Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Publication Date: September 3rd 2019
Series: Serpent & Dove #1
Blurb: 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.
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.
I went into Serpent & Dove expecting to love it. It had a lot of hype, I’d seen a lot of great reviews and I had even put it on my 5 Star Book Predictions post. In the end I did not enjoy it.
At first I was enjoying it, the writing was lovely and it was something easy to sink into. However, there were several elements that no amount of lovely writing could erase.
- The bioessentialism. Whilst I get that the author was probably trying to say witches are human, that’s not how it reads. “Witches can give birth, Reid.”…”That’s what makes them female.” Being able to give birth isn’t what makes someone a woman. Trans men, genderfluid and non-binary people exist. Plenty of women can’t give birth for various reasons.
- Can we not refer to fat people walking as waddling. For the love of god.
- There was a noticeable difference between how white characters were described (very detailed) and how the characters of colour (barely) were described.
- I do love a good enemies to lovers storyline but I don’t know this one made me iffy. When the ‘enemy’ in this case is a straight, white, Christian-coded guy who uses ‘it’ to refer to a group of people and murders them without regret before he meets Lou, it’s less a fun trope and more like – I could walk outside to find people like this. I get that he grows and learns etc etc. but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.
These things culminated in me just not being able to enjoy it and part of me is wondering if I should bump it down to one star while writing this.
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