Serpent & Dove Readalong: Day 1

Beautiful picture by @haventreadityet (P.S. wonderfully relatable name!)

HELLO! (Or should we say bonjour?)

Sorry for my all-caps action, but I’M JUST VERY EXCITED to get into this with you!

First things first, though, of course – let me know how was your weekend? Did you get a chance to do something for yourself, little self care? I really hope so, it’s easy to get lost in the never ending to-do list!

Even if you did not get a chance to sneak away for some well deserved me time, hopefully this readalong will provide a good excuse to do just that!

We start…well, from the beginning and stop at page 108 today! 🙂 Grab yourself a blanket, cuddle in for a good reading session and once that’s all done, let’s chat about it!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin pages 0-108! Read only if you’ve finished those pages!


The book is set in France! *runs to the kitchen to grab a croissant as if the book setting gives me more of a reason to eat it*

Straight from the beginning our two lady friends are in disguise as males, while entering a brothel of all places. Really sets the tone, does it not? 🙂 Where they proceed to bargain with the owner about spying through one of the portraits into the private room in which Monsieur Tremblay speaks about a ring that they are seeking. It truly effortlessly sends you to France, and I really appreciate that the little french words, that we see appear fairly often, are words that even those who did not learn french as a language will likely understand! As a girl of a somewhat lazy disposition, I notice these small things and I thank the author for it.

I quite like the humour and we did actually end up getting the location of the ring so good start! At first it does feel like we’re thrown in quite suddenly in the middle of a scene we’re obviously not familiar with at all, it could get a bit confusing. But I feel like we’re on a quest now! 

Seems like the ring grants you invisibility but also renders you immune from various enchantments. When that is mentioned, Bas (his tooshie description is not lost on me) reaches towards her cravat that hides her scars. They mention a “her” and that this person has not found her yet. Is Lou on the run, is she living on borrowed time? What do you think this will be about? 

Also, if you had a ring that could grant you 2 abilities/resistances, what would you pick?

We also learn that she doesn’t do magic! Wonder if this is something that has been a direct consequence of the above? I found this quite unexpected, as witchcraft is such a big part of the book summary! I’m not complaining, I like to be surprised! 

Chasseurs make an appearance – the church witch hunters. 

I relate to Lou’s love for pastries (especially french type!) on a spiritual level. (Pastries are a true form of magic, fight me.)

“You broke my ass bone”  good introductions, Lou. Well done ?Such grace.

Oooh we sense magic. Love the fact that instead of seeing the magic being used visually, this world and people in it can smell the magic. The writing style this author uses also magnifies the dramatic effect of magic entering the scene, as she can shift the mood seamlessly 10 times in one chapter! Did you notice?

Eurgh “…as if God could be a woman”. I can’t be the only one who instantly thought of Ariana Grande here?

No but seriously, you know when someone says a woman cannot be something, we probably are about to show them otherwise. Looking forward to it.  

Oooh plot thickens, the second daughter of Monsieur Tremblay is none other than Reid’s former lover. Oh wow she broke up with him so she wouldn’t be a distraction from hunting the witches responsible for her sisters death. I wonder if she knows this has been caused by her father? 

The trio break into the house to get the ring and just as they have succeeded there’s the Chesseurs! Wonder who has snitched about it. Any guesses?

Regardless, Bas has darted away leaving Lou to herself! Use the ring, girl! USE THE RING! 

Reid seems to be afraid of heights! How many times do you reckon has he heard the joke of “funny for a tall guy!”. To be fair, he does technically have further to fall from.

Oh no the friends saying goodbye hits in the feels. Also nobody’s gonna mess with our girl. Those guys got what they deserved! 

As Jean Luc acts guided by jealousy I get a feeling he might be the enemy at the end. Jealousy never leads anywhere good. It’s probably one of the worst emotions out there. 

