4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden by Londyn Skye is a book that enchanted me, then devastated me, then wooed me, then crushed me, again. It was a marvelous ride! The book is filled with unique characters and backstories that create fascinating layers in an emotional story. Each chapter pulls you in with historical facts that are made part of the character’s personal experience. You cannot help but to feel invested and hopeful in victory for the main characters.
Lily is a slave, more property than human. She is resolved to the reality of enslavement with no hope of a better life, or even a life at all. One day James, the son of her master, catches her doing an unspeakable act: playing a piano. She is meant to clean it and nothing more, but many years of secretly playing has perfected her talent. This discovery could have been Lily’s ultimate unraveling, but instead James chooses a different path for her. The journey becomes the best lives James and Lily have ever lived but forces them to risk everything.
This book was filled with wonderful qualities. I loved how the author used the deep southern accent in the dialogue. It was so fluid each scene felt natural and easy to follow. I also liked that this book had a great deal of suspense, even though it is hyped more as a romance novel. The tension and chemistry between the characters is felt on every page. The author’s use of imagery puts you right on the porch in this story.
This book is a window into a slave’s day to day life so it can be very challenging to read at times. There are moments that are brutal to read but they are also essential for the story. Something else I struggled with in this book is that scenes sporadically changed to different points in time. Often characters would recall a memory, but it sometimes felt disconnected, as if the past and present were not bridged together.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is exceptionally well edited, and it is noticeable through every chapter. The author took great care in making sure the story was easily read, especially with the dialogue between characters. This book does contain many occasions of sexually explicit language and profanity. Most of it is derogatory speech between characters, while some is sexually charged scenes. The sexual scenes are graphic, so anyone uncomfortable reading that style may want to avoid this book. I certainly found myself blushing quite often. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the sequels.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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