Audiobook Review of a not flawless but very hyped book! Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Loved the female narrator but the male narrator…took some time to get used to!


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.


Audiobook Review

“Why the f@ck is everyone in this kingdom determined to kill my wife?!”


And that’s with this quote that I finally fell for Reid! Pfew it was time 😊

I don’t really know how to rate this book.

The first 30% had me not caring for the characters nor the story much. I liked it but that was all so 3 stars.
The second tier of the story had me fall into the rhythm and lifting one eyebrow as my interest was finally picked. Lou seemed less reckless and contemptuous of Reid. Reid seemed more than just stuck up to his beliefs and Manichean view of life. So it was a 4 stars.
The last 30% saw me really enjoying myself. The characters finally had all my attention and sympathy, their dynamic flowed much better, I understood at last what was all this universe and feud about annnd the action was running full speed. 5 stars.

This will leave me with 4 stars?

Ok let’s get specific now as to what I didn’t like (at first) and took some time to get used to:

1)The male narrator Holter Graham is acting but with so much gusto and flourishes that it feels a little bit unnatural. He is all dramatic! His rhythm is like a staccato with rushing to read then taking a small breath then rushing to read and rinse repeat.
Easy to understand but needs some time to get used to.
I prefer the steady read of many female narrators who convey the urgency and rush through something else than run, breathe, run, breathe…
He grew on me and by the end of the book I enjoyed it. Because he had become Reid to me!

2) The main characters!


At first I didn’t like Lou. Yes she was a devil may care and escaping from danger many times, being resourceful and all. Qualities I usually love in a heroine. But my main problem was her mocking Reid. Calling him a pompous @ss. Telling him that he had to relax etc. I get why of course. She didn’t know him and he was in the enemy camp. The author’s choice was in fact the most realistic. Yet it did not make me like such attitude.

Reid…I was ambivalent.
Because he always was protective of Lou and wanted to honor his vow to his wife even if he had not chosen her. He was a man of honor, kindness and courage. But his black and white view of the world with witches being all evil in one camp and the rest of humanity in the good camp really grated on my nerves! Have nuances please.

Yet here again the author wrote something that fit better to his past and upbringing. It was being consistent with his calling.
It also was this story’s purpose to change his view and make him grow up.

So mission accomplished by the end of the book!

What I liked:

1) How it turned out! How what I disliked in the beginning evolved, matured to give me characters I grew fond of!

2) The world building with the different kind of witches. How some witches were truly evil and the horrifying pain they inflicted on cursed humans.

3) The twists with who was really who! Discovering the character’s secret pasts!

4) Saskia Maarleveld narration…once more.

Should you read it? Yes if you live books about witches with impressive character’s grow and rich world building. But it ends on a cliffhanger so you’ve been warned!


Have you read it? Or listened to it?


Thanks for reading!



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30 Replies to “Audiobook Review of a not flawless but very hyped book! Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Loved the female narrator but the male narrator…took some time to get used to!”

  1. Thank you so much for the cliffhanger warning! It seems like so many books I’ve read lately end on cliffhangers, my heart is struggling ack! I have this on my tbr so I think I’m going to wait until the next book comes out. Thank you Sophie for the heads up!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You are most welcome Jen!!! And I didn’t even know that this was part of a series!!!

  2. Ooh, witches! I love it when an author’s characters grow during the reading.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Laura and seriously that’s lucky they did!

  3. Great review! I haven’t read it yet but I’m planning to pick it up on December. I’m glad you overall enjoyed the book despite having issue with the male narrator.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I hope your December read will be great from start to finish Raven! I am curious to read your review 😉

  4. I won a copy of this book and have it waiting for me. Glad you enjoyed it, Sophie!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I hope you’ll love it Teri!!!

  5. Great review! I am curious about this book but I think I will try the ebook version. I tried 3 audiobooks but I don’t really enjoy them. But feel free to recommend me the one you enjoyed the most and I will give it another try

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Mia! And one I would totally recommend is Salt to the sea by Ruta Sepetys!

  6. You sound really split Sophie!! I’ve heard great things and poor things about this one. Seems to be something in the middle. I hate that big & sign… its just stupid to me. ❤️ Great review

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Dani! And yes I am torn but the ending was worth it!

  7. Olivia-Savannah says: Reply

    I recently finished reading this one and had some mixed feelings. I felt like the world building could’ve been done better and it was slow to start. But I did like the middle a lot and shipped the romance! And I really loved Reid. While I did like Lou, he stole the limelight for me. I am not completely satisfied with everything in the end though… So a mixed one for me. I am glad that for the most part you did seem to enjoy it!

    Olivia-S @ Olivia’s Catastrophe

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well yes I think that I too do prefer Reid to Lou Olivia 😉

  8. I can’t wait to read this one, but I’m also dreading all the overhyped books! But that quote in the beginning of your review was perfect!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha that’s with that quote that Reid finally won me 😉

  9. Glad it got good towards the end. and witches after all… 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well yes, there is that: witches!!! 😉

  10. I’m glad to hear that it pretty much got better as you progressed through the story although it started off on the wrong foot. Glad you enjoyed this one, Sophie! Great review as always hahah 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Lashaan!

  11. Great review! I’m glad you ended up enjoying this one.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you!!!

  12. Great review! I’m reading the physical book right now and really enjoying it. I’m not much of an audio person..1) I tune out and 2) I feel like it can really make or break a book. Glad you ended up liking it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You are totally right about the narration making or breaking a book Gigi! It really is a “take it or leave it!”

  13. 4 stars is a pretty solid rating !! 😀 I have a lot of high expectations for this book and I guess after reading your review, my expectations are more realistic now haha.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Trang I’ll be curious about your review!

  14. I’m glad you liked it, I loved it!

    The male narrator is the same guy who did Nevernight? OMG I loved him! He made Nevernight for me!!!!!

    Reid is mine btw!!!!!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahaha well I trust you if you say this is the same narrator! Now that I am finally used to him maybe I should try to listen to Nevernight again!

      1. Yes, do it! I really enjoyed it! No reading or listening for me today, I went to a wedding all day yesterday and am feeling ropey today…..damn that free wine!!!

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