As a ward of King Richard II, Evangeline leads a privileged, but lonely, life inside the walls of Berkhamsted Castle. When the king announces her betrothal to Lord Shiveley-- a much older man with a dangerous past-- Evangeline decides to escape from the only home she knows and begin a new life. Known far and wide for her beautiful singing voice, Evangeline pretends to be mute in order to protect her identity. On her journey, she comes under the protection of Wesley LeWyse, the young and handsome son of Lord LeWyse. As Evangeline adjusts to life as a commoner, though, it becomes obvious to Wesley that she must be more than she seems. Will Wesley be able to forgive Evangeline's deception, and can he keep her safe from Lord Shiveley?
With her typically masterful style, Melanie Dickerson retells the story of the Little Mermaid in The Silent Songbird. As usual, Dickerson's creative way of blending medieval history with classic fairy tales makes for an entertaining story. While Wesley is a compelling and believable romantic lead, Evangeline is a bit too naive for my taste. I assume her simplicity is meant to be charming, but ends up rather annoying instead. The story itself is well constructed, but Evangeline's insipidness is a distraction. Though I often have to struggle through the awkward dialogue in Dickerson's novels, the loveliness and romance of her storytelling always brings me back for more. The Silent Songbird is no exception.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.