You guys, I loved this book. Damn, was it good. It had everything I love in a novel… enemies to lovers, creative magical elements, vivid descriptions and details, lovable main characters… the list goes on and on. I seriously CANNOT wait for the second book to come out. As of right now, the countdown is on and I’m sure I’ll have words to say about it as well.
Let’s start off on my favorite subject: enemies to lovers romance. Ummmm yes please. The tension between Lou and Reid is tight from the start, and it only gets better as the story goes on. I just love how Reid is the ultimate chivalrous knight who follows all the rules (has never even had a reason to question them in the first place), and he’s so naive that it is quite endearing. Lou on the other hand, is wild, breaks all of the rules, and uses her charm and her wit to keep herself alive. They’re complete opposites, not to mention actual enemies… but you can tell they’re learning so much from each other as the story progresses. Lou realizes that Chasseurs aren’t all the nameless, evil villains she assumed they’d be, and Reid… Reid learns A LOT (wink wink) about women, witches, and magic. He ultimately finds out that everything he was taught to believe to be “right” was inherently wrong. The author really did something by switching back and forth from Lou’s point of view and Reid’s throughout the book. This gave us a first row seat to their changing feelings and personal battles throughout the novel. Plus, I love it when stories are told through the man’s point of view as well as the main heroine’s; I just think that it gives the readers more depth and perspective to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the rooftop scene, it was raw and passionate and you could actually feel each main character go over the edge of love into a place where neither can go back from. Mmmmm, it was (and I can’t say this enough) perfect.
The universe in which Serpent and Dove takes place is very alluring and inventive. I really enjoyed the magical witchcraft within this book, although it was a little confusing at times (certainly not complaining though; in fact, because the magic was so intricate, I felt it made the story that much more gripping). When I read how Lou uses her magic and sees the pathways in which she can perform witchcraft, it took me a second to realize that she could actually visualize the symbols of the spell she performed. The idea that there was always a price to pay for the magic Lou uses was a very compelling take on spells and witchcraft. I almost wish Shelby Mahurin would elaborate a little further on the differences between blood witches, like Coco, and the other type of witches, like Lou, but I have a feeling she’ll get to it in the second book. Not only does this story end with our motley crew heading to find Coco’s family for refuge, but the title itself (Blood and Honey) hints at it as well.
I found it intriguing that one of the main enemies in this story was the church and its acolytes. A lot of problems exist within organized religion (I grew up Catholic), and I liked that this novel touched on some of those problems without being too forward about it. I found it absolutely mind-blowing to learn that the Archbishop was Lou’s father, and he was just trying to keep Lou safe from her mother the whole time. It doesn’t erase all of his witch hate-crimes over the years, but I liked that he wasn’t as holy as he claimed and he ultimately fell in love with a witch (great plot twist there). Maybe he saw some of himself in Reid and that’s why he ultimately groomed him to become his second in command. Speaking of Reid… I thought it was also mind-blowing to find out his mother was Madame Labelle, who was also a witch, who fell in love with the king, and Reid actually has powers of his own. I think my jaw actually dropped when I read the scene where Lou and Reid run into her on the street and she sees the matching ring on Lou’s finger… and then you and Lou (through Lou’s perspective) put two and two together and bam! It was unexpected to find out that he has powers as well, and it definitely changes the witchcraft ball game going forward. Maybe witches won’t be persecuted now that they know men can also have powers?!
If you can’t already tell, I freaking loved everything about this book… I’m hoping you all feel the same. Soon we will have the second book, Blood and Honey, in our hands and then we can pour some more wine and chat about that one as well.