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City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

Sunday, January 6, 2013
Synopsis: 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 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.

This book was a disappointment. I really, really wanted to love it. Prague just sounds like a city of Dark Magic and mystery and I was expecting an atmospheric tale of mystery and intrigue with a little romance. Instead the book felt like it was a mash-up of ideas and storylines that never quite came together. One thing that bothered me was the fact that it was largely a contemporary spy novel with one random element of supernatural phenomenon and I wish that it would have either gone full supernatural or stayed fully spy novel.
            The romance in the book fell flat it seemed as if the characters barely knew each other and the sex scenes appeared to show up randomly as if tossed in. I wanted to like Max and Sarah but I just did not feel connected or invested in them. The villainess was an interesting study and added some intrigue. The writing was well done and the descriptions of Prague were exceptional. This book had a lot of potential it just needed a little more focus.

Reviewed by: Jennifer

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