It’s rare that a book acknowledges that main characters actually do need to pee. I’m slightly pleased this was included in the book, makes it feel a bit more real.

Oh my, Reid and Lou falling through the theatre curtains, her all bruised and exposed, him clearly looking like he just assaulted her…

And then the Archbishop steps in!! 

Okay I thought it would be hard for me to hate Archbishop more than I already did but he’s quickly approaching Umbridge levels. The way he talks about her, as a wife, being entirely in Reid’s possession got my blood boiling! 

It sounds like Reid has had some anger management issues there in the past, do you recognise him counting to 10?

Haha, the HOLY TOOTS ? Thank goodness for this moment as I really needed a lift me up after all this! I’m not actually too worried for Lou at least, she seems very capable of looking after herself! 

I am in love with her attitude! She doesn’t take crap from anyone and doesn’t really come across as naive, which is so refreshing! I’m not one for violence at all but when Umbridge, sorry Archbishop is concerned I can hardly feel empathy, after he just almost drowned her! What a prick! 

They’re a married couple now. We knew this would happen (from the synopsis) but still, what an escalation of events! 

This was definitely a set-a-scene part of the book! We met many characters but don’t know them too much just yet, we have made enemies and we are moving from one chapter of Lou’s life to an altogether different one!

Have you enjoyed it so far? What where your favourite bits? Let’s all chat in the comments!




50 thoughts on “Serpent & Dove Readalong: Day 1

  1. I am DEVOURING this book!! Absolutely loving it! Arranged marriages is one of my favorite tropes and its been a minute since I read one!

    First off, I felt the beginning was a bit confusing but it picked up really fast. No doubt Lou is such a fun MC! She is snarky and foul mouthed and I just friggin love her. And I also get some morally gray vibes from her? I hope that’s the case.

    Reid is very interesting. He acts all proper but deep down you can tell he can be a slight scoundrel if he wanted to be. I bet he’s going to be hella sexy at some point. The banter with Lou is extremely amusing. I love their chemistry.

    Also, am I the only one who likes Bas and wants to see a lot more of him? I confess I felt more attracted to Bas’ antics than Reid. I will probs love Reid later on, but a part of me wants to see Bas do some more shenanigans and be a hottie on his own LOL

    I am hating the Archbishop and just the entire mysoginist society. Ugh. I want the witches to teach them! Definitely suspecting the Archbishop has ulterior motives and is surely trying to exterminate the witches for a reason.

    Can’t wait to see what happens next! This story is starting off so interesting!

    1. I found the beginning too. I had a hard time the first few switches descerning who was who but now I think i’ve got it. This is a great book so far!

    2. I agree, the start can be a bit confusing but it does become pretty clear soon after! 🙂
      Archbishop is honestly so frustrating!

  2. I really hate the archbishop I genuinely felt so uncomfortable with that scene with him describing her as property it was awful! I’m loving Lou she certainly seems very kickass and independant and she’s making me laugh a lot!

    1. Me too! I think we are supposed to be very uncomfortable though so that’s fine haha 😀

  3. I thought I was going to have a hard time reading it because my head hurts and I am sick but it’s a delightfully easy and funny read. Anyone thinks that it was theatre lady that made the Archbishop fart?

    1. ooooh I did not think about it before but I do NOW! 😀

    2. The farting Archbishop moment LMAO! I’m pleasantly surprised by the amount of humour in this book so far. Lou is a fascinating and strong character.

      I hadn’t looked at the book’s synopsis recently, so the marriage actually came as a total surprise to me! It may be a little cliche as a plot device for romance to develop, but still a very entertaining one.

      And then Reid’s inner conflict about hating vs protecting Lou… Aren’t we all just waiting for him to realise the Archbishop is the real villain here?

      I am eager to learn more about the witches who attacked the crowd and the royal family. Are they simply evil, or do they have more complex motives?

