I was given an advance read copy of The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson by the publisher through NetGalley. This was a book I wanted to love, but I found much of the dialogue and story juvenile in nature and difficult to relate to. I have loved all of Dickerson’s other books, in fact in earlier book reviews I raved about The Golden Braid and other stories by Dickerson. I found issues in the syntax and overall story progression of this book.
This story is about Evangeline, a ward of her cousin, who is also the King. One day the King decides that she will marry a man 20 years her elder. Of course Eva decides to run away as she does not trust Lord Shiveley. To keep her disguise, she pretends to be a mute servant abused by her former employers and is taken in by the kind and loving le Wyse family. Despite her inability to perform any tasks that common peasants should be able to perform, they have much patience with her, that is until Lord Westley le Wyse learns that she lied to him. This breaks Eva’s heart as she was falling for the handsome and kind Westley. Will he ever be able to trust her again? Will she be able to escape her marriage to Lord Shiveley?
This seems to be a poor novel by Dickerson, especially as some of her prior books had such engaging characters. Eva and Westley both have an unhealthy fascination with one another and an almost debilitating need to apologize and worry about what the other is thinking or doing. Eva is an almost “Mary Sue” like character that picks up archery in less than a day and uses her new skills a few days later with uncanny accuracy to save the day. I wish I could have rated this higher, but due to poor overall plot progression and characters that lacked development, I am giving this book 2/5 stars. Hopefully in future novels Dickerson will take the time to shore up loose ends and make the book more believable.
I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.