4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden is the first book in a trilogy by Londyn Skye. This novel focuses on the story of a twenty-three-year-old slave named Lily and her amazing journey to musical fame. Lily has been a slave at the Adams’ plantation in Virginia since she was nine years old, and, unbeknownst to her master, has a hidden talent that is waiting to captivate the musical community of the North. After spying on piano lessons given by her master’s wife, Lily taught herself how to play piano in secret without being able to read music or knowing virtually anything about the piano. When this secret is discovered by her master’s son (and former best friend), Lily ends up on a journey to the North that takes her from Ohio to Chicago and even the Winter Garden Theatre in New York. This novel set in 1859 is as much a love story as it is an account of Lily’s prodigal achievements.
I am rating this book a 4 out of 4. I thought it was an excellent storyline, the writing was easy to read and very engaging. I found myself often getting sucked into Lily’s world and not wanting to stop reading. There were no issues with the editing or misspelling, and I thought that the book overall had a professional impression.
This book is an adult novel, and it definitely should not be read by mature audiences only. There are a few possible triggering topics mentioned, such as thoughts of suicide (page 32) and sex trafficking/rape (page 37). This novel contains strong language and offensive language of race and gender in order to make it genuine to the time period. The dialogue is also written in a way that reflects the southern accents of the characters, saying “afta’ anotha’” for example, which I did not find hard to read but other readers might. Discretion is especially advised toward the end of the novel where there are multiple highly erotic scenes, beginning at chapter nineteen and continuing until the end of the book.
There was only one element of this book that I disliked, which is the transition between the current moment and flashbacks. Sometimes I felt as though the transition was not clear enough, and the story would have switched into a flashback without my noticing, and then I became confused for a moment. This did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel, but it did make me have to go back a few times and reread a section to better understand the setting.
The element that I liked the most was the thoroughness of each of the characters. There was plenty of description for every character, and the main characters were especially well-written with dramatic backgrounds and a lot of emotions. Allowing the characters to be so well set up made it easier for them to come to life in my mind and for me to grow fond, or disdainful, of them throughout my reading.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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