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City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
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City of Dark Magic (edition 2013)

by Magnus Flyte

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5093619,954 (3.3)37
Member:Stewartry
Title:City of Dark Magic
Authors:Magnus Flyte
Info:Thorndike Press (2013), Hardcover, 623 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Netgalley, Kindle, fantasy, music, Beethoven, Prague, spies, WWII

Work details

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

  1. 10
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (4leschats)
    4leschats: Both books deal with the collision of ancient and modern mysteries with similarities in quirky characters, novice journeys, and magical elements.
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Book Description
Release Date: November 27, 2012

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.

My Review:
I enjoyed this book very much. It is very fast-paced and crosses over just about every genre. It’s a mystery, a thriller; it has science and history and music. Romance. Comedy. Time-travel. Don't miss out on this one - I think you will enjoy the ride! ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
At least a 3.5 so I rounded up -- Fun book. I was afraid when I picked it up that I had been dupped by the cover but the silliness settled down with a fun mystery with generous servings of historical fiction and classical music. It deserves more than a 3 I'm just not sure if it matches up with most of my 4s. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
When I began reading this book, I was merely motivated by the fact that I wanted a fast paced read with a bit of naughtiness to it, and that is precisely what I got in this book. Are some of the situations implausible? Yes. Does it seem too far-fetched at times? Yes. Is it also extremely interesting, sucks you in, and keeps you glued to the story? Abso-freaking-lutely!

The characters may seem almost caricature-y, and at times one dimensional, but they're also fun and easy to follow as characters. They're not "hollow" characters, they're just not explored fully, at least not in this first book, entirely. Mostly, we concentrate on our protagonist Sarah, who is a young college student who finds herself in Prague, studying music and documenting music for an archive, however, finding that her mentor has committed suicide upon her arrival. From this point on, she finds herself part of a big web of dark magic, myth, mystery, old-school royalty, alchemists, and the musical life of Beethoven. The ending really threw me for a loop, but I didn't mind it. For me, the read was a good ride! ( )
  Enamoredsoul | Jan 29, 2016 |
I liked the story and the setting. My only complaint is that Magnus clearly gave his female characters some very male personality traits. Also there is some completely gratuitous and very graphic sex scenes that were totally unnecessary.
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
3.5 Stars

Fast-paced, full of intriguing characters with a storyline that will keep readers turning the pages, City of Dark Magic is a thriller that is sure to appeal to fans of a broad range of genres.

When Sarah Weston, a post-graduate music student specializing in Beethoven, is given the opportunity to work in Prague cataloging the great composer's manuscripts, it is an offer she simply can't refuse. Not only will it give her the chance to further delve into Beethoven's life, but it will also allow her to look into the strange circumstances around the apparent suicide of her mentor. But there is more to Prague than meets the eye, and Sarah soon finds herself involved in things that are perhaps best left alone.

One of the greatest strengths of this novel is its quirky set of secondary characters, including Beethoven himself, who makes several appearances throughout the story. Most intriguing, however, are the 400-year old dwarf, Nicholas Perasuto, and the villain, U.S. Senator Charlotte Yates, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. As the novel's principal setting, Prague and certain darker aspects of its history are featured prominently. The descriptions of the setting are particularly well-done and help to bring Prague itself to life. While the novel's secondary characters and setting stand out, the two main characters, Sarah Weston and Max Anderson, are rather flat in comparison and it is difficult for the reader to be inspired by either them or their budding relationship. Nevertheless, the plot itself unfolds nicely and in a way that keeps the reader engaged, making City of Dark Magic an overall fun and entertaining novel.

Note: An e-copy of this novel was provided to me by Penguin Books via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Prince! what you are, you are by circumstance and by birth. What I am, I am through myself. Of Princes there have and will be thousands - of Beethovens there is only one.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
in a letter to Prince Lichnowsky, 1806
It is enough for the touist to enter the twilit little streets of ancient Prague in the evening, and the same mood will breathe on him as has been felt for centuries by those who tell of the ghosts in Prague houses. It will not seem impossible to him, as he walks the winding alleys, that some of the strange inhabitants with which fantasy has peopled Prague should emerge from the flickering shadows before him.
Jan Vanis,
A Guide to Mysterious Prague
Dedication
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Prologue: The Save Venice fund-raiser began as these things do, with Bellinis, with tiny toast points topped with squid pate, and with swaying musicians playing the greatest hits of Italian opera beneath a fresco by Tiepolo.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143122681, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:11 -0400)

A music student working in Prague cataloging Beethoven's manuscripts discovers clues that her deceased mentor may not have committed suicide and becomes involved with a time-travel drug, a 400-year-old dwarf, a handsome Prince and a powerful U.S. senator.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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