The Silent Songbird is a phenomenal re-telling of The Little Mermaid. As the ward and cousin of King Richard II (and the illegitimate daughter of King Richard I), Evangeline has spent her life locked away in a castle, well taken care of but longing for freedom beyond the stone walls holding her in. She fears for her safety and sanity when King Richard decides that she is to marry Lord Shively, a man twice as old as she and who demands her submission and silence. Evangeline decides to evade this dark fate by running away to another village, disguising herself as “Eva” and pretending to be mute. But when she meets Wesley, she comes face-to-face with the hardest decision of her life: should she come clean and possibly lose the love of her life, or lie to stay safe?
I found myself completely and blissfully lost in Evangeline’s world and mind, and also enjoyed when the narration or focus shifted to other characters. The writing was phenomenal and seamlessly weaved in biblical references and passages. This book is indeed religious, which I enjoyed, but keep that in mind if you’re not looking for that kind of book. It wasn’t the center of the plotline but was a guiding factor in Evangeline’s decisions and emotions.
The characters were well-developed– even the side characters who did not get as much attention in the main plot line. I felt connected to Evangeline on a deep level, but also felt like I understood her companion Muriel and the other girls in the village. Her relationship with Wesley was slightly reminiscent of insta-love, but grew and developed throughout the novel.
I did truly enjoy the book, although I found some parts to drag on and felt that the end of the book wrapped up too neatly. But the novel itself was a great adventure that I enjoyed! I can’t wait to read more of Melanie Dickerson’s work. While The Silent Songbird is technically a part of a series, you can read the books out of order without an issue.
Insta-love can often be abhorred, but have you found a book like The Silent Songbird where it’s actually kind of endearing? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
PS. An ARC of The Silent Songbird was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.