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Serpent & Dove

Series: Serpent & Dove, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An Amazon Best Book of 2019

New York Times Bests Seller

B&N's YA Book Club Pick

Indiebound Best Seller

Number Six on the 2019 Kids’ Indie Next List

"A brilliant debut, full of everything I love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night. Serpent & Dove is an absolute gem of a book." (Sarah J. Maas, number one New York Times best-selling author of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series)

Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland.

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.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation - marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave listeners burning for more.

©2019 Shelby Mahurin (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Serpent & Dove

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Male narrator spoke too fast

He was quite rushed a lot of the time, compared to the female narrator. Both did a great job! Story was awesome, loved the characters and how they developed throughout the plot.

2 people found this helpful

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great narrators

The narrators were very good. I love it when they have both Male and female readers for the 2 main characters. The female narrator was especially clear and easy to listen too.
the book itself was great. the storyline was interesting, and there were a few plot twists that I didnt see coming until the last second, which is so refreshing.
waiting impatiently for the second book.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An ok love story

The female narator was good, but the male puld it down (I generaly prefere female narators, even fore male voices in audiobooks). He made all the females sound like ten year old whiny kids.
The story hadd some potensial, but never realy managed to get to that "some thing" special. It is an ok story of love and opposits, good and bad, not being black and white.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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No tension or passion

Lou kept forgetting that she had a ring of invisibility and the one time she did remember she dropped it.

Reed and Lou had no chemistry between them and the only characters I found interesting were the supporting ones.

Won't read the next one

1 person found this helpful

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W0W JUST W0W

Well written and magical, it's actually phenomenal. The characters have been thoroughly developed and it's very easy to tell why this book got the hype.

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Ditch the male narrator and it would be a 5.

I literally just turned my bedroom light on to write this review at 1am because I’m so annoyed with the man narrator. Shelby if you read this, ditch him and just have the lady read it. The man is too fast, poor voices, outpaced...and just generally wrecked the performance for me. I’m about half way through the book and I can tell the story is will written but his performance is grating me to the point I may just give up and buy the paperback. Bear that in mind before you buy if you are sensitive to poor acting!

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A great book

This was such a fun listen! It had everything I adore in a rich fantasy: enemies to lovers, slow burn, sassy lead character, morally grey characters, striking friendships, and a battle between right and wrong.

The narrators were great, I've listen to Holter Graham before this one a few times and as always does an amazing job, and was Saskia Maarleveld was very easy to listen too.

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  • Megan Barber
  • 23-01-2020

Story is okay, Male narrator almost ruins it

I am a huge fan of the Court of Roses and Thorns series, so I hoped I would really enjoy this. It was good. I would probably pick up the second one when it comes out, unless they have the same male narrator! When I heard his first chapter, I considered turning the book off and returning it. I’m glad I pushed through, but I won’t listen to the second one if he narrates again. Listeners, beware!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-2019

Holy Witches Batman

Honestly, I was pretty skeptical with the first chunk of this book. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stick with it, but I’m glad I did. The characters, the world building, the French influence.... it’s actually amazing. Such a magical story, you won’t be able to put it down!

I deducted a star only for the first 30% being a bit slow and the male lead INITIALLY being incredibly unlikable. However, he quickly develops and grows on you. Additionally, Lou, the female lead, is a hilarious gift and I LOVE HER.

The male narration leaves something to be desired. It’s not awful, but his cadence is choppy and a little off putting. In contrast, the female narrator is exquisite so they balance out.

Overall? Definitely worth a listen/read. I can’t wait for the next one!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Chanda Reads
  • 10-09-2019

a new favorite

I had high hopes going into Serpent & Dove and was not disappointed. Which is great, because before I read the book I had already ordered two copies and know it’s coming in a subscription box. Oh, and I had also already bought tickets to the Epic Reads Meetup fall tour to meet her, so there was a lot of hype for this book to live up to and it absolutely did.


