The stakes are higher. The witches are deadlier. And the romance is red-hot. The eagerly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and Indiebound bestseller Serpent & Dove brings us, Blood & Honey.
Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.
To survive, they need allies. Strong ones. But as Lou becomes increasingly desperate to save those she loves, she turns to a darker side of magic that may cost Reid the one thing he can’t bear to lose. Bound to her always, his vows were clear: where Lou goes, he will go; and where she stays, he will stay.
Until death do they part.Shelby Mahurin, Blood & Honey
The Characters and World Building
It is fair to say that the character development in this book was stellar. Serpent & Dove paved the way for an ongoing emotional investment in Lou and Reid that was really honed in on in the sequel. Blood & Honey had me rooting for them from the very beginning and throughout, even with all their struggles. Admittedly it was frustrating to read through the arguments and tension at times but it was real. No relationship with that amount of conflict is going to be easy and Shelby really illustrated that in her writing.
We also saw more from the other characters in the story which I appreciated. Seeing little mini romances and relationships develop between different characters in the world was both exciting and frustrating. Ansel in particularly grew on me a lot, he is so underestimated and I just wanted to see him flourish! Coco on the other hand actually started to get on my nerves in this book. She was one of my favourites going in but she made some pretty lousy choices which ultimately dimmed my overall perception of her character by the end.
World building in Blood & Honey was impeccable. The magic system got some well needed attention. I thoroughly enjoyed reading as it was fleshed out more and more. The writing is very immersive which really helps to teleport the readers mind to every location the characters venture to. This is particularly important for Blood & Honey as the characters travels play so heavily on the overarching plot line.
“If you are unafraid to look, darling, you are unafraid to find.”Shelby Mahurin, Blood & Honey
The Plot and Story Progression
The plot! Heart wrenching, emotional and full of angst. The twists and turns in the plot, especially towards the end, were so unexpected. I audibly gasped at the ending. I was not ready! That is pretty much all I can say without spoiling the whole thing.
It is fair to say that Blood & Honey did suffer slight ‘Second Book Syndrome’ in that I was bored at certain points. Mainly during the meat in the middle chapters. I just wanted to skip to the part where they made it to where they were going! Admittedly though, listening to the audio book made even the more dry parts of the book sound thrilling. The voice acting was really well done and I was impressed with how much passion and enthusiasm the actors put into playing their parts in the story. Each voice played a vital role in me feeling like I was in the midst of an epic fantasy story and I loved that.
Overall Thoughts and Rating
To conclude, Blood & Honey is a story about learning. We learn not only about imperfect relationships but about the people in them. We learn that Lou is reckless and out of control, Reid is rigid and believes everything has a place. What they both needed to learn in this book was how to balance each other out. How to make each other better people, instead of focusing on what makes them different.
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