down or preached at you.
Overall, this was an incredible book and I’m dying for the next one!
Shelby Mahurin’s world is a fictional version of France during the time of witch trials, witch burnings and oppressive religion. She borrows from French history to make her own world more real and terrifying. Personally I don’t know much about French history so I don’t know how much she fictional or real, but Mahurin was able to enterwine the two together so flawlessly that I felt that I was in a unique fantasy world.
The novel is told in the alternating first person point of views of Lou and Reid. Mahurin was able to give them a distinct voice which is nice because if you’re like me you ignore title headings and the person speaking. Lou is like a cat, feisty and scared. Reid on the other hand is like a dog, fiercely loyal to a fault but willing to protect those he loves. Given that, making a cat and a dog live together and result in very amusing circumstances and narratives.
I was pleasantly surprised how attached I found myself to all the characters, especially Coco and Ansel! Ansel in particular is so precious and if anything happens to him I will die.
The overall fantasy aspect of it isn’t anything overly special. However, the magic system in particular is something I’ve never encounter before. I still don’t quite understand it, but to use magic Lou had to give up memories, whether her own and someone else’s (which she would have to take away from them). It reminded me of Full Metal Alchemist system of equal give equal take. Another really fascinating thing about Serpent & Dove was how important religion is in the world. Most fantasy novel don’t really explore religion in the world or how it can influence society. The religion in Serpent & Dove is familiar to (correct me if I’m wrong for I’m not religious) Christianity where women are seen a devilish because they allure men into sinful deeds. It was too real and I found myself becoming very angry when the men in Chasseur Tower opened their mouth, in particular the Archbishop.
This debut novel by Mahurin was fun and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good hate to love troupe that doesn’t overpower the main plot line in a fantasy novel! I look forward to reading the sequel!
Top international reviews
First off I have to talk about the characters who were all amazing. This book alternates between Lou and Reid's POVs which I loved as it really helped you to get a feel for each of their characters and connect better with them. Lou is sarcastic to the core, a thief and has a filthy mouth (so expect a lot of swearing in this). She reminds me a bit of Celaena Sardothian in the beginning books of the Throne of Glass series and I loved her. Reid on the other hand is the complete opposite. He is the Captain of the Chasseur, he is very serious, holds tightly to his principles and he kinda reminded me a little of Chaol Westfall and again I couldn't help but fall for him. To be honest this was the Chaol and Celaena relationship that I wanted at the beginning of the Throne of Glass books.
The romance in this was everything. It's a slow burn enemies to lovers and I was living for every moment of it. After an event that takes place at the beginning of the book Reid and Lou are forced into a marriage contract in order to save his reputation and keep Lou form prison and possible hanging. Not only are these two sworn enemies due to the fact that if Reid ever found out Lou was a witch he'd have her burned at the stake but they are complete opposites and Lou takes great pleasure in rubbing him up the wrong way. Their banter throughout this was to die for and I loved watching as they slowly began to let their guard down around each other. This is definitely the enemies to lovers romance that we all deserve.
I also loved the side characters in this first off there's Coco, Lou's best friend, who is also a witch and badass and we need more female friendships like this in YA books. And there's Ansel who is training to become a Chasseur and is absolutely adorable and I loved watching his and Lou's friendship grow throughout the book.
One of the other things I really liked about this was the magic system because it demands a sacrifice. Instead of begin able to use magic whenever they want the witches must give up something of equal value to the amount of magic they are using for example giving up one of there senses or a memory. I just feel that magic systems like this, that require some sort of balance are far more interesting to read about.
I really love the writing in this, it was fast paced and addictive and once I really got into this I did not want to put it down.
I will mention that there is a slightly explicit sex scene in this.
Trigger warnings: violence, self harm in regards to using blood magic, death, religious persecution and parental abuse.
Overall, this was a great read and if you love enemies to lovers romances then I urge you to pick it. I gave this 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Curiosity made me do it - albeit a hesitating one - and I pre-ordered it, then simply picked it up and couldn't put it down.
