Serpent and Dove honestly isn’t really a book I’d normally go for. I’m not the biggest fan of witch stories, but I really wanted to give it a try because of all the good things I’ve heard about it! There are so many people that loved this book, and now that I’ve finally gotten to it, I get why. This book has a perfect hate-to-love romance with forced marriage (if that’s a trope) and I loved reading abou tit.
First of all, I loved getting to know Lou and Reid! I always love getting alternating perspectives in books, and it really gave important insight into what each of the characters were thinking. Their contrasting roles and how they were always meant to hate each other was interesting and I loved how their relationship developed through the story. I’m a huge fan of hate-to-love, which added to my enjoyment, but it might be a downside to those who don’t. It was nice to see how their forced marriage literally forced them to come together.
Lou is the snarkiest down-to-earth character that I’ve read about for a while, and it was refreshing to see someone like that. She is someone who says what’s on her mind and isn’t afraid to defy everyone’s expectations. It was interesting that she had such a big role in the witch-society and I think that the ending gave a nice cliffhanger for the sequels.
Reid contrasted Lou in so many was with his honor-bound loyalty, Christianity, and the fact that he was born to hunt witches, but it worked out so well. I honestly found him to be a quite average male lead, and there wasn’t as much stand-out-ish about him, but it worked for the story. I liked Lou pestering Reid all the time, and it was more fun to read about, especially because of how pure he was. His heritage at the end was also intertwined well to potentially lead up more into the following novels.
As for the side characters, I love Coco and Ansel. I found Coco to be a really good supporting character, and she was so supportive to Lou throughout the story. Ansel was so cute too and I loved reading about him. While he is training to be a Chasseur, he was so much more relaxed, calm, and innocent than Reid, which was nice to read about. I loved how loyal both him and Coco were, and I would love to read more about them in the next books (with maybe another romance?).
More generally, the plot was good, but I found the pacing to be way too slow for my enjoyment. I feel like the beginning set up nicely to introduce the characters, and the ending was a nice conclusion, but nothing really happened in the middle of the story. The middle basically consisted of Lou and Reid getting to know each other, and it got tedious after a while. I think the only reason why I was able to get through it was because of how much I liked the characters and how they pushed the story along. While we got the original heist and forced-marriage in the beginning and Lou’s mother coming after her in the end, I can’t say that there was any defining moment of the middle of the story, besides Lou and Reid falling in love.
I’m going to try to not severely spoil the book, but I did find the general plot of the story interesting. The synopsis for the book honestly sums most of it up with the exception of the last quarter, so for the most part, you get what you’re promised. The entire historical France atmosphere is something that I usually wouldn’t go for, but it didn’t impact my enjoyment of the novel at all.
Overall, I found this book to be well written, but slow at times. The middle of the story really took away from my enjoyment, but the beginning and the end had a really strong plot with a ton of action. The characters were well developed and they helped move the story along. While there is the main romance of Lou and Reid, the supporting characters of Ansel and Coco fit in with the story just as well.
I would really recommend this book to everyone who likes witch stories with a slow-burn forced marriage hate-to-love romance! All of these tropes work well with each other, and it was quite enjoyable. If you’re not the biggest fan of slower paced novels, this might not be the book for you, but I really liked it nevertheless. I’m super excited for Blood and Honey, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!