The Prodigy Slave: Journey to Winter Garden is the 1st book of the series written by Londyn Skye. The story is set during the mid-1800s were negro slavery and oppression are still wide in America. Lily is born from a slave mother and fathered by her mother’s master. Though Levi Collins’ blood runs in Lily, that didn’t stop him from selling his only daughter. Jesse Adams bought the nine-year-old girl to be a replacement to their old and ailing slave. Those days when she’s supposed to be under her mother’s care, Lily was taught to run a household — from cleaning to cooking. What helped her temporarily forget her dire situation is the soothing music of the piano she hears during Mrs. Adams’s coaching. Lily secretly watched the children play their pieces. She’ll then memorize the melodies and the keys used to produce them. Every time she was left alone, Lily will try to play the songs on the piano purely from her memory.
The first day Lily was brought to her master’s house, she unknowingly caught the attention of the youngest son, James Adams. Associating himself with a slave will certainly infuriate his father, but he’s determined on befriending the honey-brown little girl with sparkling green eyes. They spent their time climbing trees, fishing, reading stories, laughing at their inside jokes, talking about random things, and sharing secrets. The two were inseparable until Jesse caught them. The separation became painful, mainly, after James disagreeably change his treatment towards the special girl in his life.
Six years had passed, James returned from college to see his family. But, what he witnessed was Lily impeccably playing his mother’s piano that she never once told him before. James’s surprising discovery about Lily’s gift is going to change the path of their lives. A path that’ll lead to healing and to a world where they’ll be free to love and to dream.
Londyn Skye has the ability to get her readers to be deeply moved by her words. She can make you applaud for the accomplishments of a fictional character, take you in a heartbreaking state then escape back to reality to shake off the feeling, and reflect on how to make use of your God-given gift. In all honesty, the story made me emotional and teary-eyed in almost every chapter. There’s sympathy, admiration, fear, and most of all, affection with all the things that Lily had gone through.
Furthermore, there’s an element of unpredictability in the author’s writing style. She presents the consequences first before revealing the motive behind it. The book is divided into 23 chapters. Narrated in alternating timelines between then and now. Each chapter is long and mostly contains the narrator’s point-of-view. That doesn’t necessarily make the pacing slow rather, it will help the readers absorb the atmosphere of a particular scene. Personally, one of the critical scenes that Londyn has described flawlessly was the Dream Symphony’s first performance. She made sure that it will be poignant and almost a first-hand experience. Listening to existing classical music while reading can help you feel the vibe more and be deeply drawn to the performance. Some dialogues are written in their cute accent like ‘yessa (yes sir), masa (master), betta (better)’.
Well-developed characters are present as well. The history of each added credibility and resonance to the story and even to the consistency of the actions they take in the present. Lily is a remarkable female protagonist – a virtuoso, passionate and brave. Her kindness remained despite the world’s cruelty. James Adams is a fine man. However, because of his fear of the violent things that his father could do, he will try to erase that quality inside of him. What I like the most is Lily and James’s vivid childhood tales. Even though they made it a secret, it was well-spent and it exhibited the true definition of pure and young love. I also like those moments when they exchange letters with one another and leave them underneath their pillows or bedroom doors.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. All things considered, The Prodigy Slave is more than a romantic story. It’s about holding on to hope while inside a violent storm, as well as, determining one’s purpose. The author provides Slave Codes in almost every chapter. Also, I haven’t noticed any spelling or grammatical errors which means the book is professionally edited.
Do read this book if you like books under the romance-drama and historical fiction genre. Musically inclined readers will also find this enjoyable and inspiring. The book contains profanity and descriptive sexual scenes that won’t be appropriate to younger and sensitive readers.