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Publisher's Summary

An Amazon Best Book of 2019

New York Times Best Seller

B&N's YA Book Club Pick

Indiebound Best Seller

Number Six on the 2019 Kids’ Indie Next List

"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, number one New York Times best-selling author of the 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 trilogy will leave listeners burning for more.

©2019 Shelby Mahurin (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Serpent & Dove

Average Customer Ratings
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Serpent & Dove By Shelby Mahurin

Few things compare to that feeling you get after finishing a book that lived up to your expectations. I started reading Serpent and Dove for a book club im currently in. I started reading this without knowing anything about it. I didnt read the synopsis, not the back cover, nothing.

Plot

Two years ago Lou left her coven (for reasons I shan't go into) and was forced to live a life of suppressing her magical nature and living in constant vigilence. She has to do what she can to survive. That being: lie, steal and kill if necessary. For life is hard in the city of Cesarine, especially for a woman. She's managed to live for two years undetected. She was careful... up until one burglary (gone wrong) set the wheels in motion.With the Chasseur on her tail and enemies of her past close on her heels, Lou slips up again and ends up in a compromising position with the Caption of the Chasseur. The Archbishop comes up with a solution: Lou can either go to prison for the rest of her life or she can marry the Captain and save his virtuous reputation. Lou, being the smart girl she is, chooses marriage to the handsome Captain Diggory ; ). Being married to a Chasseur also grants her the protection she desperately needs from those who (also) hunt her. She struggles to hide her identity from her husband -- a man who would see her dead if he knew what she was -- while also coming to terms with her growing feelings for him.

Writing Style

The first thing that I noticed right away was the writing. For a debut this was really really good. It was written in two POVs - Reid and Lou. We saw all their thoughts, worries and what happened to them in their past and present. My gosh, this book does not have the writing style like a debut novel. this feels as if its written by a seasoned fantasy author. its utterly divine. I got the Sarah J. Maas and Marissa Meyer vibes while reading every chapter.

Setting

the setting is a fantasy alternative to the 1700's era in France. I will say the language felt very modern, which could be a hit or miss for some readers who are picky about these details.

Characters

Reid Diggory

Reid Diggory is a dedicated witch hunter. He’s lived within the church all his life and despite his views on witches, he is honorable and loyal. I consider him such a goody to shoes and brown noser to the archbishop (Given that he’s also captain of the guard) Once lou comes into the picture he slowly comes out of his shell and learns to live a little. It was such a pleasure reading about him. He is so set in his ways and it was amazing to see him loosen up and change.

Louise le Blanc

To me Lou is a badass character. She is very blunt and she takes care of herself while on the run from the law. She steals things to live and is on the run while trying to cover her tracks from the Chasseur’s. I love that you get to listen to her inner monologue and see that her walls can come down to see the softy in her. You'll be cracking up with her on every page. With a tragic backstory, and, tbh, a tragic present, it's amazing she never once turned mopey or broody. She leapt off every page, and I don't think it took a single chapter before I knew she was going to be my best fictional friend. She's strong, funny, independent, and she puts Reid in his place often. So often. When life throws a challenge at Lou, she smashes it to bits and demands a sticky bun in return. SHE IS THE HEROINE YA NEEDS.

Romance

This forbidden love story was so compelling and addicting! However, I will say that this book is definitely upper-YA, as there is an explicit sex scene and tonnes of profanity, so be forewarned.

Friendships:

There were not one but two friendships that I loved between the main character and the secondary characters. First one being Lou and Coco: badass witches who aren't afraid of anything and they can just speak however they want
And the second was: Lou and Ansel: I loved how Ansel cared about Lou and vice versa, they had a cute kind of big sister little brother kind of relationship.

Big Things I loved in the book

• Addictive; easy writing
• Enemies-to-lovers
• Marriage of convenience
• Witch/witch hunter romance
• Slow burn of plot
• Intricate magical system
• Heart warming female friendship
• Morally grey characters
• Inner battle of right and wrong

Overall
I don't know about you, but I find it is a rare day that the hype 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. Does anyone ever have a certain feeling where you love a book so much that you try to read as slowly as possible, just because you’re loving everything about it and don’t want it to end? Yep, that was me with this book. 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. i've been walking on air since i finished it. I have such a book hangover!

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Just okay

The general idea is good but the male performance just take me out of the story everytime he talked

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

reminded me of throne of glass. loved it. can't wait to get the second book.

2 people found this helpful

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a little rushed

the female narrator is well paced and comfortable, however the male counterpart is rushed and a little to quick. it ends up leaving the parts of the story from the male perspective feeling anxious.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not life-changing, but a fun fantasy.

