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The Silent Songbird

A Hagenheim Novel
by Melanie Dickerson

Review by Rachel Dixon


About the Book

Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?


My Thoughts

This story may be a retelling of The Little Mermaid…but there are no sea witches or talking seagulls in this book. What you will find is a beautiful maiden with the voice of an angel.

Eva longs to be free…Free of the restraints that have been cast upon her by her status. Even if it means to work hard as a servant for the rest of her life. When King Richard decrees that she marry Lord Shiveley, Evangeline decides that she must run away or face a life of fear and abuse. In order to avoid detection, she pretends she is mute. But when her secret is revealed will those she has come to care for be able to forgive her? When Westley’s life is in danger, yet Eva is the only witness…Will they heed her word? Or has the seed of mistrust been buried too deep? 

Throughout her life Evangeline’s voice has brought comfort and pleasure to herself and those around her. But she must stifle that gift in order to hide her identity. Throughout the story we see Westley encourage and draw out the voice, her true identity, that she has hidden. He is so gentle and sweet with her. Evangeline eventually learns that faith and trust in God is the strength she must lean on. 

My only knowledge of The Little Mermaid is the animated Disney version. But as you compare the stories, there are several parallel characters. I think what I love most about Melanie Dickerson is that she takes the classic childhood fairy tales and creates a world, a story, that is realistic, yet still so full of “magic”. There is also the added element of faith that adds a whole new dimension to the story. Set in medieval England, the way of life was much different then. But I so enjoy immersing myself into the time period and Melanie Dickerson’s books. To be swept away by the adventure and live alongside the people of Glynval. 

There are a few twists in the storyline that prove to be heartbreaking, exciting, and romantic. A quick read, The Silent Songbird will keep you turning the pages until you are finished. Even though this is a part of the Hagenheim Series. I did not recognize any of the characters (I have only read The Golden Braid and The Silent Songbird so far). You can read this book by itself and not have any confusion. This story is for “Young Adults” (I am still young right?), but is also great for adults. I am so thankful to Melanie for writing stories that are clean and faith filled for our teenagers.

I received a free copy of The Silent Songbird. I was not required to write a review and this does not influence my review, positive or otherwise. All opinions expressed are mine alone.