It's about witches. It's the Spanish Inquisition with a fantasy twist. It's not really YA because it's pretty harsh and brutal, and it has some steamy scenes.
Lou is the witch of the story - along with other side characters, including her best friend. She's in hiding from her mother, who wanted to use her for the good of mankind, to end the war between the witches and the Church.
Enter Reid. No, please, do enter! See, he's the enemy. He loathes witches. He grew up in the Church, trained to dispose of witches. All his life he was told witches were bad. Then fate has him having to marry one. Of course, he had no idea, at first.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Can you already imagine the feels and the heartstrings that shall be pulled, as you read the story and journey of Lou and Reid? Of how two enemies fall in love with each other?
My God, but did Ms. Mahurin do an excellent job! Cliffhanger isn't as bad as others but because you can't help but fall in love with everything about this book, you finish it wanting book two RIGHT NOW.
5 brilliant stars.
This is a solid debut while geared toward a YA audience it can enjoyed by those of us a bit older the characters are likeable and while the romance is a strong part of the novel it’s not, quite, the sole focus the author has a fantastic imagination the magic system is well thought out and the author has obviously given some thought as to how to prevent the witches from being too over powered it moves along with a good pace, the romance might be predictable but Lou and Reid are both very likeable and well drawn the secondary cast especially Ansel and Coco are fantastic and they are interesting hints about the world building there a lot of greys in the story the witches have been persecuted but they have done legitimately horrific acts the Church may be running a inquisition but they are not portrayed as complete black hats in a world where magic is real there are plenty of genuine reasons to be afraid even if the the author seem a little too in love with twists and turns there were so many in regards to characters heritages that it got predictable why I didn’t give it 5 stars that said it was a superior debut and will definitely be reading and buying the sequel.
Serpent & Dove was such an alluring novel. The story captured my attention from the first pages. Shelby Mahurin managed to create an intricate society and a unique magic system that enthralled me completely. The writing style was very appealing and I felt myself being swept away by the narrative.
“The streets bustled with revelers bundled in coats and scarves, and a light coating of snow-dusted everything—the shops, the stalls, the carriages, the street. Wreaths with red bows hung from nearly every door. The wind caught at the ribbons and made the tails dance.”
Told in dual POV, the story had enough fantasy and romantic elements to keep me engaged in the plot. The action was well-paced and left room for character development. The heroine, Lou, had such an effervescent personality, I loved her from the start. She's was such a badass, brave and sassy but also kindhearted. Her antics were truly adorable and her foul mouth was pure delight. The push and pull and the build-up tension between her and Reid made this book that much sweeter. I'm a sucker for slow-burn romance, and I have to say that this book delivered some very hot scenes between the protagonists. I had my doubts about Reid's character at first, he seemed a bit dull and unanimated but his evolution was noticeable and gradually I started to warm up to him. Raised to be a witch hunter, it was hard to put aside the doctrine that the archbishop beat into him but in the end, love proved to be much stronger than any obstacle and I rooted so hard for him and Lou to be together. Also, the secondary characters were very interesting and relatable. Ansel, Coco, Jean Luc, even Beau, all added flavor to the story and kept it entertaining.
“Every aspect of Reid was precise, certain, every color in its proper place. Undiluted by indecision, he saw the world in black and white, suffering none of the messy, charcoal colors in between. The colors of ash and smoke. Of fear and doubt.The colors of me.”
The ending felt a bit abrupt after the revelations in the last chapter but I hope that the next book in the series will continue Lou and Reid's story. Overall I think it was a great debut novel. It was darker than I expected and had a lot more mature content than a typical YA book but for me, that was a bonus.
"It doesn’t end in death. It ends in hope."
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance stories with a touch of magic.
It was just really good fun; I liked the characters, the plot was fast-moving, and the dialogue was witty and funny. Lou was a stand-out character for me, far too often I've read books where the previously strong and independent heroine becomes useless and simpering as soon as an attractive man enters the scene. Not the case here, Lou was awesome, resourceful, and just generally a badass all the way through the book. I enjoyed the contrast between her fiery personality and serious and disciplined Reid. The supporting characters were also well fleshed-out, with their own motivations and goals.
