Reading Highlight of The Week: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin has been circulating regularly on my bookstagram since the very first time it came out though the long list of unread books on my shelves was pretty much against it. After what feels like ages, I finally decided to actually give it a go and obviously, my intuition was right: this is something I enjoy.

After months of picking up anything other than fantasy, I'm glad that I chose Serpent & Dove as a sort of initiation. I can't remember the last time I read a fantasy book this good and now my craving for something like this is becoming intolerable. Damn you, Diggory.

Serpent & Dove follows the story of a witch called Lou in the City of Cesarine where witches like her are considered a demon and therefore being hunted and burned. For the past years, Lou has been running away from her past with her best friend Coco while trying the best she can to keep being alive. However, everything turns upside down the day her path crosses with Reid, the captain of the Chasseur.

As a good Chasseur that he is, Reid Diggory has sworn to protect the kingdom and the innocents at all costs by hunting all the witches in the City of Cesarine with his brethren. But everything changes when an unexpected incident forces him to marry a thief named Lou whom he knows nothing about except that she works with a witch and refuses to cooperate.

It was honestly hard for me not to like Serpent & Dove considering it contained almost all the aspects I'm always eager to look forward to in a book:

  • Great storytellingcheck
  • Enemies-to-lovers tropecheck
  • Slow burn romancecheck
  • Strong unexpected friendshipcheck
  • Very badass characterscheck
  • A witty female main character that can't keep her mouth shutcheck
  • Impossible fatecheck

Perhaps it was also why I had had a very good feeling about this book in the first place. Even though it started out a bit confusing by introducing a few new characters at once while talking about things I hadn't fully understand yet, I literally couldn't put this book down once I had gone past that. Mahurin's writing style was beautiful and easy to visualize that it kept me up all day and all night. I loved every detail written about Cesarine as well as the visualization of the magic system. To put it simply, it was an enchanting world Mahurin built.

Aside from the great storytelling and well-arranged plot, I liked how far explored the relationship between Lou and Reid was. The slow-burn romance was totally adorable that it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Mahurin also took us through a great development of friendship between the two, Coco, and Ansel. If this book was meant to highlight something other than romance and world-building, I would say with absolute certainty that it's the heartwarming friendship Lou shared with either Coco or Ansel. But still, there's nothing greater than experiencing Lou's retorts in this bookher wits were hilarious that some bursts of open-mouth laughter were inevitable from my part. 

In case it's not noticeable enough, I loved the sometimes awkward-slash-strict Reid Diggory so much. Unfortunately though, there's something about him that bothered me throughout the ending. Please skip this part if you haven't read Serpent & Dove yet. I wasn't exactly buying the possibility of Reid being a witch which was revealed in the last few chapters. I mean, there would probably be an explanation I very much needed in the sequel, and even though in the meantime I could make peace with the idea, I still ain't very sure. Would it add up once an explanatory paragraph was handed out?

Nevertheless, Serpent & Dove was still a very enjoyable read for me. If by any chance you're a fantasy lover (like me), a fan of enemies-to-lovers trope (like me), or you're just craving for something good and fun (like me), please consider adding this book to your basket. You'll likely end up shipping Reid and Lou so bad and like me, you'll be happy to experience the fun all over again.

Actual rating: 5★