Growing up, I hated buying books for myself. We had a wonderful library right up the street and all of the librarians knew me by name, sometimes would even reserve books for me they thought I might like as a surprise. I was saving money for a school computer, for college, or for whatever a teenager needs, so buying books was not really an option.
As an aspiring novelist, I now find the idea of purchasing books to be a great investment. Not only are you creating a library for yourself and your family, you are also supporting a gifted author in their quest of creation. It also helps to have a full time adult job 🙂 That being said, I so still spend a lot of time at the library and in used book stores searching for new authors. My most recent find was from Half Price Books in the clearance section. A book about magic, a historic city, music, and a little romance thrown in? I’m game!
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.
Honestly a little disappointed with this one. Right from the beginning, I felt a disconnect with the main character, Sarah. I thought she would be a kindred spirit considering my own experiences with grad school and love of music, but her sexscapades with a total stranger in a random bathroom upon arriving in a foreign country threw off my connection with her. Maybe I’m a bit of a prude, but I was a little caught off guard.
Beyond the irresponsible life choices made by the main character, I had a few issues with some key plot points. This novel had far too many coincidences, too many clues that worked out just perfectly in the main characters’ favor for my liking. It seemed like every major future plot point was alluded to early in in the book by characters who had very little to with the actual action. It was a bit tiresome after a while.
Beyond these complaints, the writing wasn’t actually too bad. The authors (Magnus Flyte is a pseudonym for a two woman team) bring a refreshing sense of humor and history to their story, weaving in facts and tales about Prague and Beethoven as intriguing embellishments. They give the main character a slightly sardonic voice, helping to express her quirky nature, for example referring to a famous Prague statue of a beheading as “the sexy stabber.”
Overall I was a bit disappointed with this book, though I still enjoyed it for the most part. I give it three out of five stars.