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.
Review: 3 Stars
Serpent and Dove caught my eye as soon as I saw the cover, but when I read the blurb I knew I wanted to read it. This book was probably one of my most anticipated fall releases, so clearly my expectations were quite high. After reading I do have to admit, I am disappointed. I expected this to be an amazing fantasy novel with a romance between a witch and a witch hunter. It turned out to be mainly a romance novel and missing some of the amazing fantasy aspects that I was expecting. I really wanted to love this, but I just didn’t. This book is also marketed as a young adult fantasy, but it read more like an adult novel to me, with themes of marriage and more graphic sex scenes that I would expect to see in the YA genre.
When I pick up a fantasy that is over 500 pages I expect some great world building and character development, but in Serpent and Dove both aspects could have been done better. The world building was very vague and mostly occurred in the beginning of the novel, leaving me with a lot of questions that never got answered. The details of the magic system are skirted over so you don’t have a very clear idea of how it all works besides that Dames Blanches use natural magic that requires a balance and Dames Rouges use blood magic. There are a few more details to it all, but with over 500 pages I was left feeling cheated on the world building.
The main focus of this book was the romance between Louise, who is a witch in hiding, and Reid, who is a Chasseur otherwise known as a witch hunter. The romance is slowly built up over the course of the novel. Reid was really uptight and Lou was very outspoken which I found really entertaining, but I had a hard time understanding what Lou saw in him, because I didn’t see anything desirable about him. She was a thief and a witch and he was a religious witch hunter, they were total opposites, so it was interesting to see them fall for each other and start to meet in the middle. Although some of the romance was cringe worthy, for the most part I liked it, but I found it hard to believe that a lifetime of values and beliefs went out the window because of the romance. The romance just didn’t feel entirely believable to me.
The novel felt less like fantasy and more realistic. If there were witches in the world religions would probably persecute them and believe they were demons. The prejudices and believes that held Chasseurs and witches at odds with each other was interesting and added to the character arcs. I think my issue was that it was so long and slow paced and really focused on the romance until the very end when the plot finally came together. This book could have been so much better because parts of it are absolutely amazing, but overall I am left disappointed. If you like a romance to be the main focus in your fantasy novels I would highly recommend this book, but if you don’t then you might want to look for something else.