Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense.
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 400-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.
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So promising and yet...
The narrator used poor at best, and offensive at worst, accents. Several of her pronuciations were very distracting, especially "muzam" for museum.
The gratuitous sex scenes were completely out of place and only distracted from the narrative.
The premise was so promising that the poor execution was even more disappointing. The main character is a strange amalgamation of serious academic and 'party-girl' undergraduate with extremely questionable judgement.
The sprinked-in sex is not at all neccessary, nor does it add to the story. It makes the characters more flat.
The relations to actual history, especially music, is novel and believable. The description of prague is great and makes one feel really there. The romance is boring, the bad-guy in the story too simple.
The characters are good and distinguishable, I really like the accents she manages to speak with.
Well, Tom Hanks, if he were a woman -- it is sort of Da Vinci Codish...
The good guys are well drawn and get a character. The bad guys are a bit in contrast to that, more flat and a bit obvious. The story itself is build quite straight, too. The author lays out secrets in the beginning of the book and resolved them one by one in the end, more or less believable. Quite a straight story with few surprises.
From the title I somehow expected a bit more fantasy-style, but it is not much so. The Magic in the title relates more to what I would call Mysticism.
- Torsten Will