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Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, 2) Hardcover – September 1, 2020

4.3 out of 5 stars 6,509 ratings

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From the Publisher

serpent & dove witch hunter love honor burn

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In Lou’s world she not only finds her voice, but makes men take notice and change their views of women. With so many twists and turns, this book is a must for fans of the first.” — School Library Journal

“Seductive, steamy, and satisfying.  Mahurin has delivered a fearless and captivating sequel that has me hooked. This is officially one of my favorite series ever.” — Adalyn Grace, New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth

“Decadent and dangerous, Blood & Honey was exactly the book I needed at precisely the right time. The rich cast of characters captivated me, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for this merry band of miscreants.” — Reneé Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath & the Dawn series

"Blood & Honey grabbed me by the throat. Shining with irreverent humor and brutal heartache, every magical word is rendered beautifully throughout the many twists and harrowing turns. Mahurin delivers a triumphant return to Belterra." — Isabel Ibañez, author of Woven In Moonlight

“A breathless, breathtaking continuation of the magical world Mahurin has created pits the strength of love against the need to protect those one loves…at any cost.  Would you lose your soul to save someone else’s? Blood & Honey doesn’t just address this question; it slams the reader into the story - and that existential question - in a brilliant, unending roller-coaster ride.”   — Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light

Praise for Serpent & Dove:
“Drips with intrigue and shadow.” —
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“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, #1 New York Times  bestselling author of A Court of Thorns and Roses series

“Will cast a spell on romance fans.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Mahurin has taken the witch and witch hunter trope and made it new again. The world-building will draw in readers and Lou’s strong but wistful nature will keep them turning pages.” — School Library Journal

About the Author

Shelby Mahurin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Serpent & Dove trilogy. She grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn’t fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches The Office and reads voraciously. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband and semiferal children. Visit her online at www.shelbymahurin.com.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperTeen (September 1, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062878050
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062878052
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 17 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.3 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.61 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 6,509 ratings

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Shelby Mahurin grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn't fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and reads voraciously. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband and semi-feral children.

Serpent & Dove is Shelby’s debut novel. You can visit her online at www.shelbymahurin.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @shelbymahurin.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
6,509 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 30, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blood & Honey: An Honest Review from a Bible Major
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 30, 2020
Warning: This review will contain spoilers.

I woke up this morning, my bookmark wedged at the end of Act I in Blood & Honey, blissfully unaware of the emotional trauma I was about to suffer. “Just one more chapter,” I said to myself, still nestled in the warmth of my blankets as I reached for it. One chapter turned into the end of Act II, when I realized I desperately needed to get up and feed my cat two hours later.

Oops.

Praise Jesus I did feed her, too. I only survived Act III because she sat on my leg and purred while I sobbed.

Let me just say, above all other things, Shelby Mahurin is a queen of character development. From the start, I knew I liked where Reid’s character arc was going. I relate to our beloved God-fearing witch hunter on a spiritual level (is that a pun? If it is, totally intended). As someone who studied Bible-Theology in college, he was easy to understand. While personality-wise, I tended to relate to Lou a heck of a lot more, logistically, I really appreciated Reid. And in this book, I knew he’d have a lot of baggage to sort through with the revelation at the end of S&D that he was dun, dun, dunnnnn A WITCH.

First of all, the fact that she had him STRUGGLE with this was beautiful. I loved every minute of him being in denial of what he was, especially since it made the moment when he finally accepted magic so powerful. I do wish there would have been more of a struggle with his faith, though. At the end of S&D, I remember him questioning God’s existence. And since I felt like Woodwose’s confirmed existence at the end was sort of like saying God exists in this universe, it would have made sense for him to struggle with having been a Chasseur, and now knowing he was a witch, to question his faith a little bit more. He questioned magic a lot. He questioned whether it was good. He questioned what magic did to Lou. But he never questioned how having magic changed the faith he’d been raised in. It was just a lot of denial until… he used magic. I felt like this was neglected. But again, this is coming from someone who did study Bible-Theology, talking about a seemingly secular book.

On the subject of a seemingly secular book, can we talk about Lou? Aside from having told my mom I have a second stomach reserved for deserts all my life (something Lou said in S&D that made me wonder if I was Lou in an alternate reality), in S&D, I wasn’t always Lou’s biggest fan. It wasn’t the witchness or the anti-Godness, so much as it was she seemed to be really rash and impulsive. Again, I must say, I still loved her character. She’s headstrong and smart and strong. But I felt like a vast majority of the things that went wrong in S&D went wrong because Lou made a dumb decision.