Serpent and Dove is a dual-POV YA fantasy debut from Shelby Mahurin. There are so many things I loved about this novel I just made a list. Also, I’m super busy this week at work and my kids are back to baseball this week so I have to make it shorter.

-STRONG WOMEN
-excellent enemies to friends love story (my favvv)
-witches! And a unique take on how they cast spells
-flawed characters – I love this especially. Please don’t give me a Mary Sue. I’m not interested.
-swearing. Why is this on the list? Because I’m a sailor and I love to swear. Characters who swear are instantly more relate-able to me. Mahurin uses real swear words too. Made up swear words are tiresome.
-sexy. The sex isn’t explicit and no parts are actually named, but the sex scenes are really well done. The fade-to-black gets annoying sometimes so I’m glad to see authors writing about loving consensual sexual relationships. Shelby tweeted about this as well.
-lots of action and strong character development. It was like the perfect combo for me and I never once got bored or wanted to fast forward the audio. Seeing the characters grow and develop was something I really enjoyed, and I am normally much more of a story-driven reader.
-super funny -the witty banter between Lou and Reid was 10/10
-well-built story arc. No plot holes (that I found) and a satisfying ending. Of course I still have questions because this is a series, but that’s to be expected.
-piggybacking off the one above – the REVEALS. I loved the way the story unfolded and how major surprises were revealed. They felt natural.

The absolute worst thing about this book is that I can’t read what happens next until 2020. ugh.


Audio:------------------------------------------------------------------
I've listened to books narrated by both Holter Graham and Saskia Maarleveld before, so I knew going in that I would like them. As expected, they were great. Saskia Maarleveld in particular is so easy to listen to.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah
  • 09-11-2019

Unexpected!

Honestly I wanted to DNF this book at the start, but I saw the reviews and decided to push on. After all, it has one of my favorite tropes. Romeo and Juliet. The story took me by surprise as I started to find myself engrossed with the characters and my emotions turning with them as they went on their journey. The surprises had me started as well and I’m so glad I pushed through this book. Started slow but then before you know it- you’re going Down hill with no brakes. Can’t can’t CANT wait for the next book.

The ONLY issues I had was the narrators. The woman kept a whispering and was hard to hear/understand at times. And the male reader read with passion. But he read way too fast and used odd accents that rolled together after a while. While they were’t terrible, it was part of the reason I almost DNF’d this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Marc Limas
  • 22-10-2019

Male Reader isn't my Favorite

While I enjoyed the beginning of this book and the magic system I felt like to romance was strained and I didn't like the male lead. It could have been the male reader of the audiobook though, his cadence was strange and it made the character so severe. There was a total disconnect between Lou's personality when she was being read by the female reader and the male reader and it made it seem like the male love interest fell in love with a completely different person. The ending was a let down as well... There was a lot of repeating of ideas the reader already understood. I would have just preferred to stay with the female reader and Lou's journey, I found myself caring very little about Reid. I will probably read the next book, I think this author has some great ideas and I am looking forward to them maturing!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Shannon
  • 09-12-2019

Just not enough plot

And too much insta love type romance, I didn’t really get into either main character , I liked lu at first but she kind of got stale, it will be good for someone mostly looking for romance novel

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dartanyan Johnson
  • 03-12-2019

Swing and a miss...

There were things in the story that didn't quite add up, and personalities that changed in an instant. The male narrator was horrible and contradicted the female narrator's portrayal of Louise and Reid. Maybe if Saskia would have read the entire book instead of switching off, it would have been better.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tobias Reaper
  • 18-11-2019

Pretty good, but…

Louise (Lou) was too contrary. she was incredibly selfish. she was unnecessarily antagonistic toward someone who just wants to do his job, and to also keep her safe. he consistently kept people from saying bad things about HER, but she repeatedly did things to undermine him in private and in public (dangerous in a world where he has to command people). her selfishness made it VERY hard to like her as a protagonist.

