A fight for freedom, Amber Cayley
15 March, 2021
“As you see, I have brought you a new slave. Her name is Elowen. She is exceedingly skilled. I hope with all humility that she will please you well my lord.”
Stolen from her peaceful island home by brutal pirates, Elowen is taken to a far-off land of deserts, palm trees and camels, where she is sold as a slave to the King. Driven by desperation to rescue her younger brother, Elowen will stop at nothing to return to her distant homeland in The King’s Nightingale by Sherryl Jordan.
Gifted with a magical voice, so great it gives her the title of the ‘King’s Nightingale,’ Elowen quickly gains the King’s trust.
But when a quiet discussion turns into a full-fledged fury and Elowen betrays the King, she loses all hope of ever seeing her family again.
Will her voice save her, or will it take her to her grave?
In this gripping novel, we witness a strong young woman turn into a singing slave as the plot unfolds, and betrayal is around every corner.
I was instantly hooked when I read the first couple of pages, and I became more and more engrossed in the book the more I read, due to the constant suspense and twists that the book holds.
Although this book is fiction it is based on the white slave trade that took place for many centuries until the 1800s. I did not know anything about this before I read this book so it gave me a great historical perspective.
Elowen is a deep character with a rollercoaster of emotions that you experience alongside her. As her layers unfold, you get to share her journey and get an insight into what it was like to be a slave in the 15th century. It’s sad to think that people thought they had the right to take away others from their homes and put them to work in terrible conditions simply because they had a different religion or a different ethnicity. It is so wrong, and this book really puts the hardships of slaves into perspective.
Imagine being unwillingly seized from your home and taken to a foreign place forced to adapt to a completely different way of life. Imagine that feeling of homesickness every time you opened your eyes or stared out the window: this is what these slaves had to face every day and not all of them were the King’s Nightingale.
I would definitely recommend this book, although the different culture and fictional language used occasionally throughout the book can make it a bit hard to follow at times, but the glossary really helps with that. I would recommend this novel for young adult readers 12 and up, especially if you love a good thought-provoking story of adventure, war, betrayal and a fight for freedom.
- Amber Cayley is year 9 at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth.