BOOK REVIEW: SERPENT & DOVE (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

BOOK REVIEW: SERPENT & DOVE (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby MahurinSerpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1)
by Shelby Mahurin
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


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.


This book has a plot that I never knew I needed. I mean marriages of convenience do interest me but this kind?!?!? Sworn enemies getting married to each other even though one half doesn’t actually know the other half is a sworn enemy!?!?! Drool-worthy, let me tell you.

Initial thoughts about this book:
-Loved the magic system. I LOVE when magic has balance and can’t be flung about all willy-nilly and this particular system has balance in a way that I’ve never seen done before. The witch literally has to give something up (could be her sight, could be a broken finger, could be a memory) in exchange for the magic coming to life. It seemed to me that the thing the person gives up is about equal to the magic being done, too, which makes even more sense.

-OMG LOU. AND COCO. For anyone who has read this yet, does Lou not remind you of the early assassin version of Celaena Sardothian?!?!?! She dresses up and pretends to be other people to trick literally anyone and steal from them, she’s got a FILTHY mouth which is hilarious especially when she’s trying to embarrass Reid, and she’s just an all around bad ass. I loved her so, so much. I also loved her friendship with Coco, and Coco in general. Great example of female friendship in YA and she was also an all around bad ass, duh.

-REID. Do I really even need to explain myself here? He’s a grump. And so innocent. Kinda like Jamie from Outlander. He may know how to kiss and how to rile Lou up but does that mean he knows anything else about women? Nope. Lol. It was fun watching Lou teach him. And of course he’s really such a sweetheart underneath the gruff exterior (surprise, surprise). Their slow and gradual romance was uhhhh *chef kiss* perfect.

The story here was riveting from the very beginning. It’s the witches pitted again the Chasseurs, a holy order or men sword to rid the earth of witches and protect the people. What surprised me was how truly vicious the witches could be. Yes, some of them like Lou and Coco were hiding in plain sight and wouldn’t hurt a human if they didn’t have to but there were several scenes where the witches attacked and just started killing innocent people. I think at this point I’ve just read too many books where magic and witches are a lot less violet and gruesome as all that. It definitely made things seem more desperate between the two though and of course made things more interesting when Lou was trying to get Reid to understand that just because some witches are horrible creatures, that it doesn’t mean they all are. It’s that delicious gray area of life that makes morals so complicated. 

Anwayyyy after that freakin kind-of-sort-of cliffhanger I am DYING to get my hands on the next book! So glad I picked this one up.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this eARC early in exchange for an honest review!

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  1. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    So, other than the awesome cover of this one, I wasn’t sure if I was wanting to read it or not, but your review makes me need to read it! I’ll just have to buy a copy for the students at my school where I am a librarian and check it out myself. Great review!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Blog Tour Review with Excerpt: Handle With Care (Shacking Up #5) by Helena HuntingMy Profile

    • Arielle

      Hello fellow librarian! 🙂 I work in a public library! But yeah, the description sounded really appealing to me but I just really liked it in so many ways! Hope you enjoy

  2. Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

    Great review! This one’s on my Fall TBR list! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! Your review has made me even more excited about it. I can’t wait to read it!
    Raven @ Dreamy Addictions recently posted…War (The Four Horsemen #2) By Laura Thalassa [Review]My Profile

    • Arielle

      Thanks, Raven! I really think it’s going to one of this fall’s biggest reads!

  3. Reese

    That sounds awesome! I’d seen the book cover around, but I had zero idea of what it was about, which is a shame since it looks like it’s right up my alley! both the relationship and the magic system (you’re so right about magic needing to have consequences) sound very intriguing.

    • Arielle

      It seriously is. Since magic/ fantasy books have been around for so long I always get so excited when I find an author who has an entirely new spin to put on things! I hope you end up loving it.

  4. Melanie B

    Great review, thanks for sharing!

    • Arielle

      Thanks, Melanie! It’s my pleasure fangirling about these books. 😀

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