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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Strung by Roske is a musical foray that brings to life a world that weaves magic from music, beauty, and the enchanting presence of the Faye. Most people in Iodesh believe the Faye are legends but a few believe in their existence. Lady Lysbeth Haywood receives a Faye that was captured and gifted by a suitor seeking a marriage she doesn't want. Lysbeth has mixed reactions at the discovery of the Faye. She's eager to learn more about their society, has increased anxiety about the forced marriage, and the growing conflict within her society. As she learns more about the Faye's mysteries, revelations open up possibilities beyond anything she ever imagined, and a deep connection forms with an unlikely source.
The story is rooted in the allure of the Fayetales and the fascination Avon society has with them, which begins with the discovery of a being wrapped in silver. This opening creates a catalyst for Lady Lysbeth and society's introduction into this beautiful and magical world. The Faye brought into Lysbeth's society brings mystery, wonder, discovery, and romance into her life. She's introduced to a society that contrasts her own with beauty and magic, where men and women are equal, and enchantment beyond everything she's ever seen. Avon society is the opposite with a double standard where lords can do as they want (as long as its discreet) and ladies are expected to devote their lives giving heirs to their husbands. The Faye are treated as objects and are expected to behave like docile pets.
Music has a significant impact on the tone of the story, seen through the various terms that Roske incorporates and the rhythmic writing style. The writing style has a musical quality which is seen in the formatting and the inclusion of lyrics such as the opening featuring beautiful depictions of giant trees cut into vessels and blue bleeding into their roots. These lyrics provide a stunning background to introducing the world and add a uniqueness to the story that feels that you're stepping into the music itself. Various illustrations are dotted throughout with black and white images adding elegance to the prose and providing visuals. Strung conjures up its enchantment through eloquent prose, a musical tone, a vivid setting, and romance.