Be prepared: You won't be able to put this down.


Louise "Lou" le Blanc (18) is a witch in hiding. She ran away from her coven at 16, choosing to put away her magic in favor of stealing and thievery. Lou has been living in Cesarine, where she is both feared and being hunted. She uses costumes from the theater attic where she is to disguise herself. When she crosses paths with Reid Diggory, one of the revered witch hunters of the Church, she knows she is in for a world of trouble. Diggory, orphaned as a baby, is a leader in the Church Chasseurs; he who not only hunts witches, he kills them. After a series of disastrous stunts, the two ended up bound together in a highly unlikely marriage. As her enemies close in, Lou’s growing feelings threaten to shatter her fragile cover and reveal her to a world that would call for her death. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
Serpent and Dove is an imaginative, descriptive and magical book that will capture the hearts of all readers. My favorite part about this book is the enthralling, magical atmosphere. It wrapped me up and drew me in from the first word. With gorgeous, dazzling language, the story paints a picture of the 1700s in France, while maintaining a surreal, fantastical feel to the plot.

Both main characters are a whirlwind of emotions and excitement, and I couldn’t help but laugh and cry along with them. Lou is snarky, humorous and true to herself throughout the whole story. Reid is a respectful, perfect gentleman. The dynamic between these two opposing personalities is shockingly colorful and realistic, and I loved watching their story unfold before me. 

In addition to the interesting characters, the plot has the perfect balance of secrets, romance, and mystery, and flowed forward at an excellent pace. One aspect that may frustrate some readers is the lack of context at the beginning. The details and backstories are embedded throughout the plot in a way that helps maintain the tension and intrigue. With twists and turns, this story kept me on my toes throughout the whole journey.

Because of its explicit, mature content, Serpent and Dove is best for readers 13 and older.

Teen Student Volunteer (16):
I enjoyed Serpent and Dove, as it has lots of action to keep the reader entertained. There are some dull and quiet moments some readers might find boring, but these scenes are important for character development. That development is very rewarding to the reader. Lou and Reid, in particular, grow from enemies into something more, and that makes the book worth reading on its own.

 The buildup is done masterfully, and as a reader you can feel the satisfaction the characters do when they succeed after a long struggle. Although I like how big the world is and the many, different characters, the plot can be confusing sometimes.

Overall, I recommend buying Serpent and Dove. The book is exciting and has interesting characters that readers will grow to love.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

"Imaginative, with interesting characters ... this is a book that has an enthralling, magical atmosphere from the very first word." ~ Teen reviewer (14)

Content Awareness Factors:

The text contains profanity, explicit sexual situations, and violence.

Type of Book:
This is the first book in a historical fantasy set in Middle-Ages France.
Educational Themes:

Although the backdrop of the story is 1700s France and the war between the Church and women perceived as witches, first and foremost this is a fantasy romance. It is meant for pleasure reading.

Our teen student volunteer noted that the reader can learn from the courageous acts of Lou who is not only brave but persistent in fighting to protect what she loves.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 13. Also Teen student volunteer, age 16.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, for sure. If you love historical fantasy, consider this a buy. It is THAT good.

Title Serpent and Dove

Serpent and Dove Trilogy, Book 1

Author Shelby Mahurin
Publisher HarperTeen, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2019
ISBN 9780062878021
Material Hard Cover
Cost $18.99
Genres Fantasy
Reminder: Cover images, and links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.

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