Evangeline feels like a songbird trapped in a cage.
Every day, she sings for the servants and watches the world go by beneath her window. She should be happy. As the overprotective king's ward, she has everything she could ever want--save freedom. She's even engaged to be married to Lord Shively, his advisor.
Alright, with a name like Shively, who could trust him, really? Rumors are he murdered his first wife, and Evangeline has seen enough to believe it of him.
Evangeline will not stay silent any longer.
Or rather she will. Because to disguise herself when she runs from the castle, she pretends to be mute. It seems like a perfect plan until she meets Westley le Wyse.
Then it doesn't seem like a good idea at all.
This is a Little Mermaid retelling without the irritating "my-parents/guardian-hate-me-they're-so-mean-because-they-like-have-rules" feel that so many of them have. Evangeline is a little headstrong, it's true. But no one can really blame her for running away from Shively, honestly. And she seeks out the right, lifts her chin, and faces the consequences when her actions don't go as planned and hurt others.
This book has a fantastic view of women. It shows readers women can be strong and feminine at the same time--and that neither makes them any less to be valued.
The author also did a great job when we were in Westley's head. He wants to be a strong leader, but fears he is too naive when it comes to his subjects. His and Eva's journeys together to become strong, responsible individuals (and to defeat Shively) make this one of my favorites in Melanie Dickerson's Hagenheim Series.
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