MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

The Silent Songbird (Hagenheim, #7)
ISBN: 9780718026318
Publisher's Synopsis:
Evangeline is the ward and cousin of King Richard II, and yet she dreams of a life outside of Berkhamsted Castle, where she might be free to marry for love and not politics. But the young king betroths her to his closest advisor, Lord Shiveley, a man twice as old as Evangeline. Desperate to escape a life married to a man she finds revolting, Evangeline runs away from the king and joins a small band of servants on their way back to their home village.

To keep her identity a secret, Evangeline pretends to be mute. Evangeline soon regrets the charade as she gets to know Wesley, the handsome young leader of the servants, whom she later discovers is the son of a wealthy lord. But she cannot reveal her true identity for fear she will be forced to return to King Richard and her arranged marriage.

Wesley le Wyse is intrigued by the beautiful new servant girl. When he learns that she lost her voice from a beating by a cruel former master, he is outraged. But his anger is soon redirected when he learns she has been lying to him. Not only is she not mute, but she isn't even a servant.

Weighed down by remorse for deceiving Wesley, Evangeline fears no one will ever love her. But her future is not the only thing at stake, as she finds herself embroiled in a tangled web that threatens England's monarchy. Should she give herself up to save the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

"She would never be free to go wherever she wanted,
to work and play and live in the sunshine."
MrsK's Review:
In the summer of 1384, Evangeline could sing of the morning but not choose whomever she wanted to marry. Since the king has accepted Lord Shiveley's offer of marriage, Muriel tries to encourage Evangeline that she must follow through with the king's order and not risk his anger. Given the kings refusal to reject the marriage proposal, Evangeline, knew she had no choice. She must run away!

Once Westley had insured that the little girl was safe, he once again glances towards the window in which he had only a momentary glance of the lovely young lady who had been singing with "an ethereally beautiful voice." Never did it occur to Westley that before he reached Glynval there would be an old servant or a mute joining his group as he journeyed home.

At Glynval, Westley asks his mother, Lady le Wyse, to help Eva and the old servant get settled and begin working. Trying to find some type of work for Eva would not be easy. Cooking, sewing, or churning butter would not prove fruitful. What skills did Eva have? What type of disaster might a runaway charge of the king bring upon a small unsuspecting village?

As the days passed, the only thing that Evangeline had learned well was that Westley's parents, Lord and Lady le Wyse, had married for love. If only Muriel would accept her decision to run away. Maybe they both could be happy in Glynval. What Evangeline had not noticed was the depth of Muriel's unhappiness. If Muriel does return to Berkhamsted Castle what sort of danger might follow? Would the king, or even Lord Shiveley search for her? Would Muriel be allowed to live? Would Westley understand her deception? Where should she go?

If you enjoy fairy-tale re-tellings or medieval romance novels, this story is delightfully entertaining. Both Evangeline and Westley are flawed and yet, they are both enchanting characters. The story is as old as any fairy tale, although, the fun is found in their exploits as romance begins weaving a match made for ever after.
"God, keep Evangeline safe, and make us victorious."  

Once love finds a way...
Your path becomes your destiny.
Meet the Author:
Melanie Dickerson  Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, 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 bachelors 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.

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

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