4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden by Londyn Skye tells the story of a brilliant pianist, Lily, who is a slave in the 1840s. Born to an enslaved mother and slave owner father, Lily's father sold her at 9 years old to Jesse Adams and his family. Lily's life has always been that of a slave where she is not treated equally, but when she moved onto the Adams Plantation, she finds a likely ally and friend in Jesse’s son, James Adams.
James and Lily's relationship is torn apart when Jesse finds out about their friendship. This book takes you on a journey from the point where James and Lily are rebuilding on the time they missed out because James went to college to become a doctor. James returns home six years later and on a mission to help free Lily from slavery by investing in a secret talent of hers - playing the piano.
This book takes you back to a time where African Americans were slaves and the freedoms they possessed back then are different from how black people live today. Set in the 1840s, this book shows how with the help of white allies, such as James Adams and other characters like William Werthington and Landon Von Brandt, that black people are able to be treated fairly like their white counterparts. Lily's aspiration as a pianist is fulfilled by these 3 men helping her to create her own band - The Dream Symphony - and getting her booked for large theaters that wouldn't usually host any black acts.
Of course, there are going to be some cynical characters in this book that are against Lily being at the forefront of a major production. London Skye did a great job of showing how one person that opposed her because of her skin color, came back around and apologized to her because they witnessed how kind she was and how her talent outshined her race. This part of the book excited me because it shows that a little ounce of being kind goes a long way.
There were so many things that I liked about this book. First, it was an easy read that used simple terms that everyone who decides to read this book will enjoy. The romantic element between James and Lily is what stood out to me about this book when I chose it, so their storyline intrigued me. This is the first book in the three-part book trilogy, so what I liked most about this book was the cliffhanger that had me on the edge of my seat. I'm waiting to find out what is going to happen in the next book.
I would recommend this book to people 18 years and older who want to read a romantic story about two people that are not letting the laws of the land break them up. There are slave laws throughout each chapter and one of them talked about the love between a slave and a white person and the consequences that come with that. Also, I think both black and white people can contribute from reading this book to showcase how far the United States has come, race wise, since the 19th century.
I would not recommend this book to people who will take lots of offense to how black people are described in this book because it might take away your enjoyment from the love and empowering storylines. Lots of derogatory and profanity is used towards African Americans in this book. There are also some very explicit sex scenes in this book that really caught me off guard and was also something that I didn’t personally like about the book. So, if you feel how I do about in-depth explicit scenes then you would not enjoy this book.
I had such a wonderful time reading this book that I feel that it’s my honor to give this book a 4 out of 4 rating. London Skye created this well-written book that was free from any spelling or grammar errors, about an unforbidden love story that had its ups and downs. What I enjoyed most about this book was the willingness to fight for what was right, even when it was hard to have someone to back you. James and William were all about Lily get her talent out there that they literally built an amphitheater on William's land just so she can have somewhere to play that people can view her vision.
The Prodigy Slave is unlike any book about slavery that I’ve ever read. When you get this book, then you’ll fall in love with this book just like I did.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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