  4. My intention was to follow the read along list and do the pages every day however I can’t stop reading. I started last night (as busy today) and I’m already halfway through the book. I love so many different characters. And her love for pastry is just so relatable it instantly makes you bond with her and want her to win at life.!!! And Reid. Who doesn’t love a big tall broody man???

    1. That’s very understandable! 😀 I knew there would be issues with stopping with this one, especially later on! 😀 But you’re always free to join in regardless!

  5. I have been itching to read this book ever since my box arrived but I wanted to hold off until the readalong… and I really didn’t want to put it down after I’d read today’s pages!

    I really like our characters so far, Lou is so snarky and fiesty and it seems like she can take care of herself and I’m all about that. And Reid is completely different from her and I’m a sucker for a pairing like that. Jean Luc was giving me the bad feels, I’m betting he’s plotting something or his jealousy will get the better of him. And gosh, the Archbishop… I hate the man. The way he was speaking about Lou basically being property was horrid! I was wondering how the marriage aspect of this would come about and I didn’t think this was how it would happen!

    I have enjoyed reading so far, I really didn’t want to put the book down today! I’m a sucker for relationships like Lou and Reid and I’m so looking forward to her poking fun and teasing him in future chapters, which is bound to happen!

    1. Imagine having a best friend like Jean Luc! How sad!

  6. I love Lou, she’s amazing, and this book is amazing. Not s big fan of Reid’s anger issues but am enjoying the banter!

    1. The banter is great! I think Reid might grow on us still!

  7. OMG!!! Where to start…I am in love with this book!! I have to say that I totally agree with you G, I love the fact that the author included easy and understandable words in French, it makes you truly get into the story and understand that is set in France.
    As you mentioned, I love the first chapter, Lou and Coco dressed as men inside a brothel, it blew my mind, and then they got in a “spying room” where behind the paintings they could see all the bedrooms…WOWWWW! But most important there were there searching for this magic ring, and we get to learn that Lou needs it as a tool to hide from “her” (I bet that she is like the chief of Lou´s coven and for some reason she ran away, I could´t help but thinking about Manon Blackbeaek and her relationship with her grandmother).
    I adore Lou´s personality and how sassy she is, and also she is a strong woman, she is not going to go down with a fight, and let anyone bother her or drown her!! (COME ONNN WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE ARCHBISHOP, I get it, Lou can get on everybody´s nerves, but he tried to drown her), well she gave him what he deserved! He is pure evil, I kind of suspect that he hatred towards witches is due to the fact that he might had been involved with one or he is hiding something (well, I am sure he has some dark secrets).
    She is really funny, I love her sense of humor and how she knows how to annoy everyone, specially REID.
    Talking about REID, I am not in love with him already, but he “seems” so naive, innocent and proper, I think that he might surprise us later on. I like the part when he told the Archbishop that he could´t put a hand on Lou anymore, even though Lou gives him a hard time, he will protect her no matter what! He is a man of honor and his word worth.
    I again totally agree with you G as regards Jean Luc, there is something off about him, and I think he will play a key role (not in a positive way) in the ending of our story.
    So today´s reading ends with Lou and Reid getting married, and as the Archbishop said, in order to be a legal marriage, they will have to consummate their marriage?!?! How will they get out of this!! Because clearly they do not want to.

    I won´t be able to stop reading, so I will continue with this amazing story! Talk to you tomorrow!

    1. I too LOVE her jabs at Reid, such a tease! 😀 So glad you’re enjoying the book so far!

  8. Hey all! I was super excited to read Serpent and Dove and started yesterday. I found this first section a little slow to start but it picked up in the last few chapters.

    Reid is a bit of an ass so I’m looking forward to seeing him change over the course of the story. The Archbishop is awful though and I expect there’s only going to be more horridness from him.

    There’s definitely tension between Lou and Reid and I’m looking forward to seeing that develop more.

