Fiction - Literary
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 03/24/2022
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Author Biography

⟅R̫o̮s̫k͚e̫ is Strung's diegetic author and illustrator. Its real-world counterpart began building the world of Strung at age 12 to disassociate from budding bisexuality and physical disabilities—eventually trading adversity's escapism for inspiration.

    Book Review

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.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Lysbeth Haywood has always been fascinated by the stories of Faye. Many ships in the course of their voyages have chanced upon Faye ships. However, only one person has been fortunate enough to step onto the Faye land. Lord Alder Haywood’s ancient letter describing their ways left Lysbeth yearning for a chance to meet them. Yet, when a Lord presents Evyn, a captured Faye, in the hope of winning her hand, she realizes there is more to them than she had ever imagined. Her brother, Isaac, insists on tormenting Evyn to demonstrate his power. His cruelty unleashes a chain of events that would soon change the course of both Lysbeth's and Erruwyn’s lives. Strung, by Roske, recounts their unforgettable story.

In this genre-defying novel, science fiction and fantasy merge with romance, the laws of physics with emotions. Roske, who tells this story, is none other than the chronicler of the ‘People’ whom the humans describe as Faye. Under this skilled writing, a new world emerges before readers’ eyes. Their people’s way of life is vastly different from ours as they believe in complete harmony between the mind and nature. Each page brings a new revelation and exposes a new secret about their ability to modulate inanimate objects with sound. The vivid imagery, enhanced by the eye-catching illustrations sprinkled throughout the text, immediately captivates readers. Roske plays with readers’ emotions. Strung resembles a musical composition, varying in tempo, alternating between jarring crescendos fraught with tension and soothing sections of respite. I believe this book would also be perfect as an audiobook.

Stephanie Chapman

Strung, by Roske, is a fantasy novel featuring a young woman’s hopeful dream of someday meeting a Faye. Lysbeth had many men vying for her hand in marriage. Earl Dorsit persisted until she decided if he could bring her a Faye, then she would consider marriage. To her shock, he delivered Evyn, a Faye. Her brother Lord Issac was not impressed. Evyn was unable to speak but as he showed attention to Lysbeth, Dorsit became angry and attempted to interfere. Evyn knocked his arm away. Lord Issac decided Evyn needed to be molded into society and sent him to the barbaric Warden Wescott. War breaks out and Lysbeth pins for Evyn. Six months later, the once beautiful Evyn returns as a timid, gaunt creature that refuses to meet her eyes. Through the talents of writing and drawing, Lysbeth learns of the cruelty that Evyn endured. She earns his trust, and what he speaks of results in changing Lysbeth’s view of her role in life.

I fell in love with the beautiful portrayal of Evyn and the way he told of where Faye lived. Strung is written as though it is a song played by an orchestra. Roske gave vivid imagery of every character’s personality. Jaques is a hilarious drunken duke whose defiance of social decorum tends to be somewhat beguiling. Strong-willed Corah, Lysbeth’s younger sister, seems to be oblivious to her obvious rudeness. Lysbeth and Evyn's attraction to one another was overwhelming, and I kept wanting to tell Lysbeth to quit hiding her feelings. Everyone felt the tension, and their attempts to compel her to act seemed to fall on deaf ears. At the end of the book, there is a glossary of the different terms used by Evyn, which was helpful to fully understand what he said. The end of the story left me pining for more, as the cliffhanger ending has me hoping to obtain the sequel. If you like a slow-burn romance, exceptional fantasy characters, and suspenseful novels, then Strung is the book for you.