About the book: Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal—until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?
Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.
Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.
More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?
Kindle Edition, 304 pages Published November 8, 2016 by Thomas Nelson
My review: I instantly became a fan of Melanie Dickerson’s writing when I read The Golden Braid (Hagenheim #6). I found the story to be well-written and have the perfect balance of romance and action and an independent female heroine that was fun to read about. I immediately jumped at the chance to read The Silent Songbird and was really hoping it would live up to my expectations. I am so happy to say it did!
The Silent Songbird is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. Not being too familiar with The Little Mermaid I can’t really draw a lot of comparisons between the two stories but I can say that The Silent Songbird is a good story all on its own. I liked Evangeline, the main character, and could understand her not wanting to marry Lord Shiveley. I don’t know many seventeen-year-old girls who want to marry someone twenty years their elder. I liked the fact she wanted to marry for love, like the peasants did, and didn’t want to do as she was told by her cousin, the king. She stood up for what she wanted and believed in and I thought that was admirable for the time period the story takes place in.
Every independent heroine needs a hero that is a perfect balance to her. Evangeline finds that in Westley le Wyse. From the first scene Westley was in it was easy to like him because he seemed so nice and genuine. The entire le Wyse family seemed nice and accepting and protective of Evangeline even though she came to them under false pretenses. I enjoyed reading about this family. I also liked Nicola, the servant who became friends with Evangeline.
Now, to the characters I didn’t like….Sabina was a mean girl and I immediately formed a distrust and intense dislike of her. Lord Shiveley was another character I didn’t like. He had an evilness about him that just came right off the page. I had lukewarm feelings about King Richard. I never felt a connection with him and didn’t really like him or dislike him.
Melanie Dickerson has a way with words that makes the story really come to life. It was easy to picture what was happening at every point in the story. I felt as I if I were there experiencing everything along with Evangeline. There were a few times I found myself laughing out loud at the situations Evangeline found herself in. I also thought the scenes between Evangeline and Westley were written in a way that was appropriate for the story’s time period.
The Silent Songbird is a great read for YA and not so YA readers. This book can easily be enjoyed by daughters, mothers, and granddaughters. This is a great book to read and discuss with others.
I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine.
About the author: Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing’s Best award, and her book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.