As Sing struggles to escape her mother's shadow and prove her own worth, she is drawn to the conservatory's icy forest, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. She soon realizes there is more to her new school than the artistry and politics of classical music.
With the help of a dark-eyed apprentice who has secrets of his own, Sing must unravel the story of the conservatory's dark forest and the strange creature who lives there -- and find her own voice.
I liked this book and I didn't like this book all at the same time. There was a mysterious element, that is cloaked in fables and legend, which I have to admit I loved. The setting is incredible and the author does a great job impressing upon you the importance and significance of this school. This book is told through 3 different points of view, Sing Da Navelli the new girl at school, with the famous parents, The Felix a great and mythical cat beast, that will rip you to shreds or grant you a wish if your despair is greater than hers, and finally the Maestro that has hidden Nathan away from the world for over 100 years since he discovered him.
I had a love hate relationship with Sing, she is trying to be someone she's not by proving to the world that she is as good or better than her famous Opera Diva mother, while not disappointing her famous Conductor of a father, so at times she comes across as confident and maybe a little hard doing whatever she can to land the role she has always coveted, and other times she doesn't seem to value herself at all and thinks its okay for the boy she likes to be kissing her while she is all interesting, but then kissing/sleeping with someone else when they seem more important or have more to offer moments later. I enjoyed Nathan's character a lot, his character is what myths and fairy tales are made of. Nathan has been drawn to this place of music from the very beginning, longing to make beautiful music, and while he has developed his craft and become very accomplished, he is stuck at the conservatory unable to attain the success that was meant for him because of the Maestro's selfishness. The Maestro while important to the story is really nothing more than background a chance to understand Nathan's plight. I got a sense that the Maestro really does have a strange affection for Nathan, he hordes him and keeps him close to himself, never allowing him the success he knows will come easily if he allows it. There is a mix of emotions while he feels guilty about not giving Nathan what he desires most his greed overrides all else and keeps him tied to him, torturing him and breaking him down when he starts to get feelings or ideas of independence.
The Felix a mythical creature that fell from the heavens in despair, has adopted a cat like presence she is describe as kind of a mountain lion like creature. While most of the time she gives herself over to the beast and goes through her existence seeing/feeling in a cat like state she at times has moments of clarity and she will grant a wish to someone and spare their life if she sees grief greater than her own in their eyes. Even though I liked the back story of the Felix and the mythology behind it, I was distracted by her, and didn't think she needed as great of a presence in the story as she had.
Over all I would say I enjoyed the story it was well written and flowed really well, my only real problem was some of the character flaws, which is totally subjective to personal taste. I think a person that loves music and fairy tales will really enjoy this book as the two together made a lovely story.
I gave this book a 3 out of 5 star rating
You can purchase Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule at any major retailer online and in store.