Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

“There are some things that can’t be changed with words. Some things have to be seen. They have to be felt.”
― Shelby Mahurin, Serpent & Dove

 

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Alright, so I just checked when my last update was on here and it’s been well over a year. I didn’t post a thing all of 2019. ZIP. NADA.

I think being a mom to a toddler consumed my life for a bit. I had to figure out how to balance being a teacher, with being a mom, with being a wife, with just being an individualistic human. It took me 1 year and 5 months but I think I have figured it out!

In November I began working out again. Nothing crazy, but thirty minutes a day to myself at the gym with whatever audiobook I’m listening to or with some good music. I feel much more focused and less sleepy after I work out. But since it’s the start of a new year and whatnot I thought,”Why not? Let’s set another goal and see if we can achieve it.” In reality, I should be goal setting to eat more vegetables or to get more restful sleep but I want to start writing again. I still read constantly and would love to actually write a novel one day and I need to start somewhere!

So if you are still out there…

If you still read blogs and not just watch Youtube vlogs…

I thank you for sticking around.

Thank you for giving writer’s a space to create.

And for sharing an interest that not many cultivate anymore.

You know it’s hard out here for a writer.

 

So I decided to start blogging again with one of my favorite reads of 2019. It’s also a YA novel that had the MOST polarizing reviews of last year. I am beginning again with, Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.

 

Goodreads 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.

 

Review

As stated above, I whole-heartedly loved this novel. It took me by surprised and gave me everything I wanted. The first thing I noticed was the stunning cover. STUNNING. I love the black with the raised gold foiling. It was very eye-catching on the Barnes & Noble YA shelf.

 

However, I knew I wanted this novel before ever stepping into the bookstore. It took Booktube and Bookstagram by storm and at first all of the reviews were 5 stars. Then when the book came out, people started saying there was a lack of world building and that the magic system was not explained well. Which I somewhat agree with about the magic system. I felt a little confused when Lou and Coco would discuss their different magics. I have a feeling we will get more information on the difference between the two types of witches in the next novel though. But at first I didn’t understand that there were differences between the two clans.

As for the world building, I thought it was fine. I got the French influence, and the time period and how that had an effect on some social norms and impropriety, and I understood the historical background with witch hunting. So I don’t agree with that criticism of the book.

I absolutely loved the relationship. I liked Lou and Reid together. They are the perfect example of “opposites attract” and one of the best “hate to love” YA tropes I have ever seen done. The build up was slow and meaningful. And I honestly think that experiences such as the ones they went through together can build strong feelings of affection. So I was 100% happy with that aspect of the book. In fact, I loved all of the characters relationships. Lou and Reid. Lou and Coco. Coco and Reid. Lou and Ansel, etc. To be honest, I lived for Lou and Ansel’s parts of the story about as much as Reid and Lou’s.

One criticism that I would slightly agree with is about the ending. Some reviewers agreed that it was too rushed and that all of the power that Lou had throughout the book was taken away. I do agree on both parts. Do I maybe feel this way because I just wanted MORE? Yes, it’s a possibility. But I wish it had been stretched out over a longer period of time so that it made more sense and wasn’t rushed all within the last few pages of the book.

The next novel, Blood & Honey, is said to be out September 2020 and I will for sure preorder this one. I am completely invested in these characters and want more! I gave this novel 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

 

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