A witch and a witch hunter bound in holy matrimony. There was only one way such a story could end — A stake and a match.
This is going to be a spoiler-free review of my experience reading Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.
THE CHARACTERS AND WORLD BUILDING
The way Shelby has written the characters in this book is utterly fantastic. The personality of each and every character really shines through and I loved reading between Lou and Reid. Usually in books where there are multiple perspectives I have favourites but I honestly enjoyed each and every chapter from both sides.
The romance in the book is exceptionally gripping. While it is a slow burner the progression is intriguing enough to keep you wanting more which brings me to my next point. The sex. This book, while categorised as YA, is definitely more on the adult side. There are some particularly steamy moments which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. When they eventually take place it’s like eating after starving all day long because there is such heightened sexual tension between the characters throughout the book.
The world building is equally as good. I could really picture the world in my mind which is so important whilst reading fantasy books. Even after putting this book down for days and coming back to it I could instantly teleport my mind back to Shelby’s world and I loved that!
THE PLOT AND STORY PROGRESSION
Story progression in Serpent & Dove is slow but worthwhile for the ending. It really had my mouth agape at the plot twists. Yes, there is more than one! I honestly didn’t catch on to any of them while I was reading too which is testament to Shelby’s writing. There’s nothing worse than a predictable ending!
The magic system is really interesting. I did get a little bit confused with the French references and pronunciations at points but most things were explained. I loved that there were different kinds of witches with different capabilities, the way the witches use their magic is so creative too. It wasn’t the typical witches with cauldrons and frogs legs kind of stuff which I really appreciated. I find that books with witches can sometimes come across very cliché.
OVERALL THOUGHTS AND RATING
My overall thoughts about Serpent & Dove are overwhelmingly positive. I don’t think there was a single point where I was not enjoying this read. It is perfect for this autumnal time of year and really got me in the mood for Halloween. I am heavily invested in the characters and the story and can’t wait to get my hands on the second title, Blood & Honey.
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