One Sentence Synopsis
After escaping her mother’s murderous intentions, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are in search of allies to help them defeat their dangerous foe.
“What you are now is not what you’ve always been, nor is it what you always will be. You are a snake. She’s your skin if it no longer serves you. Transform into something different. Something better.”
Last year, I picked up Serpent & Dove on a whim. I thought the cover was pretty and my library had the audiobook available, so I figured “Why not?” I was in for a wild ride that I enjoyed so when I heard the next book in the series was coming out, I knew I would want to read it! I put it on hold at our new library as soon as it came out, but through long wait times (and the fact that I forgot about the original hold and missed my turn 😬), I only recently got a chance to pick this book up.
Fair warning, there will be spoilers for Serpent & Dove throughout this review!
We continue the story where we left off, following Lou, Reid, and company after their harrowing encounter with the Dames Blanches. Adrift and hunted, they come to the decision that they are in desperate need of allies. But when every group that might lend you aid hates at least one person in your group (if not several), who can you turn to? And, to make matters worse, Lou’s magic seems to be taking over, causing her to become more and more erratic, while Reid stubbornly refuses to acknowledge his magic even exists. Can they come to terms with who they are before it tears them and their friends apart?
There is something about this series that is just so dang enjoyable! The story is always fast-paced, with dangers lurking around every corner and cliffhangers at the end of almost every chapter. I found myself so completely invested in the trials that both Lou and Reid were facing throughout! The stakes were high and Shelby Mahurin had a way of weaving the story that kept me glued to the pages on reveal after another. I loved the action in this book, as well. It was so vividly described that I could picture myself right alongside the characters as they fought! This is nothing if not a thoroughly entertaining story.
I found myself not getting on with the main characters as well as I did in the first book, though. They were both being so incredibly pig-headed throughout the book that I just wanted to shake them! I get that Lou is contending with not only her magic trying to take over, but her homicidal mother, as well. She still spent most of the story acting like a brat whenever she didn’t get her way and refusing to see any issue from anyone else’s side but her own. Her Chasseur husband wasn’t much better. I guess it means they deserve each other, but hoo-boy is it frustrating to read! Still, I think I wouldn’t have cared so much if I wasn’t invested in these characters and their story. I also enjoyed seeing the side characters, like Coco, Ansel, and Beau, get fleshed out a little more. And there are some new additions that I absolutely adored!
Now we must talk about the ending. Because what the $&^%.?!? I’m not one that hates book that have cliffhangers. If it’s done well, it just makes me that much more excited about reading the next book! This cliffhanger made me toss the book down on my bed and groan, out loud, “Are you kidding me?!” I just… how are you going to end a story like that?! I hate it and, at the same time, think it’s a brilliant hook to bring us into the next book. I will definitely be reading the third book because I need to know how everything resolves, but mostly because I need to know what happens after that freakin’ ending!
Final thoughts: This was just as enjoyable and fast-paced as it’s predecessor! Though the main characters were a little frustrating this time around, I still was invested in watching their growth and seeing how they came to terms with their current circumstances. I really enjoyed the writing and the action. It kept me completely enthralled! And, even though the ending kinda made me want to fight someone, it definitely makes me want to read the next book in this series! If you enjoyed Serpent & Dove and are looking for a fantasy book with magic, high stakes, and a little bit of romance, I think you might enjoy this one!