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Reviews

Serpent & Dove Book Review

A book I had been anticipating and so excited to get to because of all the hype in the book community but also because – who doesn’t love a good hate-to-love romance? plus witchy vibes? yes please and yes I can officially announce that YES – I freaking loved this one.

Goodreads Blurb

“A brilliant debut, full of everything I love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night. Serpent & Dove is an absolute gem of a book.” —Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Court of Thorns and Roses series

Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland.

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.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave readers burning for more.

Rating: ★★★★★(5/5)

Well, this book was such a surprise but also not?

I was so excited to read it but I was also really concentrating on not expecting too much on it – not that it was hard because other than the hate-to-love trope and witch-hunting, I knew next to nothing about this book. Boy, am I glad that I didn’t know much because this book definitely took me on a ride.

Although the world-building was minimal, the setting was established quite fast and efficiently as we meet the main characters. Louise, a witch running away from her past, and Reid; a witch-hunter living his best life until he bumps into her.

I loved that this book has a good mix of both plot-based storytelling as well as character development. Note that in this novel, both main characters have their own point of views, usually switching every other chapter.

In terms of character development; Lou was such a fun character with so much sass, sarcasm and giving out full doses of mischief (especially towards Reid). She was also spitting out hilarious lines and was so charismatic. I feel like her character development was more subtle that Reid’s, especially since Reid’s development was about changing his values and beliefs that he was brought up. A witch-hunter isn’t going to naturally accept a witch, nonetheless as his wife, without some sort of struggle and need to change. Lou showed a lot of development in her changes in how she views others and being able to trust – while also kicking arse and staying alive.

I thought both main characters were showcasing great values that readers, especially younger readers would learn from (although stay away from that one tiny bit sexual chapter teehee). When I say that I meant that both main characters showed so much bravery – Lou was a courageous character with fast thinking and guts to try and get out of any dangerous situation with a semi-valid plan. To go for that she wanted and needed without a second thought. Reid also showed this by trusting his gut more than what he may have been told his whole life and using his experience to realize what’s going on around him and who is really on his side.

When it came to plot-based storytelling, it was definitely fast-paced and I never really felt like there were ever any filler scenes throughout the book. Not to mention that I literally had no idea where it was going and couldn’t really predict anything when it came to the action and the imminent danger to both Lou and Reid. The only predictable thing was obviously their romance and connection.

I didn’t just read the physical copy of this book but I also partially listened to it on the way to and from work on audiobook (yes, I may have made another Scribd account to get 30 days off, sue me). I have to say that the audiobook was so well made, the two cast members reading the point of view of Lou and Reid were so great, and their voice acting was so good that I could recognize specific characters in each of their voices.

Probably the only thing I actually didn’t enjoy in this book is a pet peeve of mine in books – particularly historical fiction or just any fiction books set in another country. This book is set in a french speaking country who knows where and when knows what – those details were obviously not important to the plot or character development – BUT I can’t stand it when authors (no matter the language) randomly pop in words in another language, sometimes without explaining them properly. As someone fluent in French, I could read everything perfectly and understand it all but I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if I couldn’t read it. This was kept at a minimal, however, but it was a little confusing because I wasn’t sure whether those random words were just colloquial or whether the characters were actually speaking French the whole time throughout the story. As a friend mentioned to me during a chat about this book, another reviewer noted that adding a bunch of French words isn’t actually world-building; this did make me a cackle a bit.

Despite that one little flaw, I did immensely enjoy this book. It was fast, fun, had me on the edge of my car seat and I cannot wait to read the next book because – what was that ending? Who is that? Someone explain that to me cause I need to know.

One of the many books extremely hyped up in the online book community, I’m happy to say that it did live up to the hype for me. Highly recommended!

What did you think of this book if you’ve read it? Do you feel like it lived up to the hype?

Until next time,

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