So, I loved her character arc in this one. It’s rare you see a character who is impulsive and rash suffer so much from their impulsivity. I loved her having this reckoning that she’s been going too far, realizing she’s messed up, and feeling broken. I don’t think enough authors have the guts to break their characters like this.

I also want to say, Shelby Mahurin gutted me with the words, “Reid says I’m… lost,” all the way to, “Don’t abandon me,” (pages 421-423). It’s one of the rawest, most powerful, most beautiful prayer, and for Lou’s character arc to include that was astounding. It was an angry prayer, but it was also filled with so much longing. I don’t think there was a moment in the book where Lou was more honest with herself. With how she feels. And I think, in her final chapter, this feeling of abandonment really shines through. That it’s Lou’s biggest fear, and in the end, she feels utterly alone. Her character arc was beautiful from start to finish.

(Also, bit more about theology/skip if you want more of the review: I found it interesting that the only answer Lou claimed to have received was silence, yet a little while later, it’s Claud Deveraux (a.k.a. Woodwose, a.k.a. Cesarine’s God-figure) who comes to visit her, and they discuss her prayer. He then goes on to remind her that she isn’t alone, because Reid is back and he’s asking for her. Almost like an answer to her prayer…)

Honestly, Lou and Reid were the shining moments of this story, and I absolutely adored them both. But there were a few things that I wasn’t a huge fan of, and obviously it wasn’t enough to lower it from 5 stars, but it was enough to just quickly address.

It’s really dark. Unsettlingly dark. There isn’t a lot of hope, and I felt like, as a reader, the book dragged a little bit because of this. It wasn’t the pacing, it was the content. But the matter that was dark was handled delicately. One of my favorite moments took place at the Archbishop’s funeral, when Reid FINALLY grieved (better than him throwing knives at Lou. Better than almost anything. I adore Reid).I just wish there had been a little more hope sprinkled in, because you need to see light in the midst of darkness.

My biggest gripe with this story was that I felt like there were too many characters to keep straight. I read the entire book and I still don’t know the two twins who traveled with Deveraux. I don’t know their names. I don’t completely understand their importance. I barely managed to keep track of where Madame Labelle was at any given time in the story. It’s a big cast of characters, and that made it difficult to follow the journeys of the characters I loved most. Aside from Lou and Reid, I felt like the only side character who had decent page time was Beau. It’s not that Coco and Ansel didn’t have their own arcs, but it felt overshadowed by the massive amount of characters in the story. I would have LOVED to see Reid and Coco’s friendship grow. Their scenes together, and how much Lou liked them getting along, would have made an interesting addition to the story. Since this was a character-driven book, it needed a smaller cast of characters.

And Ansel. My baby. My favorite character. I felt like he was done dirty. My boy was basically treated like crap the entire book ONLY TO DIE? ONLY TO BE THEIR MARTYR? He didn’t deserve that! I am so upset with how it ended. I mean, of course, it had to end like that. I get that. It was a great ending. BUT IT HURT. SO MUCH. I do wish he had gotten more page time. It felt like his only purpose in this book was to die. Sure, he had his heroic moment saving Gaby and Celie, but couldn’t he have gotten more page time? I would have loved to see him and Coco interact more after they kissed (I think Coco needed more page time, too).

This sort of leads into that ending. Because I want to hate it. I want to hate Shelby Mahurin for the emotional trauma she has caused me. I’m definitely not going to sleep tonight, and it’s her fault. But I can’t. It was a fantastic ending. It really was. I read some reviews that said it ended too quickly, but I actually disagree. I think the ending pace was wonderful. I didn’t have time to catch my breath, which is part of what made it so devastating (in the best possible way). They accomplished their goal. They saved Celie and Gaby, but it was totally a pyrrhic victory when they lost Ansel. As Coco said, he’s the best of them. To lose him is devastating. It still sucks.

But I’ll be honest, that part was nothing compared to La Voisin and Nicholina betraying Lou at the end. I said this before. I’ll say it again. Lou’s character arc was *chef’s kiss*. The fact that she feared being abandoned, that she spent the book pushing people away to protect them (sometimes, even to protect them from herself), and the fact that she prayed because of how afraid she was made this ultimate abandonment, being left to La Voisin’s plan, was both beautiful and shattering. Like I said, I commend Shelby Mahurin for breaking Lou the way she did. And I do wonder if her breaking Lou in the final book to come will have any impact in Lou’s view of faith.