    1. Reid definitely is a bit of an ass! But I’m sure he’ll develop, hopefully, to be less so! 😀

  9. What a great start! I thought I might struggle with 100-ish pages, because finding time to read has been a struggle lately, but I got into this soooo quickly, it’s been a breeze.

    I’m already loving Lou and her attitude. And REALLY disliking the mysoginistic society she’s living in!!

    Interesting reasoning behind her having to marry Reid – I did wonder how that was going to come about. But I think their relationship is going to be very entertaining.

    I can’t wait to see how this whole thing progresses, and get some answers on who “she” is (I’m thinking maybe her mother, who is perhaps also maybe coven leader???)

    1. Aw sorry to hear you’ve been struggling to find time to read lately, I can definitely relate! And agreed, this book just flies by!

  10. First of all: I love the writing! With the Merciful Crow I had some issues with that, but Serpent and Dove reads itself – kind of.
    I love the story so far, absolutely intrigued by the plot and it’s near of witch history. From what I’ve known it’s absolute realistic, the bruises and peeing fit.
    Reid is such a sweetheart, I absolutely love his awareness of himself, his fear, anger and his immediate action even when his beloved and respected ‘step dad’ missteps – to slap his ‘wife-to-be’. Especially as counter part to the Archbishop (Arschbishop = Assbishop) – who is, despite he is the most hate-able, a full character with power he holds onto and the fear to loose it. Hopefully the witches will get him.

    I already don’t like Celie, who I think will be very angry at Reid – like going out with his so called friend. Totally hope for Reid to get out of this net of toxic relations, which I consider the reason for his anger. ?
    I don’t know yet what to o with Lou or Coco – we’ve seen them in action and with some really short flickers of emotion. I am dying to know more about them, their coven, the omnious ‘her’ Lou is afraid of, their relationship and Dames Blanches and Rouges feude especially.

    And the magic system? As Dame Blanche you need to balance your magic? Seems hard to me but interesting!

    1. Well put! It does really kind of reads itself!

  11. I’m love this book.

    I didn’t think i would be able to read 108 pages as im a slow reader but I’m there.

    I love lou shes so funny I thing she’s going to really get to reid but we will see.

    1. Oh i got you! I’m a slow reader too so I wouldn’t have put 105 pages as a goal if I didn’t know we can do it! <3

  12. As soon as it arrived I had to read the book, I was so intrigued. And boy it did not disapoint. No worries, not going to spoile anything!

    The begining of the book just gets you into the story right away, without having much trouble understanding this fantasy world, which happens frequently in fantasy (at least to me).

    The robbery scene when Lou has already retrived the ring and the Chasseurs have arrived and she doesn’t use the ring for invisibility I’m like what are you waiting for?¿? But then she realizes that she can use it, I think it’s kind of refreshing for a heroine to forget thinks when things are tense, makes it more realistic.

    And finally, the way the get married….hilarious how things go down so quickly

    1. Thank you so much for still chatting with us after you’ve read it! The more the merrier!
      I agree about forgetfulness! Makes the character a bit more believable!

  13. Hello fairylooters ?

    I really like how the language seems a little old fashion but the problem so relevant – female rights nicely packaged in a witch world. Really into it.
    Storywise it always takes me a little longer to get the feel of thigs, so I am excited to keep reading for tomorrows chapters!

  14. Just finished this first bit and I am liking things so far! I love that Reid is horrified at Lou’s swearing and generally un-ladylike behavior and just lamenting that he doesn’t get to be with his precious Celie (who kinda sounds boring as hell anyway amirite?)

    I do not like the Archbishop and get very strong vibes of him being like the villain Frollo in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame; he’s very holier than thou and thinking he’s fighting the good fight for his God, but I get the feeling he’s going to end up being just a creep and lecher.

    I agree that there will be a confrontation with Jean Luc at some point but I hope that given how long he and Reid were friends they’re able to work past it.

    Now I’m just excited to find out more about this world and about Lou’s family and why she is on the run. Can’t wait for the next section.

