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?
The Silent Songbird is Melanie Dickerson's most recent novel, and is a book I was very excited for! She writes some of the best historical fiction I've ever read--and the best fairy-tale retellings--so I'm always happy to get an opportunity to read some of her writing, and this was no exception. Although I had wished this would be another fairy-tale retelling (to my knowledge it wasn't, although it did have a bit of a Little Mermaid flavor to it, with the silence and all), I still really enjoyed this novel!
Evangeline is such a sweet character, and I loved her determination and strength when it came to the whole matter of marrying the King's terrible advisor. That man struck me as a terrible human being from the very start, so I didn't blame Evangeline one bit for trying to get away from him! I loved watching her grow as she struggled to earn her place in Glynval, and of course I really enjoyed the whole mystery aspect to the story. I think my favorite part of all, however, was watching Evangeline learn what real love was like. I hated the fact that she had never really known anyone who truly loved and cared for her, but I really enjoyed watching that change, and I was so glad that at least that part of the story had a happy ending (not that the rest of it didn't 😉).
Wesley le Wyse is a character I truly loved from the start. He is such a sweet, caring man, who truly wanted what was best for all the people of Glynval, and I loved how he treated everyone--even those who were "beneath him"--as equals. I especially loved the way he cared for Evangeline, and the way he protected her and made sure she was cared for even when he knew she was hiding something from him.
All in all, I really, really enjoyed this book, although I have to say I was slightly disappointed to find that I didn't love it as much as some of Melanie's other books that I have read recently. Don't worry, I am still happy to give this novel all five bookshelves, this is just the first time one of Melanie's books hasn't made my all-time favorites list. However, that could also be because of the fact that I've been ridiculously busy lately and therefore didn't really get to read this book all in one semi-spread-out chunk of time. Instead, I read it in bits and pieces here and there mixed between tons of homework, so that might have affected my impression of it a little. All that is to say, that while I didn't enjoy this book as much as I expected, I did absolutely love it, I highly recommend it, and I can't wait to read the books Melanie has coming out next!
To see where I'm linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Melanie Dickerson and Thomas Nelson Publishing.