The story itself was really good, while I wouldn't say it was Earth-shattering, it was fun and fast-paced. The author managed to avoid all of the tropes that plague YA fantasy by putting her own spin on things, and I never found myself rolling my eyes in exasperation like I often do with characters in this genre, or mentally screaming at them to just talk to each other like normal people to avoid stupid arguments and misunderstandings. After being so disappointed with books that had really good premise but poor execution, I found this one a breath of fresh air that didn't make the feminist in me want to bang my head against a wall.
I won't lie and say it was absolutely perfect, I'd give it 4.5 stars rather than 5 if I could. I had a few tiny niggles about one or two plot points but they definitely didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and I can already think of a list of my friends who I'll be recommending it to as I know they'll enjoy it just as much as I did.
Lou is young, foul-mouthed and totally relatable. Reid is respectful, loyal and totally lovable. I loved watching their relationship grow! Coco, Lou's blood-witch friend, and Ansel, a young Chasseur in the making, were great secondary characters. Coco is a fierce and strong female character. Ansel is youthful, naive and unprejudiced.
The magic in this book was really interesting. To use magic, a witch must sacrifice something of equal value, such as a memory or a sense. The more powerful the magic, the greater the sacrifice. It explains why the common people were so terrified of witches - a very powerful witch has given away so much of herself in exchange for magic, she's barely human.
I will definitely be re-reading this again in the near future, and I absolutely can not wait for the second book to come out!
After dealing with a lot of stress I wanted an easy reading book, I saw many people saying that they got quite a few laughs out this book, so I took a chance on it.
I loved the start of the book, I thought it was quite clever the way magic worked. Everything needs balance, so in order to work a spell, you need to be prepared to give something too. Be it a memory, hair, sight, blood you name it. The book starts off fast-paced and slows down once Louise ends up with Reid. From this point, I was close to dnfing as I found Louise's behaviour deplorable. I wanted to whack her a few times and commend Reid on his restraint too. However, as the story progresses the humour starts to come back as well as the pace. I think that point was made to frustrate us as I am sure both characters were equally frustrated with their share.
There is not much I want to say as I would hate to spoil the book. I enjoyed the constant undertone of fear of being caught out by Reid and the coven again and wondering why Louise ran in the first place. It kept me wondering what would happen. As the story goes on we start to understand both main characters more. You can't help but care for them, yet worry for Louise. I think all characters in this novel to be fair were portrayed well and grow in their own way, which I appreciated
Finally, I must mention the Prince and commend him on his singing, I never saw it coming and was crying of laughter once I read that scene. Even writing it now I'm still giggling to myself.
An excellent book if you are looking for laughs and action. I honestly can't wait for the second book as the ending left me wondering 'What happens to everyone?'
It has definitely earned its place on ‘Adele’s fave books’ list!
The glorious setting and opening chapters of this debut novel drew me in instantly! Full of ALL the action, suspense and MAGIC that you want in an epic Fantasy! The feisty female lead was lovable to me from the first moment we met her. Feisty and sassy and strong willed. And the way she taunts and winds up the male lead, ‘Reid’, is brilliant. Definitely had me laughing out loud at parts.
I also appreciate the fact that there were a whole host of strong and powerful women in this book. It was refreshing. As well as a few creepy, good for nothing scoundrels!
And let me tell you the twists that occur throughout the story are real page turners. And the slow-burn romance was spot on. No one likes instalove do they?!!
The details and descriptions of this French-inspired setting are delicious and I found each and every character perfectly well drawn and developed.
I honestly can not compliment this sparkling, Witchy tale enough.
I need HONEY AND BLOOD asap . Adele is impatient 😭
It was the kind of fast paced novel that I class as a romp. Dark in places and the language was a bit salty at times, which wasn’t an issue for me but usually see more conservative language in books for teens. Ditto on its graphic violence and the sexual scenes.
