The Silent Songbird
by Melanie Dickerson
Young Adult / Christian / Historical Romance / Fairy Tale Retelling / The Little Mermaid / Medieval
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?
Published November 8, 2016, by Thomas Nelson
Links — find The Silent Songbird on:
Thomas Nelson | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Goodreads
Another enchanting, romantic Young Adult fairytale retelling from Melanie Dickerson!
Evangeline, a young woman with a beautiful voice (and the ward of King Richard), is kept in a castle but longs to go out into the world. She finds her chance when she must escape marriage to a horrible man, and meets a caring young man named Westley le Wyse. Deception, scheming villains, and misunderstandings all stand in her way, as she tries to escape her fate and find love and a deeper faith in God.
I was curious how a retelling of The Little Mermaid would work with no magic and not even a mermaid, but it worked wonderfully in this book! It was so fun to pick out the references and see how the retelling wove through the story in surprising yet fitting ways.
The plot was so interesting and really kept me on my toes, wondering what would happen next and how it would all work out. It had a lot going on, was exciting and sweet by turns, and kept me totally absorbed in the lives of these characters, who felt so real. I loved them!
Evangeline was a good heroine, who I quite liked. Westley was the best—endearing, noble, kind, with a sense of humor, though also conflicted about a lot of things going on, and quite energetic which for some reason was really cool. I liked him a lot. I also love their names! (Speaking of the name Westley… I couldn’t help grinning when Eva told Westley “as you wish” once. I loved that! :D)
The romance was so sweet and beautiful—loved it—and the Christian elements were also lovely.
The other characters were great to read about as well: Lord and Lady le Wyse, Westley’s parents—his mother was so nice, and his father was simply awesome. Reeve Folsham, too. He was a gruff character who surprised me by really growing on me. The rest of the characters were all well-written.
The whole book, in fact, was written excellently. And I loved the setting, which I felt so immersed in: the medieval English countryside and castles! So awesome. ❤ I also loved that King Richard was in the story!
The book started out a little predictably (heroine supposed to marry old, ugly, evil man, and determined to escape), so that part sounded somewhat like other books (but I suppose that couldn’t be helped, and it quickly moved on to become surprising and intriguing). Otherwise, I didn’t have any real complaints and I just really enjoyed it. 🙂
I’m aware this is a sort of sequel to The Merchant’s Daughter by the same author, which I’ve not read yet, and I can tell that anyone who read it will love reading this one and seeing references and characters from before. But The Silent Songbird also stands alone, and my lack of familiarity with the first one didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading this. In fact, it’s made me even more excited to go back and read The Merchant’s Daughter, very soon, to read the story of Westley’s parents!
Whether you’re a long-time fan of Melanie Dickerson’s novels, or thinking of trying one for the first time, I highly recommend picking up The Silent Songbird! It’s one of my favorites of her books so far, and I’m eagerly awaiting her next release. 🙂
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
YES GIVE ME ALL THE RETELLINGS. Duh. I’m trying to remember if I’ve read any Little Mermaid retellings… OH. Marissa Meyer wrote a short story set in her Lunar Chronicles world of a Little Mermaid retelling, and it literally made me almost cry. It. Was. Perfect. But other than that, I don’t think I’ve read any. It’s a cool concept to explore, especially when cleverly doing it without mermaids!
AND THIS BOOK SOUNDS AMAZING. I don’t know why, but this one appeals to me SO. MUCH. I mean, ALL her books do, but this one just sounds really, really good. And there was a Princess Bride reference??? YESH.
Look at all of those Melanie Dickerson books! MEEP. Just seeing your whole collection together is so exciting for some reason. THEY SO PWETTY.
Loved this review! ❤
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RETELLIIIINGS! Oh, cool! Someday eventually I’ll have to get around to reading the Lunar short stories… y’know, once I read the rest of the books. 😉
YES, it’s so good! I’ve enjoyed all of hers but this one was one of the better ones! 😀 I’m glad the concept appeals to you! (YESSS Princess Bride reference. :D)
I knoooow! I loveth my Melanie Dickerson collection. ^_^ *huggles books*
Thanks so much, Lauri! ❤ I'm so glad!
