REVIEW: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

*This review contains some mild spoilers about the plot of Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent and Dove. Stop reading if you haven’t finished or are planning on reading it!*

Just a disclaimer: It wasn’t my intention to read this book as fast as I did. It just happened.

I think it’s safe to say that this book was my favorite book of 2019. It was without a DOUBT the best one I’ve read since (probably) any of Sarah J. Maas’s books or the like—the characters were complex and thoughtful, the storyline was unique, and the little

touch of French magic was *chef’s kiss* magnificent.

For those of you who don’t know what S&D is about:

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. In Cesarine, witches like Lou are hunted, feared, and 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 trick forces them into an impossible union—marriage.

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.

This book straight up shocked me. I knew Lou would be a totally badass heroine, but the level of trickery and deceit she often resorted to was sneaky and fun. Reid, her polar opposite, was incredibly “honorable” (in his own perceived way) as he followed his adopted-father the Archbishop. I loved watching their relationship grow through the book, especially when Reid started to relax and have some fun with Lou.

Lou’s backstory remained a mystery throughout the whole story, but it wasn’t annoyingly mysterious—Shelby Mahurin managed to strike a very unique balance on the edge of interesting and frustrating that left me wanting for more but didn’t encourage me to just flip through the pages until the last chapter.

My favorite parts, though, were the little interactions between Lou and Reid that left them both dumbstruck about how easy it was to love their enemies.

The character development was realistic enough that when Lou’s history was revealed to Reid, she was devastated when he left her, but she knew why—that he couldn’t forsake his first oath.

But Reid’s shock at his own words and hatred for what he said really spoke about his character.

I got some serious Aelin vibes from Lou, but she was also really independent, unique, and funny. If we’re comparing these characters with any of SJM’s, I’d say Ansel (my FAVORITE!!!) was Fleetfoot (for those of you who don’t know, Fleetfoot is the puppy) and Coco was a mix between Lysandra and Mor. I’ve never experienced such a rule following boy like Reid—he’s not at all like the standard bad boy which made me love him even more.

All in all, I loved it, and you should to.

Let me know what you thought of S&D down below or in the comments on my Instagram (@maevesbookshelf)—I’d love to hear from you!!

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