Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

by - October 13, 2020

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.


Ah. The book that took bookstagram by storm. I have a lot to say about this book but I'm opting to keep it light and short because we'd need multiple sessions to unpack this debut novel. This is not because the book was bad. It was just not good. In fact, I'd go so far as to call it a poor book in terms of world-building and character development but I can't deny that it's enjoyable. I had fun reading this book because I didn't take any of it seriously.

I went along with the storyline, which barely made sense midway, just because I loved a "hate to love" trope when you throw in a forced marriage. Yes, it can be problematic at times but it can also be fun to read through all those angsty scenes. And that's all that you'll really get out of this book. Lou was not a likable character because of her utter recklessness and impulsive behaviour traits. I think if Lou was such a weak character, Reed should have been the character to truly shine. However, he felt one dimensional and completely out of his depth.

I swear the only worthwhile characters were the side characters; Coco and Ansel.

The direction of the book bounced around quite a bit and I often struggled to feel connected with the storyline. But things progressed and honestly, I got lost in it. I got lost in their love story, world (what little we got), and I even rooted for them when the big ending took place. The few hours after this book were great. I felt accomplished for reading a new book and I felt like it had been good.

But time reveals many lies and by the time a full 24 hours had passed, I already knew that this book series needed some severe work. This is why I'm still picking up the second book because I'm intrigued by the premises and what this book could be if the author paid more attention to the character development and world-building instead of the relationship and all its drama. 

I gave this book 2.7/5 stars. 

Warning: This book is not Young Adult (in my opinion). There are some graphic scenes that are not suitable for younger readers.

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