Friday, February 10, 2017

The Silent Songbird

I have to admit, I wasn't sure that I would like The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. I was hooked withing the first few pages and I couldn't put it down. This is the first book I've read by Melanie, but I can promise, it will not be the last. Set in England in the late 1300's ,Melanie Dickerson takes the readers on a journey they won't soon forget!

Evangeline is the illegitimate daughter of the late Duke of Clarence and therefore a ward of the king.
She and Richard grew up together and were close childhood friends, but when she hears that Richard, the king, has decreed she marry Lord Shiveley, she questions their friendship. Shiveley gives her the creeps and she hopes that she can appeal to King Richard and get him to agree she doesn't have to marry the man. When her talk with the king doesn't go as planned Evangeline decides she must run away to be free.

Running away when you're the ward of the king isn't easy. Everybody knows who you are and would be all to happy to return you to his castle to receive his favor. When Muriel, Evangeline's friend and closest confident sees Evangeline preparing to run away she makes the fateful choice to follow her. She figures she can take care of Evangeline should she get into any trouble, besides she figures after a day or two of hard work Evangeline will come running back.

Westley le Wyse is on his way home after selling his grain and wares at the castle when he runs into a beautiful red haired maiden and her friend. Could she be the woman he heard singing from the window of the king's castle? Unfortunately, she's mute but he's willing to escort her and her friend on their journey and make sure no harm comes to her. Little does he know, the maiden he's escorting is Evangeline and her friend Muriel.

The Silent Songbird is a tale of love and loss and following one's heart no matter what society tells you to do. It would have been easy for Evangeline to marry Lord Shiveley, even though he gave her the creeps, just to make the king happy and secure her future. She knew deep down however, that she couldn't do it. She wanted to marry for love. Even if she had to take on the life of a peasant and work chores that are way beneath her station. She is willing to fight for what she believes in.

I was skeptical of Muriel at first, she complained, a lot! I figured she would take the first opportunity to rat Evangeline out and send her back to the castle. Muriel is also a ward of the king and she thinks Evangeline is crazy for wanting to work as a servant and refusing to marry Lord Shiveley. It seems she underestimated her friend and her determination. Muriel seems flat out unhappy, she never smiles, she gripes, complains and tries to convince Evangeline to go back to the castle. I wondered why on earth she demanded to accompany Evangeline in the first place. It doesn't take long to figure out that Muriel was only looking out for Evangeline and has her best interest at heart. The reason Muriel is so miserable, besides doing harder work that she has ever done in her life, she left the love of her live back at the king's castle and she figured they would have long returned by now.

Westley was my favorite, he is an all-around good guy. He and his father try to treat their servants as fair as the other villagers. They don't lord their money over people. They aren't fake, they genuinely care for others. Despite Evangeline not being able to speak, well pretending to be mute, she and Westley find themselves enjoying each others company and building a relationship. Will he still feel the same when he finds out she has lied?

I absolutely LOVED The Silent Songbird. The old saying is true, "Never judge a book by its cover". Although the cover is beautiful I still had my reservations about the book. I'm so glad Melanie Dickerson proved me wrong! I fell in love with the story and the characters and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here:The Silent Songbird

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