The Prodigy Slave – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Londyn Skye

In Londyn Skye’s The Prodigy Slave, ten-year-old Lily is forcefully taken from her mother’s arms and sold at a slave auction. Her new master, Jesse Adams, needs her to tend to his house and family, but his harsh and strict ways scare her. Her only sources of comfort come from a hidden friendship with the youngest Adams boy, James, and secretly playing the family’s piano when no one is around. Over the next fourteen years and long after all the Adams children have moved out of the home, Lily secretly teaches herself to play the piano, finding strength in the music she plays. Then, one day, she is discovered by someone she least expected, sending her and her mysterious new ally on a winding journey of love, music, and hope for a bright – and free – future.

The Prodigy Slave’s plot development is a bit odd in places, skipping back and forth between past and present events often and suddenly. Perhaps telling the story in chronological order would have been more effective than the flashback scenes, which seem to be more of an afterthought than a solid plot device. Also, the constant Southern jargon is often distracting; far too much time is required to decipher what the characters are saying to one another. This jargon would have been better used in moderation, which it certainly was not, especially in the beginning.

Despite this, The Prodigy Slave was a great and unique novel. It was accurate to the time period and region, while still having a distinctly modern feel in some aspects of the story. Also, for being a romance novel, it is refreshingly unconventional; this is not a story about love at first sight or sexual desire without any substance, but rather, a deep and complex tale of human nature and real, genuine affection. Londyn Skye is a fantastic storyteller with an eye for true human connection, and that is abundantly evident in The Prodigy Slave.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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