Saturday 14 November 2020

Review: Blood & Honey

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin
Release Date: September 1, 2020

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Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

*May contain mild spoilers for Serpent & Dove*

Blood & Honey really did have me at hello. It is a masterpiece sequel that is filled to the brim with action, character growth, humour, magic and everything that I could have hoped for a sequel. If you have yet to read Serpent & Dove, please go and do so before the release of this book as you will definitely want to be ready for this next installment.

The story picks up from where Serpent & Dove leaves off. The gang is hiding out from Morgane after an epic surprise attack to rescue Lou from being sacrificed by her mother. In doing so, Reid freed something within himself he never realised he had; magic. He is at a war with himself as chasseur who has been disciplined in all things anti-magic, he now realises he is a witch. After being rescued, Lou is also fighting her own demons and finds herself giving more and more over to her magic. Our characters go to some dark places in this book and I loved it. The duo POV works really well for us to understand the individual struggles our characters are going through. However, Morgane is still a threat, and to defeat her they will need allies. In this book, we meet La Voisin, the powerful leader of the blood witches, the dangerous werewolves, and a travelling circus crew with all sorts of abilities. Mahurin shows us more of the land of Belterra as our gang ventures to gather these allies in the hope of defeating Morgane. 

This book was so magical and I was engrossed from start to finish. There really was not a dull moment and at times could barely catch my breath in between all the action. It feels so far away from Lou and Coco sneaking around the Church and hiding their magic. Serpent & Dove feels lighthearted in comparison to the grittiness of this sequel. There is more at stake and danger lurking around every corner, which made this such a page-turner. I also loved meeting all of the new characters and learning more about the world outside of the Church. I was so happy when we were given more information about Coco's blood magic and experiencing the place of her people; the blood camp. We learn more about other magical beings and the powers possible in this world that wasn't touched on in-depth previously. There has even been talk of mermaids but sadly I think we'll have to wait until the final book to meet them.

This is one of the fantasy must-reads of 2020. If you enjoyed Serpent & Dove, Blood & Honey will most definitely satisfy those that have been on edge since the cliffhanger of the previous book. 

5 Falling Books

Thank you to Harper Teen for providing an eARC on Edelweiss.