Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin
My rating: four stars
Genre: YA, fantasy
Goodreads Summary: 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.
This book was the October Barnes and Noble book club pick and I was honestly so excited to read it simply because the cover is GORGEOUS. I haven’t read too many books about witches, but I do like the ones that I have read, and I enjoy how each story describes magic systems differently. I was interested in how this book described the magic and I was not disappointed.
Likes: First off, I really like how they use their magic. It is basically a game of whit and trying to figure out how to get something out your magic, while not giving a lot, and somehow making it up in your mind that the two are equivalent. One reason I like fae stories is because of the intelligence required to lie without actually telling a lie, and this was similar. A lot of people had problems with this, but I liked the romance in this book. I think people’s main problem was how religious and strict he was. Growing up going to a Christian school from pre-school to senior year of high school, I understood it. It was realistic to me, and because of that I was able to see the little ways he was getting out of his comfort zone to try and do stuff for her. I was able to look past his strictness and see how he was coming to like/love her.
Dislikes: The way that the author describes certain people (people of color, bigger body types, etc.) was way different than how she describes others (white, skinny people). I will be honest and say that I did not notice at first… I am a person that is very unobservant, even when reading. After the book came out, I noticed that some of my favorite bookstagrammers and booktubers were talking about how they felt misrepresented and discriminated against. I went back and looked through it again and was surprised that I missed it! That is probably the only thing I disliked about it, but it is honestly such a big issue because it hurts people and sends a wrong message.
Overall, I really loved this story! I loved the characters, the magic system, and the plot. The only issue I had was with the discriminative writing. I honestly do not believe the author knowingly did this. However, that doesn’t excuse what has been done. I am docking a star for that and I really hope that the author listens to everyone and does better in the next book.