Did you want Matthias and Nina from Six of Crows in an arranged marriage trope? Did you want them to bone? Boom, this is the book for you.

Solid YA, an easy read/listen, magic, duty, romance and some fun twists. The plot wasn't life-changing or deep, but sometimes you just want a fun fantasy romance with some drama mixed in. A teen romance is exactly how I'd describe this because the "i can't live without you" devotion the book builds up to is pretty two-dimensional and hard to believe.

Saaskia Maarleveld was a great female narrator. She was definitely the high point of this audiobook for me. Holton Graham, the male narrator, was alright, but I feel like if a book contains as many French words as this one did, you should probably pick a male narrator that knows how to pronounce them.

The ending was cool and led into the next book quite well. Idk if I'll pick up the sequel unless I have a spare audible credit kicking around.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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It's ok.

It's cute. There's nothing really special here, it's a story about a witch and witch hunter falling in love based on what felt like a crappy romance anime plot.

1 person found this helpful

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the love story i didn't want totally sucked me in

I was looking for a new fantasy book that didn't have a romance at its core but stumbled on this book and something about it drew me in, so I purchased it. I quickly felt drawn to Lou, this spunky girl who acted like she didn't have a care in the world and dove in head first despite literally the fate of her world on her shoulders. Then she is essentially forced to marry the man who vowed to kill witches, like her. Somehow, Lou brings light to those she meets, including Reed who finds everything he thought he knew called into question. It all, just works! The world building is wonderful, and I can't wait to explore more of it in the next book.

For narration, Saskia does a marvelous job! I have read another book of hers and was pleasantly surprised at how different she sounded voicing Lou. Her French pronunciation was also wonderful, although I don't know why they decided to have her say "foyer" the American way repeatedly. It seems like an oversight.


Holter's narration was pretty good. His French accent wasn't as good, but decent enough that I could look past it. For the most part I was able to tell the voices of the characters apart but there were some spots near the end where I couldn't tell who was speaking or even if it was a man or a woman. But those spots were short lived.

Overall great book!

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Wonderfully Engaging

I absolutely loved this story. Though it isn't some ground-breakingly written game changer of fantasy, it was a very endearing story that I found tons of joy from. Anyone that enjoys a simple romance surrounding the world of witches and fantasy would find some joy in this series. The characters are somewhat cliché but in a charming way. Very animated and full of personality, plenty of fun for me as a listener.

There is one sexual scene, but it is very easily skipped if that is something you find disturbing.

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Great story!

Small french pronunciation mistakes, but overall great performance! Loved the storyline, didn't see those twists coming!

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pretty interesting but the male narrator…

i’m hooked by this book, despite only being on the 3rd chapter. my only compaint is that the male narrator shouldnt be narrating at all. he doesnt covey emotiong at all, or barely. he rushes through the words and doesnt delivery the lines properly. i often have to rewind what he says to understand because he rushes it so much, almost like he doesnt respect punctuation? not sure how to decribe it. it definitely throws me off though. i dread his chapters bc it’s like he isnt even trying. no complaints for the female narrator though, she’s amazing

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Megan Barber
  • 2020-01-23

Story is okay, Male narrator almost ruins it

I am a huge fan of the Court of Roses and Thorns series, so I hoped I would really enjoy this. It was good. I would probably pick up the second one when it comes out, unless they have the same male narrator! When I heard his first chapter, I considered turning the book off and returning it. I’m glad I pushed through, but I won’t listen to the second one if he narrates again. Listeners, beware!

43 people found this helpful

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  • Maddie
  • 2020-09-26

What even was this?

Woof - not sure what to say here. This book was definitely a disappointment and I have to agree that the glowing reviews and praise-filled industry blurbs are deeply confusing. This is obviously written by a novice writer who needed a much, much better editor. I realize that there are some books that are just meant to be trashy good fun, and that not everything has to be high art, and honestly, what did I expect going into a book like this? Still, I guess I just crave a modicum of craft, even in my trashy good fun reads. Main issues that made this a bust for me:

-repetitive, sloppy language that relies on cliches: The amount of times someone tucked a strand of hair as a gesture of affection, or had a single tear slide down their face to show their internal torment, or gritted their teeth and clenched their fists to demonstrate their anger - it was practically funny by the end. Also, everyone obviously has blue eyes, green eyes, or blue-green eyes (TURQUOISE eyes, in fact, that you can see through a dark window across a lawn, at night!), because everyone knows that attractive magical people can only have blue or green eyes. The first chapter uses the word "grin" about 25 times (only a slight exaggeration). It's riddled with sloppy dialogue tags and action descriptors, even in places where I feel like they should have been scrutinized thoroughly, such as the aforementioned first chapter, and the very last line of the book. "Reid groaned audibly. "Shit."" Isn't a groan, by definition, audible? Shouldn't someone have cared enough, somewhere along the way, to tell the author to tighten up the language a bit?

