Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CITY OF DARK MAGIC by Magnus Flyte

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

I have always loved to travel but I have never really had any interest in visiting Prague until I read this book. Music student Sarah Weston gets a job opportunity at a castle in Prague cataloging some Beethoven manuscripts. It seems like a dream job except for the fact that she was chosen after her mentor died in the same position.  Sarah takes off to Prague and becomes embroiled in the many secrets concealed by the Castle and the people who inhabit it. Sarah becomes suspicious about the circumstances arounde her mentor's apparent suicide and begins to investigate.  She discovers a time-warping drug that will change how she views not only her beloved Beethoven but also the history of the world around her. And she finds a little romance along with her adventure.

This was a really fun novel. It had some similarities to Harkness' DISCOVERY OF WITCHES in that there is a strong female scholar who becomes involved in extraordinary events. While the romance and sex scenes could sometimes be a bit far-fetched and over the top, the mystery and the time-warping drug were really great.  Prague itself becomes a character in the novel with all of its history and mystical properties.  I loved how the novel moved back and forth through time thanks to the mysterious drug.  The reader is able to see all the drama that unfolded within the walls of the Castle and Prague itself. While the writing can be a little messy and the story could have been developed a bit more, it was still a really entertaining book. It even left room for a sequel which I would definitely welcome.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended.  A fun vacation read with action, mystery and a little romance.  Fans of Harkness and Gabaldon will enjoy this one.

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