SERPENT & DOVE | BLOOD & HONEY by Shelby Mahurin

This is a double review of book one and two, which I read pretty much back to back. First up, SERPENT & DOVE.



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.


Title : Serpent & Dove
Author : Shelby Mahurin
Series : Serpent & Dove #1
Format : Ebook
Page Count : 518
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Harper Teen
Release Date : September 3, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 – 4 star review

Serpent & Dove has been topping the backlog pile for a while and with a lot of booksta friends being huge fans, I had to see what the fuss was about. This was another book that started slow for me but by half way I got what the fuss was about, so I’d call this one a ‘builder’.

I love a ‘marriage of convenience’ trope and the union between Lou and Reid (Lou Reid?!) was from such polar opposites – a witch and a witch hunter. Lou was such a snarky free spirit that she was easy to like. She had little cares to give, no filter and so her dialogue was fun. Reid was definitely more buttoned up and hard to like initally.

My husband was still the most pompous ass in an entire tower of pompous asses.

Lou and Reid together however, were a couple to cheer for and it transformed how I felt about Reid and in fact, this was what made the book for me. So at times, when I wasn’t sure about the flow of the story, I was sure about my affection for this couple. All that said, I think I needed a little more time to see the love grow between the MCs than we got, there was enough but I wanted a bit more credibility.

It was a layered story, complex at times. There were some great ‘baddies’, some twists and reveals that made you stop for a minute. My favourite character outside of the MCs was Ansel. I adored him as a character, his loyalty and more.

I’m just going to add here that I am surprised this is categorised as YA/teen because of the sexual content and detail.

So, this was a good fantasy read, a little fresh on story and lot to offer in terms of romance. I am looking forward to the next book which I have primed and ready!


Now for the highly anticipated BLOOD & HONEY…


After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.


Title : Blood & Honey
Author : Shelby Mahurin
Series : Serpent & Dove #2
Format : eARC
Page Count : 528
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Harper Teen/Harper 360
Release Date : September 17, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 2.5 star review

2.5 stars

I’m gutted to find myself at this rating but here we are. I’m new to this series and had the advantage of reading book one and two back to back, so I had all the detail of book one fresh in my mind. I’ve seen a few reviews recommending a re-read of SERPENT & DOVE first, so I’m glad the intracacies of the plot were fresh.

What went wrong with BLOOD AND HONEY was the lack of story and the demise of coupledom. The whole plot was the crew of friends wandering the countryside looking for allies until a handful of pages until the end. I can’t describe my disappointment at this. I wanted more action, more coherence, all the things I found were present in book one.

What anchored me to SERPENT & DOVE when I was wavering were Lou and Reid. They were mere shadows of themselves both individually but also as a couple. Their faith in one another was constantly wavering and there was little chemistry or connection. Reid’s attitude to magic really annoyed me as the book progressed. The best things about this book were Coco and Ansel who kept me going when I wanted to put the book down.

I’m not going to labour this with a long review and I hope others enjoy this highly anticipated sequel. I’m sad to say I’m unsure if I’ll bother with book three.

Thank you to Harper 360 for the early review copy.


And here are the UK buy links!

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