-the relationship: yikes! this book was billed as a hate-to-love slow burn romance involving a forced marriage between a witch and a witch hunter. To me, that screams: ANGST ANGST ANGST, intense dark shit, brooding self-loathing, mistrust, miscommunication - you know, all the best aspects of heart-wrenching angsty romance. This romance was not a slow burn, or even a true hate-to-love. It read much closer to INSTA-love. Sure, they disliked each other at first, but very quickly struck up a witty and general friendly dynamic, then seemed to wake up one day thinking the other person was hot and awesome. What followed was the fluffiest string of scenes - theater outings, royal balls, and - literal - Christmas shopping trips (!?!?!) where-in the characters do things like: trip and tumble in the snow, laughing; almost kiss but then don't for no explicable reason whatsoever; and have conversations that go as dark as Lou saying "I don't want to talk about that right now," and Reid saying "Okay." The author does not seem to know how to use the natural tension between the characters to good effect, or demonstrate how and why they are falling in love in a believable way. It's apparently enough to say: they like each other, because...they do! And then repeatedly tell the reader that they are the love of each other's life for the rest of the book...

-Reid: I love me a good fantasy romance wish-fulfillment hero. Reid is....not that. He has all the personality of a brick of compressed sawdust. He has a potentially super juicy back story - abandoned at birth, raised in the church, indoctrinated into a way of thinking that allows him to literally burn children alive without guilt - like, that's some dark ass shit! But none of that is really excavated in a meaningful way, it just serves as backstory that the author can tell us about constantly in the effort of giving him some depth, instead of actually showing us anything interesting about his character. He also falls into the "possessive, slightly jealous and domineering husband" box that is...supposed to be an attractive character trait? He would never hit Lou, of course (even though he literally burns people like Lou alive), so that makes his possessive domineering jealousy...charming??? Like....what?!?!?

I did like Lou and found some of the humor and banter enjoyable, but that's about the only good thing I can say for this. Even the cast of secondary characters didn't feel interesting and well-drawn, they just felt like more fluffy cardboard cutouts used to prop up the plot. The pacing was a mess, with no discernible sense of a timeline - was it days, weeks, months passing? I honestly don't know! The settings are poorly drawn, the world-building lackluster. Honestly, the whole thing felt like a fanfiction mash up between Outlander and A Discovery of Witches. And I am someone who has obviously read Outlander and A Discovery of Witches, and I also enjoy fanfiction, so that's not necessarily a dealbreaker for me. It was just so poorly executed that it's a big big disappointment.

38 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Meow May
  • 2019-09-12

Holy Witches Batman

Honestly, I was pretty skeptical with the first chunk of this book. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stick with it, but I’m glad I did. The characters, the world building, the French influence.... it’s actually amazing. Such a magical story, you won’t be able to put it down!

I deducted a star only for the first 30% being a bit slow and the male lead INITIALLY being incredibly unlikable. However, he quickly develops and grows on you. Additionally, Lou, the female lead, is a hilarious gift and I LOVE HER.

The male narration leaves something to be desired. It’s not awful, but his cadence is choppy and a little off putting. In contrast, the female narrator is exquisite so they balance out.

Overall? Definitely worth a listen/read. I can’t wait for the next one!

28 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C&D
  • 2019-09-10

a new favorite

I had high hopes going into Serpent & Dove and was not disappointed. Which is great, because before I read the book I had already ordered two copies and know it’s coming in a subscription box. Oh, and I had also already bought tickets to the Epic Reads Meetup fall tour to meet her, so there was a lot of hype for this book to live up to and it absolutely did.


Serpent and Dove is a dual-POV YA fantasy debut from Shelby Mahurin. There are so many things I loved about this novel I just made a list. Also, I’m super busy this week at work and my kids are back to baseball this week so I have to make it shorter.

