4 out of 4 stars
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What would it feel like to love someone you couldn't be with? How bad would you feel if you knew, in a twisted way, that it was your fault? Would you hide your feelings? Would you disregard society's expectations and follow your heart? Londyn Skye's book The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden provides the reader with an inside look into these elements in Virginia prior to the civil war.
"The status of any Negro child’s mother is the status of the child. Therefore, a Negro child born of one parent who is a slave and one parent who is free is considered free only if the free parent is the child’s mother. All Negro children born of slave mothers shall be slaves during their natural lives, regardless of their father’s status."
Lily was born from an illegitimate slave and master relationship. For the first 9 years of her life, she never knew that her master was also her father. During an argument with his wife, Levi Collins viciously takes his daughter from her mother and sells her at auction to Jesse Adams. Lily is taught to be a house slave. Unbeknownst to all others, a friendship bond begins. The youngest son, James, becomes best friends with Lily. When James is found helping with her chores, Jesse severs the friendship and delivers the worst punishment anyone could ever imagine. Having lost her only friend, Lily fills her spare time with another forbidden desire.
James Adams didn't mold into a product of his KKK father's evil plans. When he comes home from college, he catches Lily playing the piano. Due to his father's prejudices and slave laws, James convinces his him that Lily should be taken to a breeder for profit. Lily is packed into a wagon to be taken away. Little does she know James is headed for a place change both of their lives.
I cannot express how much I enjoyed the thoroughness that Skye developed the characters' personalities. The inner conflict and the laws that James and Lily faced were easily discerned. At the beginning of each chapter, a slave code law is quoted. I chose the first one above because Lily was thrown into slavery by her own white father. That betrayal makes it easy to understand her feelings as she grows in the book. I can empathise with James being tormented by how his father's cruelty affected everyone.
There isn't anything I disliked about this book. The editing is flawless and the story is captivating. I admire the seamless way Skye was able to switch the viewpoint between each character without causing confusion.
The first book of The Prodigy Slave Series is an easy 4 out 4 stars.The ending of the book was a perfect cliffhanger that left me desperately downloading the second book to find out the how the characters changed fron the events. To be very honest, I have already read half of the sequel.
I recommend this book to mature fans of historical fiction. Due to the graphic scenes of violence and sex, I have to advise sensitive readers that this story could be extremely disturbing. The horrific treatment of slaves could easily turn my stomach if I witnessed them today, and I am a veteran that has been in war.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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