    1. Hard agree about Celie!

  15. I love this !! So hard to put down.

    One thing I loved was how malevolent the witches are- a lot of books try to make the witches quite good or magic and spells are easy. I like that in this book the witches can be brutal and cruel and in order to use magic, a witch must give something of herself.

    I liked the mystery surrounding the witches as well as trying to discover who Lou is trying to run away from and why she no longer uses her powers.

    I also enjoyed the acknowledgement of the different type of witches as it makes me very curious as to how they invoke their powers.

    Reid in this bit is fairly one dimensional but that’s probably because he just devoted himself to “the cause”. The treatment of women, as well as the opinions of women by the Archbishop/chase it’s made me very angry.

    On the plus side, Lou offsets this with her crass ways and there were so many funny scenes with her- I loved it.

    1. Agreed! I love that magic here is demanding in itself! It’s really refreshing!

  16. I love love love this book. Reid is one of my favorite characters now (I’ve finished it already). I will say I did find his last name a bit distracting. Since Diggory is a huge part of Harry Potter I felt off about him in the beginning and kept imagining him to look like that guy who plays Cedric in the HP movie. However, as I read more, that become less of an issue.

    1. Oh yes same!! Whenever I saw Diggory I just went to Cedric in my mind but thought it might just be me! 😀

  17. I’m a little farther ahead I’m on page 196 my bestie and I are buddy reading this book together! It’s so good so far and seems to only be getting better. I love Lou, she’s a very complex character and seems to have a kind heart but alas a steel plated one.

    1. Hehe I agree, I think the best is still in front of us!

  18. First for some reason I giggled everytime they first said Babette the first couple of timw

    I wanted a little more description of some folks brown skin is still unclear at times

    The church can be more evil than any thief or witch

    1. I just thought of Gilmore Girls! 😀

  19. I loved the first 108 pages! The magic system is really interesting, with the balancing of the Dame blanche magic and the different types like blood magic. I REALLY love Lou’s attitude, and how she’s not afraid to be crass and rude in order to make people uncomfortable (who totally deserve to be!).

    This seems to be a book that understands that women can be so varied, just like men are portrayed in books, and that strong can mean a hell of a lot more than just physical strength. I’m really looking forward to what comes next!

  20. G,
    Would it be possible for you to include the chapter titles that correspond with the allocated pages for each day? I’m trying to read along on my ereader, but the page numbers are all different from the Fairyloot copy, so it’s hard to know which chapters to read each day ? I’d really appreciate it x

  21. This book is going to consume my life, I can already tell. The plot is fast paced but so detailed and the characters feel real. Like, really real. I can picture all of them in my head and their personalities are all unique. I absolutely love the characterization.

    On the other hand, the characterization is so good that the Archbishop makes me want to vomit every time he’s in a scene. His near drowning of Lou made me so livid and the way he speaks sends a disgusted shiver down my spine every time without fail. Hope he gets whats coming to him.

    I’m actually really surprised with the witches. I love that they show the different variations and feuds between them (i.e. the Reds hating Dames Blanches). Hope to see much more of that dynamic in the future. The witch attack actually scared me a bit; I was surprised with how cruel and violent they were because of the typical characterization of witches leaning more on the “misunderstood and hiding” side of the spectrum. Kind of refreshing to see magical creatures being described as they often are in folklore instead of popular culture.

    Lou is such a good character! I can already tell that I’m going to love her forever. When Coco left, I was so sad because I love her to death. I hope we get to see her again soon! I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Reid yet, but I feel like I’ll somehow end up liking him, I think he’s just too heavily influenced by the manipulative “father-figure” he’s receiving from the Archbishop.

    So excited to continue tomorrow! Definitely going to breeze through the next day’s reading!

  22. Hi G! My weekend was good! I actually started S&D ahead because I was scared to fall behind but gosh it was so good the book! I hope your weekend was good too! Hopefully you are feeling better!