-STRONG WOMEN
-excellent enemies to friends love story (my favvv)
-witches! And a unique take on how they cast spells
-flawed characters – I love this especially. Please don’t give me a Mary Sue. I’m not interested.
-swearing. Why is this on the list? Because I’m a sailor and I love to swear. Characters who swear are instantly more relate-able to me. Mahurin uses real swear words too. Made up swear words are tiresome.
-sexy. The sex isn’t explicit and no parts are actually named, but the sex scenes are really well done. The fade-to-black gets annoying sometimes so I’m glad to see authors writing about loving consensual sexual relationships. Shelby tweeted about this as well.
-lots of action and strong character development. It was like the perfect combo for me and I never once got bored or wanted to fast forward the audio. Seeing the characters grow and develop was something I really enjoyed, and I am normally much more of a story-driven reader.
-super funny -the witty banter between Lou and Reid was 10/10
-well-built story arc. No plot holes (that I found) and a satisfying ending. Of course I still have questions because this is a series, but that’s to be expected.
-piggybacking off the one above – the REVEALS. I loved the way the story unfolded and how major surprises were revealed. They felt natural.

The absolute worst thing about this book is that I can’t read what happens next until 2020. ugh.


Audio:------------------------------------------------------------------
I've listened to books narrated by both Holter Graham and Saskia Maarleveld before, so I knew going in that I would like them. As expected, they were great. Saskia Maarleveld in particular is so easy to listen to.

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Elena
  • 2020-02-29

Religious story

I really enjoyed the main female character. She was a strong, funny, foul mouth girl which I really enjoyed. The female narrator did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, there was a very strong religious undertone to the whole story. Because of the heavy religious aspect I’m not going to continue listening to this audiobook. I also strongly dislike the male narrator.

19 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • DrHeather
  • 2020-02-15

So bad

I couldn’t even get halfway through. Main character is painfully stupid. There’s zero chemistry. I kept listening hoping there would be some redeeming factor like a good sex scene and it was just too painful to continue.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dartanyan Johnson
  • 2019-12-03

Swing and a miss...

There were things in the story that didn't quite add up, and personalities that changed in an instant. The male narrator was horrible and contradicted the female narrator's portrayal of Louise and Reid. Maybe if Saskia would have read the entire book instead of switching off, it would have been better.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelby
  • 2019-09-12

Good story...

The story was fine, it kept me reasonably engaged but I had a big problem with the male narrator. His voices were inconsistent and the cadence was at best distracting and at worst unbearable. I probably won’t pick up a sequel.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Deborah
  • 2019-11-09

Unexpected!

Honestly I wanted to DNF this book at the start, but I saw the reviews and decided to push on. After all, it has one of my favorite tropes. Romeo and Juliet. The story took me by surprise as I started to find myself engrossed with the characters and my emotions turning with them as they went on their journey. The surprises had me started as well and I’m so glad I pushed through this book. Started slow but then before you know it- you’re going Down hill with no brakes. Can’t can’t CANT wait for the next book.

The ONLY issues I had was the narrators. The woman kept a whispering and was hard to hear/understand at times. And the male reader read with passion. But he read way too fast and used odd accents that rolled together after a while. While they were’t terrible, it was part of the reason I almost DNF’d this book.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marc Limas
  • 2019-10-22

Male Reader isn't my Favorite

While I enjoyed the beginning of this book and the magic system I felt like to romance was strained and I didn't like the male lead. It could have been the male reader of the audiobook though, his cadence was strange and it made the character so severe. There was a total disconnect between Lou's personality when she was being read by the female reader and the male reader and it made it seem like the male love interest fell in love with a completely different person. The ending was a let down as well... There was a lot of repeating of ideas the reader already understood. I would have just preferred to stay with the female reader and Lou's journey, I found myself caring very little about Reid. I will probably read the next book, I think this author has some great ideas and I am looking forward to them maturing!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Fenrir
  • 2021-09-06

Great

The story in itself was very entertaining, and the narrators did a great job! I'm sure I would have enjoyed the physical version, but the narrators' performance really added to the atmosphere. Now, the sequel!

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  • ML GAELLE
  • 2021-04-26

An author full of ideas

Good story with lots of good ideas but characters too poor (I'm sure there would be so much more to add to them) and simple. Would need more time to make it perfect and addictive. Male narrator pretty bad. Especially compare to the female voice. Will read the all trilogy thought.

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2020-10-02

bon livre

l'histoire est bonne bien que très prévisible, mais la performance de Holter Graham est terrible ! Il parle du nez et ses intonations sont très étranges

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  • Marion
  • 2020-04-27

Can't wait for the next

I really enjoyed this audiobook.
The story in itself is well written and the world and characters really well built.
The performance was really nice to listen to and had me really engrossed in the story.