‘The Instrument’ by Ivan Radev – Review

*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


“Well, only thirty-one to go.”

I don’t know how I got myself into this mess. All I remember is me and my buddy Josh talking over a Scotch on a Friday night about how he had rented a run-down utility building around the city centre. He told me he wants to make it a nice, cozy pub, much like the one we frequent. Next thing I know I get a call the following morning where he tells me I could earn the easiest hundred-fifty bucks of my life.

“It’s not going to take you long mate. Tuning a piano is easier than it sounds.”

His sweet lies came just two days after my rent’s due date, so well… I agreed. I was a music major in college, I’ve seen how they do the job before and watching a couple of Youtube videos gave me confidence that it really wouldn’t be too hard. It didn’t take me long to realise how freaking wrong I was.

Synopsis –

On a searing summer afternoon, the silence is softly broken by the beautiful melody of a strange instrument. A man finds love at first sight with the one who plays it, soon to be engulfed by the strange curse her family bears. On a star-lit stage, the two dance as death draws near, pulled in by the mystical music of the countless constellations. The relentless rhythm lusts for blood, unless the malicious puzzle is solved.

Thoughts –

A twist on the usual fairytale style story, The Instrument follows a young man named Tim as he falls in love with a beautiful woman and her strange musical instrument only to discover that said instrument is the key to an ancient curse that is plaguing her family. Albert, the butler and servant to the family who is less a companion and more a helpful yet unsettling creature that instills fear terror in Tim, is also more involved in this than first thought, and Tim must learn from this strange and silent man in order to save the one he loves.

The narrative tone of the story changes from quite a modern one, to a more classical style as the story progresses, reflecting the timelessness of the events. The year is no longer a marker for these characters and as such, the tone changes too. The story is quickly lifted from a physical setting and seems to be more in the realms of the imagination, the creative mind of our narrative, and the world slowly passing him by. The Instrument is a story that takes you on a journey from a very ordinary young man forced to tune a piano when he has no idea how to, to one who is love obsessed and determined to pick out the melody of time itself in order to save this woman.

As the story focuses on our male protagonist, the ending was a little out of left feel for me. Without giving away any spoilers, I just wasn’t expecting our female character and the object of his love to turn out the way that she did, this wasn’t inferred anywhere else in the story and though it lends a bitter sweet ending, it didn’t feel altogether natural. Still, The Instrument is a unique story and one that explores obsession, madness, and the lengths some people will go for the one that they love – regardless of anything else.

A dark tale with even darker imagery, The Instrument is a love story you will not expect.

About the Author –

Ivan Radev was born in Bulgaria in the year 1990 and throughout his childhood he always had a keen interest in The Arts. In tenth grade they became the driving force for him to quit school, study at home and spend every waking hour practicing the piano, painting in oils and writing. His literary journey began with sociological essays, to which he later added fictional and romance elements. He dabbled in poetry and comic writing, soon to find a new passion – horror. The macabre is the perfect stage for the poetic, after all, and so, “The Instrument” was born.

Read and Review –




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