Born and raised in the rural side of Indiana, Shelby Mahurin is part of the new wave of young adult fiction writers taking the world over by storm. She gained notoriety with her debut novel – Serpent & Dove, which made it to The New York Times bestseller collection. The book was also the club selection for Barnes & Noble in September 2019. Given its success, the book had two sequels that carried the story on.

Growing up in the beautiful countryside, Shelby Mahurin's imagination was always rich. Still living close to her childhood farm, she is transposing her imagination in one bestseller after another these days. While still new out there, the young author has proven that she has the capabilities to trigger her readers' creativity with unimaginable characters and incredible plot twists.

All in all, here are the best-rated Shelby Mahurin books, but expect the list to grow much longer over the next few years.


Serpent & Dove

Serpent & Dove is the impressive story of Lou le Blanc. Her story is given in a dual perspective manner, as the story also follows Reid Diggory. Lou is a witch, and Reid is a witch hunter. Lou has been imprisoned, but she has managed to escape. She is now hiding in Cesarine, a small town where no one would think to look for her.

Giving up her magic powers to keep her cover, Lou is now up for another career – she is a thief. Her struggle to stay undercover is real. Cesarine is an old-fashioned town. All witches are hunted and burned, as they are seen as a danger. Every woman is suspected to be a witch at some point or another, so she needs to maintain a perfect impression.

Reid has a different purpose in life. He obeys the church, and his main job is to hunt and capture witches. One thing leads to another, and Lou and Reid cross paths. The two fall in love and end up getting married. It may seem like impossible love, but Lou sees this marriage as an opportunity. She is less likely to be suspected of being a witch now, but making a wrong move could get her killed.

The story is written in a very appealing way and boosts Shelby Mahurin above most of her competition. No matter what type of books you are into, chances are the story will hook you in straight away. Every single aspect of this book is planned in the smallest detail. Plus, as if all these were not enough, the book features a bunch of French influences, which will add to its appeal.

The atmosphere is vivid and challenging, while Cesarine is the perfect place for it. The dual perspective narration is something you may not necessarily be familiar with, but it will manage to help your mind create two different voices for each character. There are no doubts about it – you will be in the middle of the action, and you will actually feel it.

The story is focused on romance. However, fantasy is part of the game as well, and it will not let you down. There are plenty of fantastic elements, as well as numerous plot twists to leave you craving for more. To make it even better, the book features lots of humor – it is not a comedy, though, but it expresses humor in a clever and subtle manner.


Blood & Honey

Blood & Honey is the second book of the Serpent & Dove series and the sequel to the first book. The book starts like a slow burner in the beginning, but it builds up tension. It follows the main characters traveling from one place to another in order to find new friends and allies – each adventure featuring a few quests and adventures.

The second part is where action gains momentum. The Archbishop's funeral takes place, and the hunting part begins – everyone is after Lou's mother. This is when you grab the book and find yourself unable to put it down. As it reaches towards the end, expect a decent cliffhanger, leaving room for even more action in the next release.

From many points of view, this is the filler among the best Shelby Mahurin books. While it has a good pace and the action is very appealing, the truth is there are many aspects that are left undone. Someone Lou loves will get killed, causing even more stir for the action in the last part of the trilogy – it totally makes sense, though.

Lou's unique appearance is what makes this book stand out in the crowd. The characterization is different from what you might expect, especially if you have been through the first book already. Magic is given more importance in this book, while certain scenes can cause a serious impact on your emotions. Lou is definitely moving towards a dark approach, but she knows, and she tries her best to avoid it.

There is a bit of romance in this book, as well as plenty of fantasy and action. Compared to the first book, this new release is also quite dark. The main characters will face one challenge after another. All these obstacles are really difficult and can cause some sadness here and there, making the book feel a bit difficult.

Obviously, there are lots of happy moments too, but the dark ones outweigh them. Most of the positive parts in this book focus on Lou and Reid, as well as their relationship and the way they can communicate. Some moments are truly beautiful, yet the heavy ones tend to dominate the book. All in all, whether you loved the first part or you want to get ready for the finale, this book is a must.


Gods & Monsters

Whether you have been fascinated by the humor and romance in the first book or the sadness and action in the second one, Gods & Monsters is a must if you want to finish the successful trilogy and reach to an ending. If you have been through the second book, the last one is a must, as there are many unfinished stories and challenges left behind, so you definitely want an ending.

Gods & Monster is one of the best-rated Shely Mahurin books, mostly because it is supported by the two previous releases in the Serpent & Dove trilogy. The first book is an excellent book to hook you in. The second one builds up the tension and shows a bit of darkness as well. The third one is a mix of everything and an excellent finale to a trilogy that has convinced everyone about the author's imagination.

All in all, the characters have not changed much. You have Lou – a witch – and Reid – a witch hunter. The two are in love and have been through a lot together. There is a bit of forbidden love and lots of challenges associated with it, but things work out nicely in the end. You have the same classic French influences and fantasy accents that will not disappoint you.

When it comes to the actual story, you might be aware of it already – evil is always looking after a foothold. Although you could get a few hints about the book without reading the first two releases, it pays off knowing the characters, their background, and history together. Anyway, Lou faces an incredible loss that puts her off. She is joined by Reid, Coco, and Beau.

Everyone is seeking revenge. Everyone has something to fight for, but Lou seems to be the most affected character in the book, so most of the action is focused on her. She experiences a lot of drama and sadness in the second release – in fact, someone she truly loves is actually killed. She knows that she cannot leave things like that, and she will use her allies to get back on track.

If the first two books give you two different descriptions of Lou, this third one changes everything. This is not the Lou you might be familiar with. It is not the Lou that fell in love with Reid. After the experiences in the second book, this is the Lou whose heart is full of sadness. She is darker than ever, and she will need to get rid of this darkness – love itself cannot do everything. What is going to happen in the end?

Conclusion

As a short final conclusion, these are the main and best Shelby Mahurin books to satisfy your hunger for fantasy. These books are far from what you might expect from plain fantasy. Get ready for humor, romance, plot twists, and the king of story that you may not really be familiar with. Get ready for a mix of action and different characters as you go through the stories and expect some plot twists that you would never imagine. It is no surprise how Shelby Mahurin has gained so much notoriety over a short period of time – these books will help you understand.