However, I enjoyed the repartee between its leads.
I think that there were problematic elements related to setting and world building.
I likely will read the sequel to see how the situation resolved.
Note: a bit conflicted over the use of the words of the 5-fold kiss used out in the witches’ rite. No idea of the author’s background but it felt odd and out of context.
3.5 rounded up to 4.
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.
Lou is a witch. A Dame Blanche. Since her 16th birthday, she is on the run. She hides, disguises, and lives as a thief on the streets in an attempt to hide from Her. Until the day the robbery turned out wrong and she is forced to marry the greatest enemy of the witches – a Chasseur. And what are Chasseurs? A pompous name for cold-blooded witch hunters. They serve to the church and answered only to the Archbishop.
English is not my mother tongue, obviously. I had some trouble getting into the book at the beginning as there are a lot of archaic words mixed around with French, a language I’m not familiar with. After I put a bit of effort and reread the first few chapters I slide into the story with ease, although I was at the edge of DNF the book, I did finish it.
Another thing that kind of disappointed me is the plot itself. I expected the plot to be revolving around the war between witches and witch hunters, but we see so little battles and drama it barely fits into the YA Fantasy. It’s more like a supernatural romance, maybe? If not unfolding around the feud between humans and supernatural creatures, I expected to follow the line of Lou and the woman who is chasing her. I’m wrong. Again. The story is built around the enemies to lovers love story. The main focus is the love story between Lou and the Chasseur she married – Reid. And it is so sugary and cheesy. I’m disappointed.
The last 1/3 of the book was actually a good one. We have actions, drama, and a lot of tenses. I even want to give a chance to the second book. Maybe after the love drama has been sorted out in this book, there won’t be any cheesy romance in the next books. Also, I am curious how they will save the world or if the Morgane plan to kill the king will work and how. So yeah, I can say I’m looking forward to the early autumn time when the sequel is coming to the world.
The basis of the story being that ‘Lou’ is a Witch who left her coven and magic behind, living as a criminal in the city of Cesarine where witchcraft is forbidden and her kin hunted and killed. ‘Reid’ is a huntsman of Witches under the rule of the Archbishop. Without giving away any spoilers, at an early stage in the book these 2 main ‘opposing’ characters are forced into marrying and the plot kicks off from there.
I’ll admit I found this book difficult to get into until the marriage section, which personally is due to the amount of characters introduced so early on.
Whilst I enjoyed how each chapter flipped between each of the main characters perspectives, I found the story lacking ‘something’; either more focus and elaboration on the magic, or realistic romance, or a few surprise twists and turns?
However don’t let me put you off, Serpent and Dove is a concept that we all recognise and know works; after the initial few chapters, it’s an easy and enjoyable read - I was just looking for something more that I could get my teeth into. I do intend to read the sequel as I’m interested to see to where the author goes with the storyline!
I stepped away for a bit and gave it another go and I am so glad that I did. The further in I got, the more I loved it! The characters really grow on you and I was in love with Louise and Reid before I even realised it.
I cant write more without giving things away (I tried haha) so I will just say, If you like complicated beautiful romance and characters with real flaws and strengths, and a little bit of French thrown in, then this book is for you!
While I will not tell you about the story, I will tell you why you should read it. If you like Sarah J Maas, Holly Black or 'A Curse so Dark and Lonely' - please just read this. I regret waiting - I had been unsure if it was a book for me or another generic fantasy romance - but then I saw that Maas had recommended it and knew that it would fill my bookshelf.
The perfect blend of fantasy, action and romance set in a France-esque kingdom - you fall in love with the heroine, Lou. Ried, the love interest, is both lovable and true to his character. The romance is slow and builds throughout the book and there are twists and turns even I did not see coming. The only thing I will critique is perhaps the style of writing is not to my usual tastes - I love an overflow of description and this book, at times, lacked that. But that does not take away the fact that I devoured it. It is truly a book worth reading, however be warned that the next book, Blood and Honey, will not be released until August 2020 - so I personally have a long wait ahead of me.