Finally. FINALLY. A well-written fantasy that does not remind me of anything that I’ve read in the past. Don’t sit on this one, folks.
Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the chance to review this title ahead of its release date. This, in no way, affects my glowing review.
SERPENT AND DOVE is a fantasy told in a split POV narrative. First up is Lou, a witch in hiding who’s missteps cause her to get married to a witch hunter named Reid. Reid is stiff and dedicated to his beliefs whereas Lou is often vulgar and unchaste. Together they form an unusual pairing that is often filled with bitterness and confusion. Enemies turn up, as they do, and both Reid and Lou have to decide where their allegiances lie. To each other, or the lives they were born into.
LOU is a snarky arse eighteen-year-old who turns her nose up at the Church and its ideals. She lives her life as a thief to get by in this France inspired world. She has bestie written all over her. She’s fierce and independent, but also likewise vulnerable with flaws. The only other heroine I can think of that compares is Celaena from Throne of Glass, but that’s only a minuscule portion of who Lou is. Shelby created a protagonist that you can cheer for until the end. She is the ultimate YA heroine.
REID is a witch hunter, or Chasseur if you will. He’d been raised to believe witches were evil, and to follow the good book, almost blindly. He’s a tall drink of water with cinnamon roll tendencies. That is to say; he’s so chaste and innocent, I was hoping Lou would ravage the poor guy sooner rather than later. He’s tall, and prone to rage-filled outbursts, mostly because he does not understand the woman Lou is. Oh man, the tension between these two was so thick I had a hard time pulling my kindle away from my face. Teamed up with Lou, they are a force to be reckoned with. Their romance is nail-biting delicious.
Add to this your TO BE READ, pre-order, whatever. If you like fantasy, kick-arse heroines, and a fresh magic system and world, this is the one for you.
The plot flowed beautifully and had me hooked from page one. Usually, with longer books like this, I tend to take my time, but I had to blow through this because it was literally THAT good. I felt my body sag when I saw this was only a duology. But needless to say, I will follow Shelby’s career to my dying day. She is one to watch!
Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by HarperTeen