3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever heard new songs playing in your head and be able to play them straight out loud with an instrument? No? Well, me neither. Lily Adams has been blessed with such a gift. Her rare ability to mimic, compose, and play music is unparalleled, and she has all the potential one could need to become a real star. As the story takes place in the 1850s, there is one enormous problem. Lily happens to be a Negro and, even worse, a slave.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden by Londyn Skye is the first part of a fictional historical romance saga about Lily, a slave girl. She has been stolen away from her mother at nine years of age and sold at an auction to an evil man named Jesse Adams. Her life is nothing but endless labor until the day she becomes friends with her master’s son. James and Lily discover the world around them together and share all their joys and sorrows. Over the years of growing up together, they form a unique bond. Everything comes to a drastic end when James’ father finds out about their friendship. James gets sent away, and Lily is heartbroken over the loss of her best friend. Her days become filled with exhausting duties and endless cruelty. When nobody is around, she finds temporary comfort in her self-learned ability to play the piano. One day James returns and discovers her extraordinary musical talent. It is the beginning of a breathtaking journey that leads Lily to situations never experienced before by any slave.
The author did a brilliant job of capturing the social atmosphere of the 1850s. The rules of the slavery act added at the beginning of every chapter delivered new information to me and widened my understanding of the prevailing circumstances. Different characters successfully represented the variety of layers in the society in those days and were easy to either love or hate. Furthermore, I absolutely loved the storyline of this book as it was full of surprises. Naturally, I do not want to spoil the excitement for others. I’ll only say that the author misled me countless times. Instead of the assumed outcome, the story left me bemused over and over again. After hours of suspenseful moments, the author delivered her successful final punch, which left me out of breath, speechless, and anxious to get my hands on the sequel.
However, I did not enjoy the author's repetitive manner of occasionally speed-forwarding some parts of the story. On the other hand, she gave endless space to scenes that would have lasted only seconds in real life, describing the protagonist's feelings with great detail. It reminded me distantly of watching a soap such as The Bold and the Beautiful. Nonetheless, the storyline of this book captured me completely. Consequently, being occasionally forced to drag through the endless pages with dull descriptions of stagnant moments was somewhat frustrating. Also, I feel obliged to criticize one more thing. Comparing to known history and the slave code presented in the book, some of the events did not seem plausible. I am aware that this book is a work of fiction, but some parts of the story felt overly absurd.
I believe the two main features in an outstanding book are plausibility and unpredictability. As described above, this book partially failed in one but earned my full respect in the other. The editing of this book seemed professional. After taking all these details into account, I am happy to rate this book with 3 out of 4 stars. I feel that Londyn Skye has a gift almost as great as what Lily has. She has managed to create a fascinating reading experience.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden, is a suitable read for adult readers who enjoy historical romance. However, it is necessary to mention that this book includes some erotic scenes that may not be likable to everyone. The potential reader should also be prepared to read the whole series as the first part is highly addictive.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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