Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
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 wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book. It sounded amazing, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I am watching the most recent Sabrina episodes and just got to the witch hunters/religion part, so this seemed like the perfect time to start this one. And I’m so glad I did. I never read a 500+ page book in two days, but I did with this one.
I definitely don’t want to give away too much from the book. There are Chasseurs, which are the witch hunters. They are all male and super religious and very few ever marry. They follow God’s law. And by that, I’m talking massive patriarchy laws. The man is superior. If he does marry, the wife has to essentially do whatever he says and he can do whatever he wants to her. Yes, major angry vibes reading this. The Chasseurs are taught to kill witches. They hate them. No witch shall live. When the witches use magic, there is a scent that lingers, so that is really the only way they catch them. Otherwise, witches look like everyone else. Most try to hide their magic, but there are some bad witches that use it in public to try to harm people.
Reid is a Chasseur. He was abandoned as an infant and the Archbishop took him in. Reid became his favorite. Mostly because of his height and strength, but also because he was so strict with their laws. The only failure he really had was that he fell in love with a girl and they were found kissing. Reid is hard to like at first. He is so freaking uptight and by the book. When we finally start seeing the parts he hides, it’s easy to adore him. He is still uptight, but we also has a good heart and is loyal.
Louise (Lou) is a witch that has been in hiding. She spends her time with another witch, her best friend Coco. Coco is a blood witch, which Lou is not. Lou is in hiding from someone (which you find out more about much later in the book), so she doesn’t use her magic unless absolutely necessary. Lou needs to steal a special ring that would hide her from this person. She is seen while doing this, but was able to get away. Reid seemed very interested in her, but also knew she was a thief.
Things happen in public and the archbishop decides that Reid and Lou get married so that the scene that happened will be ok. This proves to be interesting considering Reid would kill Lou if he found out she was a witch. It takes awhile, but they finally start getting along. Lou makes him crazy, but she is able to break through his hard exterior from time to time. I loved this relationship. I’m a huge fan of enemies to lovers and this takes it to an extreme. A killer to lovers.
Lou is hands down, the stand out character in this book. She swears, steals, cons, and does everything a proper lady shouldn’t do. I loved her humor and how she tormented Reid by it once she realized how much it bothered him. She was also a loyal friend. Her reason for running was the right one, but also one that means she needs to hide for the rest of her life. The girl is tough and just keeps taking hit after hit. Lou is the type of female character that I love most.
I’ll leave it there without getting into the plot too much. There are a couple other side characters that I loved, too. Ansel was a favorite. He’s too young to be a Chasser, but is training. He’s put in charge of watching Lou while Reid is busy. I think he’ll be a standout along with Coco for a lot of people. And the ending! I freaking want book two right now.
I gave this book 5 stars. Thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for my copy for review.
Warnings: Beatings, torture, death, men being superior to women, mention of sexual assault, lots of swearing, abandonment/children being taken, blood magic that includes cutting, and probably some more I’m forgetting. Testing of poisons and keeping people captive should also be mentioned.
One more thing I almost forgot. The author’s note in the beginning was really good. I love how she talked about gray characters. How people aren’t all good or all bad. They are in between. Nothing is black or white and her characters are all very gray.
Have you read Serpent & Dove? Is it on your TBR? Are you a fan of witch books? Have you read anything where a witch hunter and witch end up together?