Book Title: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1)
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Target Audience: Young Adult
Publication date: September 3rd 2019
What it’s about
For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.
Lou’s death would have ended the ancient war between the Church and witches, but Lou refuses to become a martyr. Forsaking her coven, she escapes to the gloomy city of Cesarine and hides her magic as a thief in the criminal underworld. But life in Cesarine has its own dangers. Huntsmen roam the city revered as holy men. Witches burn without trial. And the Archbishop, the Church’s austere patriarch, revels in violence.
As a huntsman, Reid Diggory lives by one verse: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
He’s devoted his entire life to eradicating the occult and making his surrogate father, the Archbishop, proud. Finally given the chance to capture a witch of his own, Reid is devastated when a foul-mouthed thief thwarts him—and doubly devastated when she too disappears. Hell-bent on bringing her to justice, Reid vows she won’t escape again. But when Lou tricks him into public scandal trying to avoid capture, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.
Marriage to a huntsman could provide real protection from the witches—if Lou can convince Reid she isn’t one herself. The secret proves difficult to keep as Lou begins practicing magic in secret within the heart of the Church, determined to prepare for her mother’s inevitable return. As time passes, however, Lou discovers yet another danger lurking: her own growing feelings for her husband. But Reid is still dangerous. He’s just as likely to tie her to the stake as defend her if he learns her true identity. With enemies closing in—and more than her own life at stake—Lou must decide who she can trust before it’s too late…and she’s not the only one with a secret.
Shelby Mahurin grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn’t fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Twitter feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral toddlers, two dogs, and one cat.
Shelby’s favorite books include A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and, of course, Harry Potter.
Her debut novel, SERPENT & DOVE, will release from Harper Teen in Fall 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Sarah Landis of Sterling Lord Literistic.
What I Thought
I am kicking myself for not reading this sooner. The cover on this should have sealed the deal months ago. It’s so eye-catching and I find it enchanting.
I didn’t even realise until after I had completed it that it was the author’s debut novel. I honestly never would have guessed at all while reading it.
Lou is such a fun character, she has been dealt a strict hand but she takes it all in her stride and she is able to make fun of herself. I would love to have Lou as a friend, life wouldn’t be boring that’s for certain. You know what they say about opposites attracting which is where Reid comes in. I wasn’t sure about him first I thought he was always going to have a stick up where the sun doesn’t shine. After his backstory, I understood why the author chose to have him this way.
Now for the magic
(Frollo is who the Archbishop reminded me of so yeah I am going to use him in a gif.)
I have never seen the use of magic quite like this before. to see the patterns in order to cast spells is an intriguing idea and one that I definitely see working.
This was well written and the story and world-building kept me going throughout all of this, along with the side characters as to me they were thoroughly thought out and didn’t feel like a bi-product to everything going on. I was rooting for Lou and her safety all the way.
I just need to end it on this note…
Big Titty Liddy was not very pretty, but her bosom was big as a barn. Her creamery knockers drove men off their rockers, but she was blind to their charms—
Have you read Serpent and Dove? Let me know in the comments