    From the very beginning of the book, I was already invested into the story! I didn’t mind that we are practically thrown into the middle of a situation because Mahurin’s writing style was easy to read! I absolutely love the introduction to our love interest! Both of them are too funny together! I love how Lou just kept on scandalously shock and embarrass Reid haha!

    My girl Ariana would be shocked at that line! I thought the same thing as you did when I read that line haha.

    Things just escalated quickly and I LOVE IT! Everything about this is perfect and hilarious! Can’t wait to discuss for tomorrow’s chapters!

  23. Of all the debuts I read this year, this has been the few books that has managed to capture my attention so quickly. I don’t want to stop reading. I’m sinking into the story so easily. I feel so comfortable and at home reading this one!

  24. This book started off a little slow to me but I think that’s because I was eagerly waiting for the arranged marriage bit, my favourite trope. I really love how they’re both in a similar situation with the marriage, neither of them want to be in it but they seem like they’re be doing it together.

    The Archbishop is already a great antagonist, I already hate him. But I really love Lou and Reid, they have such different ways of looking at things and it’s hilarious to see them together.

  25. Hi G hi all
    Just finished the first part I must say its un interesting story
    Lou seems like a fun character cant wait to find out more about her and Reid I cant wait if she will ease down his holy side
    Oh that Archbishop and his awful personality I really hate him I hope something bad gapprns to him but that scene with the fart lol finally something embarrassing loved it
    Oh that part where he trude to kill her oh yea hell is waiting for you asshole
    And now the consumption of marriage can’t wait must read on

  26. Confusing start but I think we’re getting to the bit where things will make more sense. There’s got to be more to this ring than we’ve been told, hell yes the enchantments are useful but for it to be such a big deal… Hmm. I’m waiting for some backstory there.

    I know the misogynistic society is a big part of the set up but it’s really making me uncomfortable, especially with the Archbishop being so seriously nasty with it. Hopefully it won’t distract too much from the story as we pick up momentum.

    Characters, well, we’ve got a lot to get to know. Love Lou and Coco. Bas, you traitorous swine how dare you share a name (almost) with my fave! Anyone else finding Reid’s surname a little distracting – I keep picturing Cedric every time someone calls him Diggory!

  27. The begining was a fast in your face roller coaster ride. I loved it!!!

    Lou is so awesome with her smart mouth and attitude. Reid I am hoping will come out of his shell and let all that pent up anger and frustration loose.

    The Archbishops is a butt. He is the perfect example of a male pig. I wonder what happened for him to think the way he does. I also want to know what was in the letter that he tossed into the fire and made his hands shake.

  28. Loving it so far! There was a lot packed into this first section though, so I found some details a little hard to keep up with ☺️ Love our main characters – Lou is so sassy and fierce ? and I’m intrigued to find out more about Reid.

  29. I’m a little behind, but trying to catch up. I love Lou’s attitude! I’m kind of over weak, naive female leads.

    I really want to know more about Reid’s background. It does seem he has some previous anger management issues. Also, I’m sure his friend will be an issue soon.

    I am very curious to find out how this marriage is going to work out. Reid has his hands full with Lou!!

    Lastly, if I had a ring with magic powers, I would want it to give me the ability to disappear and teleport. That would be cool!

  30. Joining in a tad late, but better late than never, yes?
    These first few chapters were so quick and fun! I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be such a fast paced read. It did take me a little to get interested since we were dropped into a random scence but Lou is such a fun, sassy character!
    I totally thought of Ariana Grande at the part about women unable to be Gods too! (Typing this is totally making me want to read a book with female gods)
    I thought it was a tad odd that the friend was introduced and taken out so abruptly but I imagine she will make a reappearance later! And Bas too! I can totally see some trouble coming about with Jean Luc!
    I wonder if the “she” they keep talking about is her mother or whoever made her a witch ?

Leave a Reply