Chelsea Humphrey's Reviews > Serpent & Dove

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
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it was amazing
bookshelves: bookstagram-made-me-do-it, library, favorites

"A witch and a witch hunter bound in holy matrimony. There was only one way such a story could end-a stake and a match."

I don't know about you, but I find it is a rare day that the hype beast lives up to it's nature, and what a glorious feeling it is when a book lives up to the promises doled out by publishers and early reviewers alike. Serpent & Dove deserves every bit of praise that has been heaped upon it's name, and it will be a most excruciating wait for the second installment. If you have become jaded by the seemingly carbon copied YA fantasies released over the past year, please do not harden your heart to this precious gem. Give me a moment of your time, and I'll try my hardest to convince you to take a chance on this scorching, twisty, romantic historical fantasy.

"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from you." He trailed his fingers down my arm in slow, tortuous strokes. My head fell back on his shoulder, my eyes fluttering closed, as his lips continued to move against my neck. "Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay."

Whatever I expected this story to be, it was not. How a book can be over 500 pages and not long enough, I'll never be able to explain, but something about the mixture of immersive atmosphere, jam packed action, and tender balance of emotion and secrets made this a winning combination. The narrative flips back and forth between Louise (a witch) and Reid (a witch hunter, or Chasseur), and the setting is a fantasy alternative to the 1700's era, though I will say the language felt very modern, which could be a hit or miss for some readers who are picky about these details. We are also introduced to a wonderful set of secondary characters, and if anyone tries to hurt my precious peach Ansel in this lifetime or the next, you'd better be prepared to hold my earrings.

Serpent & Dove is the kind of fantasy novel where we are dropped right in the middle of the action, and pieces of the magic system and setting are revealed as the story progresses, while also leaving other aspects to be expounded on in the sequel. Again, this may be a dealbreaker for some readers, but I found myself in tune with just enough knowledge to make the reading experience enjoyable, while also yearning to uncover more as the plot thickens. Also, I am pleased beyond words that the romance in this book is dreamy, steamy, and slow burning; in lieu of the popular instalove trope, this tale takes the route of swoon-worthy intimacy that is tested by time and trials. Did I mention it's super sexy with a strong message of consent? Totally here for it!

Without diving into spoiler territory, you should know that there are twists, and then there are more twists, and then there are twists that we just have to think about until August of 2020 because HOW DARE THE SEQUEL NOT BE AVAILABLE YET?! Seriously, our group was mad texting upon finishing because we had SO many things to unpack from this read. Most of us are currently in a reading slump because this book was just that good. We talked about potential theories along the way, and we were all completely wrong with every guess. My emotions were off the charts, and my knee-jerk reaction was to start at the beginning and reread this book immediately upon finishing; it was that good.

Captivating. Refreshing. Serpent & Dove has irrevocably restored my faith in the YA fantasy. If you're a lover of hate-to-love romance with a side of tense action and vivd imagination, please do yourself a favor and pick this one up. PS- the Barnes and Noble edition has an exclusive bonus scene featuring my baby Ansel, just saying.

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Reading Progress

July 19, 2019 – Shelved
September 30, 2019 – Started Reading
October 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

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Erika My next read!!


Rachel You’ll fly thru this. I couldn’t put it down.


Aoife - Bookish_Babbling I hope you love it, i cannot wait to pick this up!


Chelsea Humphrey Aoife wrote: "I hope you love it, i cannot wait to pick this up!"

Rachel wrote: "You’ll fly thru this. I couldn’t put it down."

Erika wrote: "My next read!!"

Ah yay; thank you guys!


Mara YA Mood Reader Gah this makes me so excited!


Lucy I am reading it right now and I am loving it!


Chelsea Humphrey Lucy wrote: "I am reading it right now and I am loving it!"

Mara YA Reader Reviewer wrote: "Gah this makes me so excited!"

It was incredible! I can't stop thinking about it!


Aoife - Bookish_Babbling Eep I am dying to snap this one up, but my post-holiday no buy is being tested with it reaching my threshold of under $10 for kindle!
The one-click is teasing me!!!!


Chelsea Humphrey Aoife wrote: "Eep I am dying to snap this one up, but my post-holiday no buy is being tested with it reaching my threshold of under $10 for kindle!
The one-click is teasing me!!!!"


I totally get it, girl! This one is over 500 pages though, so more book for your money? I'm a shameless enabler! LMAO


message 10: by Aoife - Bookish_Babbling (last edited Oct 08, 2019 05:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aoife - Bookish_Babbling Very true, as a fellow enabler I admire the cut of your gib 😎 👍

However I am stubborn and waiting for my credit card to reset + payday, neither of which is happening soon enough because I'm impatient & have an expensive "hobby" 😂


Chelsea Humphrey Aoife wrote: "Very true, as a fellow enabler I admire the cut of your gib 😎 👍

However I am stubborn and waiting for my credit card to reset + payday, neither of which is happening soon enough because I'm impati..."


PREACH!


Mara YA Mood Reader I feel like everyone is reading this book but me!!!! 😱😩😭


Mara YA Mood Reader Great review, btw!!


message 14: by Aoife - Bookish_Babbling (last edited Oct 09, 2019 03:06AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aoife - Bookish_Babbling Fab review!

Although with the mention of all those twists and potential torturous wait my instant gratification loving brain is going to have to do battle with fantasy steam-craving heart & my trigger finger on that one-click buy button!


Chelsea Humphrey Mara YA Reader Reviewer wrote: "Great review, btw!!"

Mara YA Reader Reviewer wrote: "I feel like everyone is reading this book but me!!!! 😱😩😭"

Thank you, hun! I hope you get a chance to read it soon!


Chelsea Humphrey Aoife wrote: "Fab review!

Although with the mention of all those twists and potential torturous wait my instant gratification loving brain is going to have to do battle with fantasy steam-craving heart & my tri..."


HEHEHEHEHEHEHE But seriously, if you get a chance to read it anytime over the next year, I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


Aoife - Bookish_Babbling Like I'll be able to shut up about it, I truly think I am going to love it and should probably just read it to rip off the band aid then reread to my hearts content building the sequel up beyond recognition and then probably crash and burn...hhhmmm I think I'm being a bit dramatic - it's been a weird week and it's still only Wednesday *gulp* 🙈


message 18: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Peden You’ve successfully twisted my arm 🖤 you’re like my book fairy godmother and I love you xoxo


message 19: by NZLisaM (new) - added it

NZLisaM You've convinced me. Immediately added it after reading your amazing review.


Chelsea Humphrey NZLisaM wrote: "You've convinced me. Immediately added it after reading your amazing review."

Laura wrote: "You’ve successfully twisted my arm 🖤 you’re like my book fairy godmother and I love you xoxo"

Yay! I hope you both enjoy it. *nervously bites nails*

Aoife wrote: "Like I'll be able to shut up about it, I truly think I am going to love it and should probably just read it to rip off the band aid then reread to my hearts content building the sequel up beyond re..."

That is EXACTLY how I feel, love!! <3


Savannah I loved the slow burn! I picked this up on Kindle when I was stuck at the sports clinic with no headphones and a five hour wait! I couldn't believe my luck when it turned out I'd stumbled into something amazing. I can't wait to see Shelby Mahurin grow as an author!


Chelsea Humphrey Savannah wrote: "I loved the slow burn! I picked this up on Kindle when I was stuck at the sports clinic with no headphones and a five hour wait! I couldn't believe my luck when it turned out I'd stumbled into some..."

You're so right; I can't wait to see how she grows as an author as well!


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