Melanie Dickerson’s seventh installment of the Hagenheim series, The Silent Songbird, recently released (November 8). And I finally got around to reading it. In this story, we travel back to England where Lord and Lady le Wyse reside. This story focuses on Colin’s older brother Westley. This is a retelling of The Little Mermaid.
Evangeline is King Richard’s ward and must marry whomever he chooses. And Lord Shiveley means to have her for himself. But unlike Richard, Evangeline sees Shiveley’s deceit. So on her wedding night, she runs away and joins a group of travelers heading for Glynval. She also pretends to be mute.
Westley encounters two strange women wanting to travel to Glynval with him and his men. One poor girl is mute due to vicious masters and the other, her companion. He agrees to help them get work at his home when they arrive and slowly comes to care for this red-haired beauty. Little did he know that she was lying about being mute…and being King Richard’s cousin. Westley may also be in danger himself from someone he least expects.
I was instantly captured by the easy writing style and quickly paced story. We didn’t stay stagnant at any point for too long. Evangeline’s head-strong nature may be a little ahead of her time, but very necessary for the plot.
One little detail that I always like finding in a book is when characters go to use the bathroom. It is easily forgotten but a whole story can go by and no one as gone to relieve themselves. This book had the detail I was looking for. It just adds to the realism of the story for me.
One of the smaller points of the book was about selfishness. What does selfishness look like? Evangeline has grown up her whole life thinking that she was selfish, too selfish to love. The whole book is there to prove how unselfish she really is. We are unsure when she runs away from her betrothed just so she can have a normal life for herself; but she proves time after time that she really cares about others and will apologize if she is in the wrong.
Typically these kind of stories (that follow The Little Mermaid theme) has a “love-at-first-sight” aspect to it. Well in this story it worked beautifully. I even fell for Westley soon after we met him. (Most of the men in this series take some getting used to). Evangeline fell for Westley several times before he really knew how he felt. 🙂
You know when a book is so good that you just can’t put it down? (or at least reluctant because you have adulting to do) This book is one of those for me. Especially the last quarter of the book. The fast-paced urgency kept me intently reading. Even though you know that all will end well, there is still that small bit of anxiety that wonders if it really will be fine.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and a thumbs up. I recommend this book for readers that enjoyed The Little Mermaid and like reading about strong female leads.
Melanie’s next book, The Noble Servant, is set to release in May of 2017.
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