4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden is a book written by London Skye. It is poignant, addictive, and captivating. Categorized as romance, this book is also a mixture of historical fiction that not only will leave you teary and angry, it will leave you cursing, right after falling in love.
In the prologue, a baby is forcefully taken away from its mother while the mother is shouting and begging; clutching tightly, not wanting to be separated from her only daughter. It is later along revealed that the mother whose child is being taken away is actually a slave and the man who is taking the baby not only is he the slave owner, but he is also that child’s father. The baby is taken to the auction to be sold. In the first chapter, fourteen years later, in Fayetteville, Virginia, the baby has grown and her name is Lily. She loves music and she is a self-taught pianist. When Lily arrived fourteen years ago in Adams's plantation, she got close to James, the youngest of the three Adams’s boys. They kept their friendship a secret and they fell in love with each other. But when James’s father, Jesse, found out, he influenced James to never again be seen with Lily. The pair separated even more when James went to study at Ohio University. Upon his arrival back at home, that’s when he found Lily playing on his late mother’s grand piano. James scolded her.
Now that James is forced to take ownership of his father’s plantation and all it entails, James convinces his father to allow him to take Lily to Ohio to breed her, as an investment that will benefit them in a long run. Upon agreeing, Lily is taken to Ohio by James. Being scared that the child she will conceive in Ohio will also be taken away from her just like they did her mother, Lily is torn apart. Although she is a slave and her entire existence is exposed to harshness and cruelty, it doesn’t match the cruelty of separating a baby away from its mother. Just the mere thought of it makes her wish to not exist.
But when they get to Ohio, Lily finds that things are not as bad as she had anticipated. This is unbelievable, but although she is not sure, she has no choice but to believe because that’s her reality now. But, will this 'freedom' of hers last? Even though she has gotten close to James and forgiven him for his past transgressions against her, is she doing the right thing by giving him all her heart? Is James really willing to defy his father and the society he has been raised in to follow his heart? This book is an emotional rollercoaster that will make you fall in and out of love quicker than you could flip the page.
Each chapter starts with a “Slave Code” that tells the law about slaves, what they should do and not do. It’s more like a constitution that sets the record straight about slaves and what is expected from them and the slave owners. Each Slave Code is relevant to each particular chapter.
I loved everything about this book. Not only does it give you a glimpse of the slavery era in the United States, it tells the story of forbidden love. It, opening with such a cruel scene, when Lily was taken away from her mother, instantly got me emotional and angry at the same time. Although told from a third-person perspective, as a reader, I go intimate with Lily as she was missing her mother and was having vivid memories of her, especially of the day they were both separated from each other. The author’s narration was able to create perfect suspense. There are a lot of things in this book that I didn’t see coming, especially the ending. Oh, my goodness, the ending! It made me want to get inside this despicable world and slap James Adams in the face for what he did to everyone. James is proof that indeed blood is thicker than water. I don’t think I will ever forgive him for what he did. I don’t care whether he would change down the series in the following books — what he did was unforgivable.
The only prediction I was able to make was when I was in the middle of the book, nearing the end, I kind of sensed that something big was going to happen that will turn everything upside down. The calmness that was evident from chapter 19 going forward was a perfect build-up for the bang that the book concluded with.
I loved this book’s characterization. The author, Londyn Skye, managed to give backstories of each character. Also, the way she was able to give flashbacks in such a consumable way was just outstanding. The author didn’t want to move on before you were familiar with every character she introduced. The author made sure that you understood each character and the role they were playing in this story. All appearing characters blended perfectly and contributed greatly to the storyline and plot.
There is nothing I hate about this book. The dialogue was perfect. It was fitting for the era of the slaves, that’s why I proudly rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I didn’t come across any typographical and grammatical errors, giving the impression that it was professionally edited. The fact that I finished reading this roughly 476 paged book in just two days shows how magnificent it is. Even between my breaks, my feelings were never failed to be re-evoked again and again. It is an erotic book, so multiple scenes of sexual nature are descriptive and explicit, making it unfit to be read by immature, young readers. Profane language is few and far in between.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden centers around themes of forbidden love, betrayal, racial discrimination, and of course, slavery. If you love those themes, then I am sure you will enjoy this book.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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