• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

The first book in Mahurin's young adult fantasy trilogy was unabashedly dramatic and angsty, and I was smiling at all of it in delight.

Serpent & Dove is Shelby Mahurin's first book in the young adult trilogy of the same name (Blood & Honey is the second book, with the third and final book, Gods & Monsters, set for publication this summer).


Louise is a thief who keeps the company of prostitutes and lawbreakers. She's a witch who has sworn off magic; she fled her powerful mother and coven, but they didn't want to let her go.


Reid is a straitlaced young man for whom things are black-and-white, clearly right and wrong. He doesn't break rules, and in fact he works for the Church as a Chasseur, hunting down witches for destruction.


Things quickly get complicated, and there's a twist: circumstances demand that nemeses and diametrically opposed characters Lou and Reid...get MARRIED. It's a love that must not be--but they have to bind themselves together!

All is not what it seems. There are instances of trickery as related to lineage and other similar surprises. Whenever characters believe other people are unequivocally good or evil, just know: they're about to get their heads wrecked.


Because our main protagonist is hiding from her mother and the coven, who desire to use Lou to further their ends, her magic was surprisingly limited, and her witchiness less pronounced than her identity as a thief and as a young woman fighting against the establishment and The Man--until she marries The Man himself. Whoops! (Her gloriously foul mouth and cunning thievery are evident throughout.)


When characters are on the verge of revealing a key point, expect an inconvenient interruption that prevents it. There's a brief, sexy, rooooomantic discovery-encounter that's in keeping with the rest of the book's tone and will-they/won't-they setup. The drama is full force here, so buckle up!


Serpent & Dove was soooo unabashedly dramatic and angsty and I was smiling at all of it in delight. I listened to this as an audiobook.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

The second in Mahurin's Serpent & Dove series is Blood & Honey, with the third book, Gods & Monsters, set for publication in August.


I mentioned this book in the Greedy Reading List Three Books I'm Reading Now, 3/17/21 Edition.