4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden by Londyn Skye is a historical romance set in pre-civil war America. It is the first book in The Prodigy Slave series. It begins with the principal character, Lily, being torn from her mother’s arms when she is nine years old by her owner and father to be sold at auction to another plantation. Her life then becomes a nightmare. She finds peace in two things, her friendship with the plantation owner’s son, James, and her musical gift. When she is caught playing the piano fourteen years later by James, his punishment for her changes her life in a way she never expected. We journey with her as she begins her quest to find freedom and return to her mother.
I loved the writing style and descriptive storytelling that Londyn Skye used. It was a roundabout way of telling the story that was beautifully circular. It kept the pace fresh and interesting. It was hard to put the novel down because I felt like I was there and totally immersed in the world she built. The entire book is beautiful, from the chapter headings to the cover art, to the story itself. Even the characters and the descriptions of the landscape were gorgeous. I enjoyed the banter between the characters. Each chapter has an excerpt from the slave code or a quote that goes along with the events in the chapter. The slave code excerpts were especially hard to read but helped show the gaps in my knowledge of the dark parts of our history. The ending was heartbreaking, and I’m glad that there are two more novels in the series.
The one thing I did not like was that while the romance was extremely steamy, and the relationship progressed realistically, I questioned the appropriateness of the relationship given the power dynamics. I will give the author credit, though, for having characters raise the question as well. Skye doesn’t ignore the fact that readers could view the main pairing as problematic.
There are a few typos, but nothing major. In fact, the first typo I encountered was well over halfway into the book. Overall, I would say this was a professionally edited novel. The sentences are well written and built up to a very well-written story. Each character goes through periods of growth that are as enjoyable as they are believable. The many twists and turns keep the pages turning, therefore, I easily give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
The target audience for this novel would be anyone that enjoys a good, steamy, historical novel, that spends as much time on the history part, as it does on the romance part. I would not recommend this novel to anyone uncomfortable with explicitly described erotic scenes. There is also a lot of profanity, including racial slurs, therefore, anyone uncomfortable with that language may not enjoy this book.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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