Book Review: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove

(Serpent & Dove #1)

by Shelby Mahurin

I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings done well. And I’m an absolute fool for Beauty and the Beast retellings. At first, I didn’t recognize Serpent & Dove as such, but Amazon kept insisting in its recommendations that this book was for me.

Serpent & Dove takes place in fake France and has French proverbs and swear words interspersed throughout.

Thankfully, it isn’t a kidnapping trope story. I highly doubt Lou, one of two mcs and a thief who knows how to get out of sticky situations, would have stayed in a locked room for long. The book has one of my favorite tropes: enemies to lovers.

Reid is a witch hunter and Lou is a witch. Lou is a thief and Reid wants to catch her. In the process of his pursuit, she does something that will tarnish his reputation and that of the Chasseurs (witch hunters ordained by the church). The Archbishop gives Lou a choice, go to jail as a thief or marry Reid. Both object. Both have good reasons, but they both acquiesce for different reasons.

I thought that the Archbishop’s reasons were thin until the end. Wow. The plot twists and the revelations throughout were so delicious.

I love when everything a character thinks he/she/they thinks they know is true is absolutely wrong. It goes to show that our convictions should never come from blind belief, that we should always question and challenge why something is the way it is, especially if people are oppressed or killed because of it.

I’m glad I purchased it on Audible with a credit because the voice acting was superb. I think the actor was the same one who does Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman’s Aurora Cycle books. This book was so good, I think that I’ll give it a (re)read.

©T.J. Deschamps 2021

Published by TJ Deschamps

Tammy loves to build worlds with words, exploring themes the effect of diaspora on the generations born elsewhere than their ancestors with the backdrop of tech or magic and dragons (sometimes both). These stories are inspired by her own family's immigrant experience. She's queer and many of her characters fall somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum (though that is not the focus of her work). She's married to an engineer who dances. Together they are raising three precocious teens in the Seattle suburbs. Two of her children are neurodiverse. Her experiences have taught her much about the world, its beauties and its injustices. All of this comes through in her fiction with a healthy dose of absurd humor.

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