Of witches and their hunters…Serpent & Dove, written by Shelby Mahurin | ARC review

Of witches and their hunters...Serpent & Dove, written by Shelby Mahurin | ARC review
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and dove by Shelby Mahurin

Publication date: September 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 528
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

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.

– My Thoughts –

“Wicked are the ways of women — and especially a witch”

I first read Serpent & Dove as an eARC and I was mesmerized by the way the author combined some of my favourite tropes – enemies to lovers romance, Marriage of Convenience – to create a wonderful fantasy set against the backdrop of 17th century France. 

After I got the physical ARC, I read it again and here are my final thoughts…

In the land of Belterra, witches are burned at the stake and the witch hunters or the Chasseurs along with their leader, the Archbishop are ruthless. Lou, a witch, has left her coven two years ago and is now trying to survive in the city of Cesarine either by lying, stealing or even killing. After remaining undetected for two years, a burglary goes wrong and it sets her past enemies after her. When Lou ends up in a “compromising” position with Captain (of the Chasseurs) Reid, the Archbishop comes up with a solution: go to prison for the rest of her life or marry Reid.

“Conscious of the Chasseurs’ eyes on me, I forced a smirk and bumped my husband’s hip, pretending that it’d all been a show. A laugh. That I’d just been goading him to get a reaction.

That I wasn’t a witch in Mass, standing amongst my enemies and worshipping someone else’s god.

Lou agrees to marry Reid, a witch-hunter, as he can also offer protection from those who are hunting her. Reid, despite his initial scorn towards Lou, agrees to marry her and protect her. 

It was fun seeing the progression of their relationship; their good-natured bickering and Reid slowly welcoming Lou into his life. This slow-burning romance climaxed into an explicit sex scene which made me wonder why it was categorized as YA. The characters act mature enough and the themes justify this book to be placed under NA rather than YA.

There wasn’t much world-building to speak of and this is what I missed during my first read. Sure, the writing is magical and so is the romance; there are well-placed plot twists and lots of well-timed action that made this book very addictive. However, it could have been more magical if there was good world-building at play. The magical system was very unique; some witches used blood while others offered some sort of sacrifice in exchange for using magic. Since this is the first book in a series, I have high hopes that the world is going to expand and we’re going to get a deeper look into the world of Lou and Reid.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you love enemies to lovers, slow-burn and marriage of convenience tropes; fantasy about witches set in 17th century France, smartass and badass female characters, amazing female friendships, morally grey characters, an intricate magical system, and engaging writing.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

Shelby Mahurin

Shelby Mahurin grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn’t fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Twitter feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral toddlers, two dogs, and one cat. 

Shelby’s favorite books include A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and, of course, Harry Potter.

Her debut novel, SERPENT & DOVE, will release from Harper Teen in Fall 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Sarah Landis of Sterling Lord Literistic.

For more about Shelby, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Serpent & Dove? Is it on your wish-list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning

Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning
Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch Rising(Sea Witch #2) by Sarah Henning

Publication date: August 6, 2019  Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages:
 416
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy:
Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Synopsis:

“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love.
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

Should You read Sea Witch Rising?

Sea Witch Rising is the sequel to Sea Witch by Sarah Henning, which tells the story of Ursula or the sea witch(from Little Mermaid). I loved Evie, the protagonist of Sea Witch and when her story came to an end, I was heartbroken but satisfied with the story. When the sequel to Sea Witch was announced, I was curious and this is what I thought.

In this sequel, we look beyond the story of the Sea Witch; we are introduced to a new protagonist, a mermaid named Runa and her father, the Sea King and other characters from the sea and the land. There is more action in this book than its predecessor and we get a better glimpse of Evie life after being bound to her lair as a sea witch. Set against the backdrop of the second world war(I assume), there are higher stakes at play as both Runa and Evie try to save people both above and below land.

Overall, I would recommend this book to you if you read and liked Sea Witch.

About the Author:

Sarah Henning

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her longsuffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Tour-wide Giveaway:

Click the button below to win two books! Open until 30th July 2019.

Tour Schedule:

July 16th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

July 17th

NovelKnight – Interview
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes + Dream Cast
Jrsbookreviews – Review
Adventures Thru Wonderland – Review

July 18th

Luchia Houghton Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Chemist – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Review
L.M. Durand – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 19th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Library of a Book Witch – Review
Utopia State of Mind – Review + Favourite Quotes
Dazzled by Books – Review + Playlist

July 20th

Confessions of a YA Reader – Guest Post
Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
The Book Nut – Review + Playlist
Morgan Vega – Review + Favourite Quotes + Playlist

July 21st

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Frayed Books – Review
Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 22nd

The Reading Life – Guest Post
Amy’s Booket List – Review
The Desert Bibliophile – Review
Book Rambler – Review

#HorrorOctoberBooks: The Witch Of Willow Hall (audiobook review )

Synopsis: Years after the Salem witch trials one witch remains. She just doesn’t know it… yet.

Growing up Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…

1821: Having fled family scandal in Boston Willow Hall seems an idyllic refuge from the world, especially when Lydia meets the previous owner of the house, John Barrett.

But a subtle menace haunts the grounds of Willow Hall, with strange voices and ghostly apparitions in the night, calling to Lydia’s secret inheritance and leading to a greater tragedy than she could ever imagine.

Can Lydia confront her inner witch and harness her powers or is it too late to save herself and her family from the deadly fate of Willow Hall?

Continue reading “#HorrorOctoberBooks: The Witch Of Willow Hall (audiobook review )”

Five books to read this month

Hello everyone! Welcome to another “list” post. Today marks the beginning of October -which means Durga Puja season for us (Bengalis) but Halloween for almost everyone else.

I thought to mix up my blog posts. I will do full length reviews alongside “list” posts like these . If you have a different idea for blog posts,comment below !

In this edition of “list” post, I will recommend five books that I think are perfect for this month. So, watch out for gothic tales, spooky murder mysteries, witches and oh my!

My Five must-read October books are :

Continue reading “Five books to read this month”

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