Book Review: Serpent & Dove by: Shelby Mahurin

Rating: 4 out of 5.


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.


I loved a lot of things about this book. Shelby Mahurin’s debut novel is a surprisingly passionate and haunting tale.

The Story Itself

I went into this book expecting witchiness to be big and present throughout, however, as I read I realized that this was a slow-burn love story with an equal amount of witchiness present. Mahurin then manages to perfectly balance the romance in the book and the action that is well-associated with witches. Whenever I felt that I was missing the action in the book here comes an action scene to pull me right back into the story. This is not to say that the story was boring at all, actually quite the opposite. My attention was held the entire time.

The Characters

Louise and Reid started as complete opposites of one another. But, as the story carried on they slowly had personality shifts in favor of the other person. They were not the same at the end of story by any means, but the way that their love grew through the story as they cared for and opened up to one another felt natural. I felt that the love they had was a love that you could have in real life. Reid wasn’t immediately in love with Louise and vice versa, so when Mahurin drops hints throughout the book that they are falling in love you find yourself rooting for them to admit their feelings for each other.

The Friendship

Louise has two really good friends in Coco and Ansel. The love that they all had for each other was different, but refreshing. I love when I see friendships in books that are described in the characters actions and emotions. You didn’t just read about how good of friends they all were, you felt it too. That they would all do anything for Lou and Lou would do the same for them.

The truth is there was nothing about this story that I didn’t like. When I thought that I didn’t like the way the magic system was explained in the book, Mahurin made me realize that I needed to be patient and that it would be laid out fully for me in the next few pages. When I thought that I didn’t like how Reid couldn’t let go of his beliefs, I was made to understand his backstory and then I felt really bad for him.

Overall, I gave this book 4 stars because I wouldn’t have had it written any other way. The flow of the story was great, the romance was great, and the ending left me wanting more of the story of Lou and Reid.

I would definitely recommend this book for people who love a bad-a** female protagonist who secretly has a heart of gold.

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