I fell completely in love with Adi Rule's enchanting Strange Sweet Song. The author, a singer herself, takes the reader into the world of the prestigious Dunhammond Conservatory, a music school where only the children of the music world's elite and the very talented are accepted and Sing da Navelli is both. She is the daughter of one of the greatest and most beloved Divas, the late Barbara da Navelli and her father is one of the world's most respected conductors. How could she go wrong with genetics like that?
Sing has a lot to live up to and although she sings beautifully, she never feels she is good enough, not good enough for her father, who is kind, but critical or the legend her mother has left behind. She has never wanted to play the Diva, herself, and she tries to play down her parentage at the school, and make friends, something she was never very good at.
The school, which is set in the middle of a wild forest, has its own ghost story, or rather murder mysteries. People have been found with their throats ripped out. Some swear they have seen a great cat, the Felix as it is called, and that if it sees a deep sadness in the eye of its victim... it will shed a tear and grant a wish for that person, allowing them their freedom as well. This story is the basis for Sing's favorite opera, one she was beguiled by as a child, and the last role her mother ever played was as the lead in this opera. The opera Angelique written by the founder of Dunhammond.
There is also a boy at the school who seems to like her. Or is it just her connections he's attracted to? And what about the mysterious, brooding Apprentice Daysmoor who is forever glaring at her and ultra critical. What's his problem?
Strange Sweet Song is darkly dreamy and romantic and Apprentice Daysmoor, not to give anything away, is someone you will think about and maybe, if you are anything like the Recommender... become a little obsessed with. And even though I am mostly averse to sequels these days (almost every title I see, now, is part of a multi book series!)... I am kind of hoping for one for this beautiful story! Highly recommended!
Strange Sweet Song-Book Trailer from Adi Rule on Vimeo.