“Serpent & Dove” by Shelby Mahurin #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


I really loved how amazing this book was and I cannot wait to read the next one in the series!

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a witch-y book or watched a movie with witches. I’m not talking about Harry Potter wand holding witches. I am talking about witches like those we’ve seen in movies that would be burned in the stake. Like the ones in 2011 “Season of the witch” or the 2015 “The Last Witch Hunter”. This kind of witches. Which made it a perfect read for October, if you consider all the spooky and Halloween themed books people tend to read this time of the year. Alas, our witch is of the good kind!

Louise le Blanc flew her coven two years ago and took shelter in the city of Cesarine. She has been hiding the fact that she is a witch, she has given up her witchcraft and let her power go weak because she didn’t want anyone to find out that she is a witch. She has been living off stealing these past two years, something that kept her mostly safe and taught her a few more ways to survive. East End has not been easy on anyone! Her home is the attic of the Soleil et Lune theater. Nobody of course knows about that, or she would be forced to leave, a trespasser like her. But from up there she can look at the beautiful star-lighted sky.

Reid Diggory is a Chasseur, a witch hunter for the Church, and not just any Chasseur, but a Captain. He has been found and raised by the Archbishop and the Church since he was only a baby. He has no memory and no knowledge of his parents. He is faithful to the Church and to the man that means the world to him, the Archbishop. He lives by one principle alone, as all Chasseurs do: “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live“. He is following a path of holiness and celibacy but, as it turns he finds himself married to a complete stranger, Lou. Neither of them wants that marriage but they both abide by it for their own reasons. And Reid is determined to honor his oath, no matter what.

The war between the Church and the witches goes really back in time, when the land of Belterra belonged to witches and both witches and men could live peacefully with one another. Until one day, this changed and men became witch hunters, throwing witches to the stake, burning them alive and taking their land for their own. Ever since, the witches have been seeking revenge and on any occasion they find, they rampage through Belterra and enchant men under their spells. And it is the Chasseurs’ job to keep them at bay, protect the people of the kingdom and kill as many witches as they can with their Balisardas, their holly weapons that can do actual damage on the witches. So there is clear hatred between those two, which makes it all the most enjoyable to watch this enemies to lovers trope unfold!

Lou was an amazingly fun character to read. She likes cinnamon rolls and should could be like any girl that grew up in the streets and knows how to take care of herself. She is a loyal friend and she loves those that return her love and she would do anything she could to protect them. But she is not naive and she won’t be taken for a fool. Reid on the other side is a man of honor. He will always keeps his vows and he is loyal to the Church and to Archbishop himself, the man that believed in him gave him everything. None of them are perfect, but so are real people, so they were both relatable.

I really loved reading about Dames Blanches and Dames Rouges and all the magic they can wield! I could imagine the city of Cesarine as it was described by Lou and Reid and I could picture the forest that still held its magic. I could almost smell the scent that magic left behind and I would almost see the golden cords that Lou saw. I would like to get more bits of the world and more information on the magic, but I guess that if more world building was in that story it would become a really thick book! Having read till the end and keeping in mind the title of the second book, I’m pretty sure I will see more in “Blood & Honey”.


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