Happy Wednesday book friends! Coming at you with another review, this time of The Scarlet Veil be Shelby Mahurin. I managed to land an ARC for this book, which honestly surprised my so much because my NG ratio is abysmal. Unfortunately, I will now need three to five business days to recover from this book.
So I think none of us actually liked Célie during the first two books of Serpent & Dove. For me that all changed in Gods & Monsters, though. So when I heard about The Scarlet Veil I obviously requested an ARC on NetGalley. Once again work got in the way of my reading, or else I would not have stopped once I started it. Anyway, check the content warning below and then add this book to your TBR!
The Scarlet Veil
By Shelby MahurinMy Rating: ★★★★★
Published 26 September 2023 by Harper Teen
Fantasy | Vampires | Romance
A dark and thrilling vampire romance set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Serpent & Dove series.
Six months have passed since Célie took her sacred vows and joined the ranks of the Chasseurs as their first huntswoman. With her fiancé, Jean Luc, as captain, she is determined to find her foothold in her new role and help protect Belterra. But whispers from her past still haunt her, and a new evil is rising—one that Célie herself must vanquish, unless she falls prey to the darkness.
This is likely going to be one of those reviews that is completely incoherent. There was not a critical bone in my body while reading this, it was just pure vibes.
I’ll make an attempt, though.
So the book starts off a while after the events of Gods & Monsters, and Célie now is a Chasseur and engaged to Jean Luc. You can imagine that this is not easy, as being the first woman in any environment never is. I thought Célie’s character to be so complicated. She’s fairly naive, reckless and headstrong. Which sometimes just makes for absolute disaster. But it’s also not her fault when literally no one is willing to help her navigate her own struggles. This made for such fascinating dynamics between her, Jean Luc and the rest of the S&D cast. Especially because none of them were completely wrong (with one notable example though, you’ll know once you read).
The blurb doesn’t give a whole lot away, so I’ll do it. Célie ends up making some very interesting friends. The type with fangs that don’t like sunlight and all that. One of them just happens to be the king of vampires, because of course. There was so much angst and tension between Célie and him I was about to burst out of my body. Forget about your expectations of a steamy romance, this book gives you nearly nothing and you’re still going to be grateful for the scraps you do get.
I loved all the supporting characters as well. Obviously the S&D cast makes an appearance, which is great, but their story has been told. They don’t have a super big role to play, because this is all about Célie and her trying to find out what she wants and where she belongs. I absolutely loved the other side characters as well. Their personalities were so vibrant and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book.
Oh and if the whole romance thing isn’t enough for you, there’s also a plot. Mysterious murders have been taking place in Cesarine, and Célie is trying her damndest to figure out who the murderer is. There is definitely an air of mystery and the plot is developed well enough to keep you hooked, but I think this story is mostly about self-discovery. Célie needs to figure out who she really is inside. The build up to the end was fantastic as well, although I did figure out who the murderer was before it got revealed. I think you will too, which is the only bummer in this book. The reveal would’ve been much more shocking if no one is able to guess. Despite that, I had to read the epilogue twice, I was so shocked.
So, I’ll leave that at that.