Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

Many highly anticipated books have a hard time living up to the hype – and then there are the few gems that are worth every drop of attention that they get. Serpent & Dove was one of those books for me. I hadn’t really been aware of it before I managed to snag an ARC at BookCon (thank you, Fierce Reads!) and it ended up being worth every second of that two hour line.

Funny story, actually, I was super early for that line, and it wasn’t allowed to start until a specific time. I ended up meeting a lovely girl (Shoutout to Monica!), and we decided to stick together. While the lady from the booth was constantly yelling at anyone who looked like they were queuing, we loitered around and looked at the ARC choices, and somehow ended up in the exact right spot when the lady allowed the line to start, making us the first to choose!

But anyway, you’re not here to hear about my BookCon anecdotes, so have a review!

PUBLICATION DATE: 03/09/2019

STAR RATING: 5/5 ✶

SUMMARY: Lou is a witch on the run, Reid a witch hunter. Circumstance has them meet and marry immediately to avoid scandal. Forced together they get to know each other, with Lou desperate to keep her true identity a secret, ultimately thrown into a quest to save the royal family and society as they know it. 

OPINIONS: Oh, how I fell in love with this book! Shelby Mahurin’s writing is gorgeous and the story had a way of sucking you in (same thing happened to my friend who was visiting, she couldn’t stop reading). Lou is a witty, morally gray character, who makes many, many questionable choices, but still manages to charm the reader to her side. Reid is adorable, and his struggles with his beliefs over the course of the story allow for immense character growth.

One of my favourite parts of the book was the magic system. Just like the characters, magic is complex and twisted, a mix of traditional witchcraft and rituals. The hunters have a very set opinion of witches, not allowing for the possibility of good magic, but through Lou, they start learning more about what they hunt and their minds start opening up.

I am actually having a really hard time reviewing this book, because I loved it so much that I’m likely not impartial enough any more! Witches and complex characters, especially in a historical setting to me are like light to moths. I get sucked in, and lose myself completely. This was truly one of the top 5 books I’ve read this year (out of 115ish). You should check it out for yourself – add it on Goodreads or preorder it from your dealer of choice (here’s a link to Book Depository).

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