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One of myーand I’m sure many other bookworms’ーmost anticipated releases of 2020, Blood & Honey, continues the journey of Lou, a witch, and Reid, her ex-witch hunter husband. This Serpent & Dove sequel is 1,000 times more explosive than its predecessor, with the tension between all the characters and the changes they experience. 

Photo via @thebookoffaerie

Spoilers ahead

I’m still not completely sure if I loved or hated it, but what I do know is that this book unfortunately falls into what we know as the middle book syndrome. Originally, these books were going to be a duology. However, popular demand played a key role in author Shelby Mahurin’s decision to stretch the plot into a trilogy. This might just be the reason why this book’s plot felt all over the place at times. It also had a significant amount of filler material. Most of the book consisted of the main characters’ group just wandering about without really focusing on anything for more than a couple of chapters. And then everything mostly happens within the third part of the book. So, for me, the book could have easily been shorter. 

Let’s start with Lou and Reid (sigh). Throughout the books, their relationship problems escalate to a point of self-destruction. I felt like they wanted to shatter their relationship on purpose until it was hopeless. On top of that, their drama took up like two thirds of the book, and with each page, I started to dislike them even more. Lou starts to give in to her magic and loses her mind a bit, so the fact that she’s fighting with Reid is not that surprising. However, Reid is just plain mean about it and even a bit controlling without realizing it. 

Reid, as Madame Labelle puts it, goes “one step forward and two steps back.” Even though in the last book he says that it doesn’t matter that Lou is a witch, his actions reveal the contrary. He spends his time brooding and hating himself because he killed the archbishop and because he's a witch himself. And while some of his brooding and actions are understandable—because he did find out that nothing is as he thought it was—some things are just plain wrong. 

For example, during most of the book, he emphasizes that magic is wrong and disgustingー he even tries to prohibit Lou and Madame Labelle from practicing it. I’m actually quite disappointed that we didn’t get to see Reid develop his magic, but I’m sure that in the third and final installment of this trilogy, Reid will rectify his behaviour due his newfound open mindedness about magic that we see at the end of this sequel. 

Photo via @fill_my_bookcase

Don’t even let me get started about that one character’s death. It was probably expected, but that’s not gonna make me less mad and disappointed, because out of all the characters, this one in particular deserved a whole lot more than they got. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Shelby for killing them off. This character was good, through and through, and still had so much to give. They wanted to get better at things to try and help the defenseless. 

However, now we don’t get to see what would have become of them because they’re dead. Not only did I think it was unnecessaryーbecause Lou had all the resolve to kill Morgane alreadyーI also think the way they were killed was totally unfair and kind of stupid. I feel like this character at least deserved to die under different circumstances. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book, even if I had a lot of problems with it. In my mind, it probably earned like a 3.5/5 stars rating. I haven’t got a clue as to what will happen in the next book, but I do think that there’s room for growth and that it will be better. For this reason, I’m sure I’ll pick up the last book in this trilogy whenever it comes out. 

Angélica is a Comparative Literature in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She's a wannabe writer that can be found cuddled up in her bed reading a book. Her biggest obsession is Harry Potter and anything to do with it. She has a lot of dreams for her future and hopes to work in a publishing house someday.
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