TITLE: Serpent and Dove
BY: Shelby Mahurin
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
SERIES: Serpent & Dove #1
PUBLICATION: September 3rd, 2019 by Harper Teen
“I was no one’s sacrifice. Not then. Not now. Not ever.”–Shelby Mahurin (Serpent & Dove, 2019)
I really regret not reading this book sooner. I had it on my kindle since it first came out last year, but I wasn’t that keen to read it because I thought it’s not that interesting or the concept isn’t that new — Witches, sacrifices, enemies turned lovers — I’ve read them all before. But I should’ve read it first before judging it. If you’ve read my Hour 12 Update for the 24-Hour Readathon I’m doing right now, you’d already know I rated this book 4.5 stars. So far, it’s my highest rated book of the year.
I wasn’t wrong though, the entire concept of Serpent & Dove is not so new, but still every bit of it is beautifully crafted that it feels like I’m reading something new. The plot turned out to be highly interesting than I thought it would be. I also liked the twists at the second half of the book, even though some of them, I guessed much early in the story. Still, I loved reading them unfolding on the pages or should I say, screen.
The fictional world of Belterra is also not that complicated to imagine, which is exactly its charm. I like how the author didn’t make her world so complex that it would be a chore to understand it. The Magic system is again a bit of something I’ve read before but I love how it’s used in the story. I love how it’s shown. Some books have amazing magic system in them but is not developed and the reader left questioning it. That’s not the case in this book. I won’t say much about it to avoid spoilers, but I can say that so far, everything that was shown is amazing, and I know, there’s more in book 2 because it’s hinted. I like that there’s different kinds of witches here and it’s explained how they’re distinguished from each other. Also, the thing about the sacrifice and how it is even a thing intrigues me too. At first glance, it’s nonsense, like how that works? But then it has something to do with the balance and an ancient love between a witch and a common people.
I don’t know why I’m calling normal people, common people but whatever. 🙂
My favorite about this novel though is the characters — the characters who played important roles in the story. I love their individual stories to start and I love how they’re connected to each other and how those connections make their life so much harder (or easier.) I also like their dynamics. At first half of the book, I was like, where the heck is the gang I was promised? I knew there would be a group but they didn’t become a group until last quarter. I’ve met each of them but they’re not really what I can call as allies, but when they start working with each other, it’s amazing and I’m so excited for book 2.
No worries, by the way, if the gang didn’t materialize until the last part. I enjoy Lou and Reid with just the two of them. I think Lou is me whenever I’m in a bad mood. You see I have this attitude, I’m an introvert but when I’m in bad mood, I have the tendency to do the things that will annoy whoever is responsible for my foul mood. I also say the wrong things just to annoy them more. And Lou is like that. I don’t know about you but I love her cussing and that scene where she was baptized by the Archbishop is golden.
She definitely is the opposite of the woman that Reid should marry. Reid is too nice, but not in in my favorite kind of nice. Reid only seems nice compared to Lou because of his upbringing. He grew up in a church. I’m not saying everyone who grew up in the church seems nice but you know it’s imprinted in their brains to the things that are morally right according to the bible. So for him, Lou is a heathen and it’s so realistic for him to think that way. It’s also realistic how Lou is a bully in the beginning. She teased Reid for everything and in other stories, I might’ve hated Lou for that, but in Serpent & Dove, it’s just realistic. They’re enemies. Reid is basically someone who would kill her and Lou is too unholy for Reid. So having them get on each other’s nerves is very realistic.
I love hate-to-love trope so I’m not complaining. Speaking of this trope, I think the romance is in just the right pace. I wouldn’t call it slow-burn but it’s not insta-love as well. It’s just the right amount of pace. Also, I love it everytime Reid calls or regards Lou as his wife. I don’t know, I find it sweet.
As for the other characters, my favorite would be Ansel. Actually scratch that, I don’t have a favorite because I love Coco too, so much. Coco reminds me of Nina from Six of Crows. I love how loyal she is to Lou and I really hope there’s not any form of betrayal between the two of them in the future. Ansel, on the other, is definitely not cut to betray anyone. He’s too soft and too loyal to Lou, even when he learned that she’s a witch. Like Aaaaw. I seriously want to adopt Ansel and protect him with my life. He’s too precious for this world. There’s another one in the group — Beau. Beau is the typical charming, with devil-may-care smile prince. I do like him. I liked how he easily accepted the fact about Reid and him and the witches and how it’s connected to him. I want to know more about him.
Finally, I highly recommend this book, but like I said, it’s either you loved it or not. I do hope you end up loving it as I did. 🙂 Also, I’m so excited for book 2. I think it’s more intense.
Have you read this book? Or are you planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.