Great book review! Oh, I love Melanie Dickerson! I hope to read this one soon. *adds book to reading list* The cover is so pretty (just like every other Melanie Dickerson book)! =)
I LOVE RETELLINGS YESSS! I have never read a Little Mermaid retelling, there aren’t as many as there are Cinderella or Snow White.
Love your blog, by the way. Consider me your newest follower. =)
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Thank you! Isn’t she amazing? 😀 (I knowwww, her covers are amazing! <3)
YES, retellings are so fun! 😀 True, Cinderella and Snow White etc. do seem more common…
Aww, thank you so much, Micaiah! ^_^ So nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
AHHH THE SILENT SONGBIRD. I need this book in my life! Thank goodness Christmas is coming up soon. 😉
OH MY GOODNESS, YOUR MELANIE DICKERSON COLLECTION. ❤ ❤ ❤ I have all of her books now except The Silent Songbird, I think…and then she has two new ones coming out next year that I'll of course have to buy. XD Her books seriously have some of the most beautiful covers!
Lovely review, Deb! The Little Mermaid is actually a favorite fairytale of mine so I can't wait to read this soon. ^_^ (Especially because of the tie-ins to The Merchant's Daughter…eep, I love that book! *huggles it*)
By the way, you're doing FABULOUSLY on NaNo! I've been stalking your word count. XD
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YES YOU DO!! 😀 (Haha, good point about Christmas. XD I’m fortunate enough to have a birthday not long after her Regency ones tend to come out… :D)
Thanks! And I have all her books so far except The Golden Braid… hence partially why I enjoy your pictures of it. XD *highfives for mutually awesome Melanie Dickerson collections* YES I NEED THE NEXT TWO AS WELL, AND YES AGAIN BECAUSE HER COVERS ARE GORGEOUS. ❤
Thanks so much, Mary! Glad you liked it! Ooh, awesome! I hope you'll enjoy the Little Mermaid things. ^_^ (Yes, I think there are lots of ties in to The Merchant's Daughter but I'm not QUITE certain since I haven't actually read that one yet. #mybad BUT I CAN'T WAIT TO SOON. MAYBE AFTER NANO??)
Thanks!! Ahaha, compared to your AMAZING NaNo stats, not so much. XD But thanks! Heehee, glad to hear I'm not the only one constantly stalking aaaall of the word counts. XD
Oh my goodness, those COVERS. Melaine Dickerson always has such stunning covers 😀
This book sounds SO GOOD – I loved Captive Maiden and The Princess Spy, so I’ll have to try and get my hands on this one, too *nodnod*
By the way, how does Booklook Bloggers work? ‘Cause I’m kind of curious about it 😀
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AREN’T THEY, THOUGH?? 😀
It’s so good! If you enjoyed those two, you’ll definitely like this one! ^_^ (This is about how the parents of Colin from The Princess Spy met. >:D)
BookLook Bloggers… well, it’s the review program for Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, and Blink (those are the ones I know about anyway). You can check out their website (I think I linked to it above) for all the details, but basically if you meet their requirements (I think 30 followers and a blog you post on once a week) you sign up and then you keep an eye on their page of available books to review (you can pick which categories you’re interested in, so I only watch the fiction one).
Then when you see a book you want to read, you request it (sometimes it’s just ebook, or sometimes paperback or hardcover I guess) and they mail it to you, you read it, and then post your review on your blog and one other retailer site (like Amazon, B&N, etc.) and submit the links on their website, and then you can request a new one. 🙂 I think you can only request one book at a time, and they want it reviewed within 90 days; they also don’t like to have your account dormant for more than 90 days, so I like to keep an eye on how long it’s been since I’ve requested or reviewed something.
I think that’s it… I only joined it recently, so I’ve only reviewed one book for them so far, but I like the program so far. 😀
And… that’s probably a wayyyy longer response than you wanted. XD
It’s the only official book review thing I’m signed up for other than Bethany House (which works very similarly, except they send a monthly newsletter with books you can request, and they don’t mind if you go quite awhile without requesting anything, but they do like reviews up within a month of receiving the book.)
Sorry for the super long response! I hope it was helpful and kinda answered your question. XD Short answer: they give you a free book in return for a review. 😛
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