Remember how I said most of the book seemed really dark, and lacked hope? I felt like that about the end until I got to one of the last lines (Reid’s perspective). “I frowned. I hadn’t seen her grin since–since–“ (531). I won’t say why that single line gives me hope, but if you’ve paid attention to Reid’s analysis of Lou’s grins, you’ve probably guessed.

I don’t think Lou’s as abandoned as she thinks she is.

I think Mahurin just wants us to believe she is.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 13, 2023
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 7, 2022

Top reviews from other countries

Readinginpyjamas
3.0 out of 5 stars The angst level is high in this one!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 7, 2020
4 people found this helpful
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kazzyb37
4.0 out of 5 stars Have different authors written this book ?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 2, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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ateachersguidetoreading
4.0 out of 5 stars Just falls short of bewitching...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 6, 2020
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ateachersguidetoreading
4.0 out of 5 stars Just falls short of bewitching...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 6, 2020
"Ask me no questions, mon amour, and I shall tell you no lies..."
*
Did I like this book? Yes, very much. Did I enjoy this book? Yes. Did I love this book? I hate to say it, but no.
*
"The wisest course of action isn't always the right one..."
*
In this sequel we see Lou, Reid and Co navigating the consequences from the end of Serpent & Dove whilst trying to anticipate an attack from La Dame Des Sorcieres.
*
What I really liked about this book was how we got to see more of the world and the magical creatures that inhabit it. There were lot of new and interesting characters introduced along the way. And that cliffhanger... Wow! I did predict it with some of the earlier foreshadowing but, my gods, it still hit hard!
I also experienced a first whilst reading this book as I took part in an Interactive Art Read-A-Long through A Touch of Magic Designs on IG. This included five mystery prints labelled with a corresponding chapter. It depicted the scene beautifully and helped to bring the characters to life. It also had me rushing to read on to reach the next print. This read-a-long is a big part of why this review is 4 stars instead of 3.
*
"She wore secrets like armour, and she shed them for no one... "
*
Now, I loved Serpent & Dove and I was abolsutely hooked on it. I feel Blood & Honey just fell short of that. It honestly felt like Lou and Reid were strangers - that original spark was missing. The story between those two felt repetitive in this book and not fresh like in S&D. It felt like this was a 'filler' book before getting to the Finale. I'm a sucker for romance and theirs just seemed to dwindle. I'm hoping to see a revival in book 3.
*
"You are earth. And she is fire..."
*
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars This instalment is much darker and the ending broke my heart.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 24, 2021
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars This instalment is much darker and the ending broke my heart.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 24, 2021
After surviving death as second time at the hands of Morgane, Lou, Reid and their friends are suffering from the fallout. The death of the Archbishop by Reid to save Lou has changed him and his views on magic have become even more conflicting as he refuses to accept his magical heritage. The clash with the Dame Blanches has also changed Lou. She is angry, volatile and more reckless with her magic. She is obsessed with revenge and it is clouding her judgment. Reid and Coco worry that Lou is not in control of her feelings or magic and that she is acting more like her power-crazed mother every day.

As fugitives from the Dames Blanches, Church and Crown, they must find a way to defeat Morgane by locating other witches or supernatural beings to assist them. When the friends must part ways because Reid is not welcome by Coco's family the Dames Rough and he must seek the werewolves separately, troubles within the group deepen. Lack of communication causes a rift between Reid and Lou and as they go their separate ways that rift only widens. Lou cannot understand why Reid will not see beyond her magic to the woman he says he loves and stop trying to change her and Reid cannot reconcile the Lou that he fell in love with the drastically altered woman before him who is violent and dangerously irrational. But the one thing he takes issue with is the fact she continues to lie to him about her past.

As their enemies close in on every side will they succeed in vanquishing Morgane once and for all or will they even survive the coming battle? One thing is certain – the fight ahead of them will leave earth-shattering consequences for all involved and ones that no magic can reverse.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. This instalment is much darker and the ending broke my heart. Even though these beloved characters have changed considerably and in unexpected ways, I still feel drawn to them. The escalating tension to the showdown with Morgane was thrilling but I found the interpersonal conflicts and connections to be even more compelling. I recommend tissues.
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Annie
4.0 out of 5 stars No Mary or Gray Stu's here!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 16, 2020
One person found this helpful
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