Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The Silent Songbird
The best part of reading the Hagenheim series of novels from Melanie Dickerson, is trying to figure out which fairy tale she is going to put her own unique spin on it. In The Silent Songbird, this is a variation of The Little Mermaid, which comes off splendid and brilliant. However if you are looking to compare the two, you might be sorely disappointed. For me, the best part of these rewritten fairy tales of sorts, is that they are more down to earth and truly believable and one's I had access to when my own daughters were much younger. I would have preferred these ones to the ones most of us have read or are aware of.
This novel takes place in Berkshamsted Castle, where our heroine has longed for a life with someone she could love. However that isn't about to be the case when King Richard promises his cousin, Evangeline to Lord Shiveley, a man old enough to be considered her father and whose alliance will only strengthen King Richard's holdings as most of these arrangements go. Evangeline doesn't love Lord Shiveley and he has made his intentions to marry Evangeline quite clear and even has threatened her to submit otherwise he will make her future as his wife, very miserable. Of course Evangeline knows she doesn't have many options available to her and after trying to convince King Richard of her wishes, he refuses and makes preparations for a wedding.
Her final option is to runaway, but since she has never ventured far outside the castle walls she doesn't have a clue where to go or what to do. All she knows is that a future with Lord Shiveley is not what she has in her heart. She manages to convince her lady's maid, Muriel to help her escape and soon finds herself in the safe keeping of Westley le Wyse of Glynval, a small but wealthy town in its own right. She passes herself off as a servant girl who has lost her voice when her master beat her and has to maintain this disguise as King Richard and Lord Shiveley have sent men to find them both. Of course with her height, her vibrant red hair and singing voice it will be hard to keep her identity hidden from those who want to bring her back to the castle.The adventure only continues to get more exciting as you read further into this novel.
I received The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Net Galley. While you can see some similarities between The Little Mermaid and this novel, it goes beyond what you could imagine. I love Evangeline's strong willed character despite the fact that she has never really been outside. She knows nothing about being a servant since her skills have been of a different set being the King's cousin. Still she tries to fit in as best as she can and while there isn't really an evil sea witch, there is a woman who works to ensure that Westley will never fall for someone like Evangeline. I would rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and only want more of these fairy tales. This is the seventh novel in the Hagenheim series. Trust me, you will want them all.
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To read more reviews on The Silent Songbird, please visit Thomas Nelson Publishers website.