Lou is smart and brave and MORE than capable in so many ways. but she needed more traits from Reed than he needed from her. that’s a poor character balance. also the narrators were outstanding 👍🏾😁.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelby
  • 12-09-2019

Good story...

The story was fine, it kept me reasonably engaged but I had a big problem with the male narrator. His voices were inconsistent and the cadence was at best distracting and at worst unbearable. I probably won’t pick up a sequel.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elena
  • 29-02-2020

Religious story

I really enjoyed the main female character. She was a strong, funny, foul mouth girl which I really enjoyed. The female narrator did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, there was a very strong religious undertone to the whole story. Because of the heavy religious aspect I’m not going to continue listening to this audiobook. I also strongly dislike the male narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gillian Johnson
  • 06-05-2020

Loved it!

Twists and turns in every chapter made for a memorable read and a great story! can't wait to read the others.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Robson
  • 04-02-2020

Only if your main reason for reading is opposite attract romance

Not for me. The reason for the marriage was unfortunately too contrived for me. I didn’t enjoy the narrators interpretation and unfortunately felt that nothing much happened for a large portion of the book. I’m afraid I gave up after the 7th hour.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Funky pants
  • 03-07-2020

Good start

A bit too mills & boon for me. It had a promising start, but like other reviews I felt it lacked conviction in the second half. The married lovers were vomit worthy. It may have read better than listening to the audio.

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  • Emma (Star Crossed Reviews)
  • 12-06-2020

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK!

I love these two narrators so when I first started listening to this book I was already hooked. If you haven't listened to books by these two then you are seriously missing out! These two make this story even more magical than it already was!

The book is written from 2 POV, Lou and Reid. Lou is read by Saskia and Reid by Holter. I raced through this book. I was absolutely hooked. Lou is very funny and so is Reid without knowing it. This book is full of unexpected love, friendships and magic.

It's addictive and easy to read. It's a light fantasy which focuses on the romance as well as the magic. I liked that there were different types of witches yet the guard were so unaware of the differences. I thought the exchange system was interesting and makes a witch think about if using magic is worthwhile. It shows that everything has consequences.

This book is very well written and thought out. It's surprising that this is Shelby's debut as it reads much more like a seasoned author. I can tell that Shelby is going to be a favourite for me for years to come. I cannot wait for the next book which is not out until September!

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  • bryoneeb
  • 23-05-2020

This book is everything...

I decided to listen to the book shortly after reading the hard copy as i adore the story so much. The voices chosen to narrate were absolutely perfect for the characters. This is everything i wanted from this story and so much more.
Captivating characters and a tale you'd want to delve into. The tention between Lou and Reid's relationship at the beginning and how it develps throughout the story is something that i love so much. Im counting down the months until blood and honey, the sequel to this fantastic novel comes out.
Im sad that my time listening is over, i may just listen again.

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  • Tsundoko and Tea
  • 06-03-2020

I really enjoyed this!

I really enjoyed this book. I have listened to many books narrated by this female narrator and I could happily listen to her for hours, although it was a shame about the male narrator in this one. The voices he adopted for some of the characters were really annoying and I found myself hoping most of the chapters would be seen from Lou's perspective. Regardless I am glad I purchased this one and I will be eagerly anticipating part two!

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  • C. Nuhn
  • 03-03-2020

Great narration, lovely romance, mediocre plot

First of all, I’m so happy I chose the audio book over the physical copy. I love Saskia Maarleveld’s voice and her narration is amazing! What I really liked about the story is the romance and Lou as a character. Unfortunately I lost interest in this book about halfway through which is strange as I really loved the first half. I will still listen to the second book once it comes out though, I really hope I’ll fall in love with it again.

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  • Zara Anderson
  • 19-01-2020

What a book!

This book is amazing! I throughly enjoyed it and the performances really made the story come to life. I absolutely loved it!!