Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

 Title: City Of Dark Magic
Author: Magnus Flyte 
Genre: Fantasy 
Publisher: Penguin
Number of Pages: 464
Source: Publisher

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.     

I am not generally a fan of fantasy books, but I am a sucker for any plot that involves someone getting their masters or PHd. I am also a sucker for novels set in an international setting. Prague has always fascinated me,  so the setting alone had me sold on this book. When I started this book I had trouble connecting with Sarah, the main character. I just didn't like her at all. Then about 100 pages in something happened-Prince Max appeared, and this was another book where the love interest of the main character was more likable then the heroine.  Max was mysterious, lofty, and lovable. Once he appeared and the mystery started to revolve around his family and what happened to Sarah's professor I couldn't put the book down. Sarah eventually grew on me and I loved watching Sarah trying to figure out what was really going on, and that she was older then 22 and not afraid to have sex when the mood struck.  I just get so tired of heroines are so wishy washy that you want to smack them and tell them to get a clue. Sarah knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to go after it, even if it meant heading into danger. 

The secondary characters Nico, a dwarf and Pols, a blind child prodigy were also what helped me keep reading this book. They were interesting, entertaining and made Sarah much more likable.  The only secondary character I had a problem with was the villain of the story and that's because every once in awhile the pov would switch to them, and it always seemed a bit disjointed when that happened and took me most of the next chapter to get back into the story being told from Sarah's viewpoint. Sometimes a setting can be a secondary character, and I felt this way with Prague. The descriptions of Prague were wonderful, and I felt like I was there without having ever visited. I love it when authors are able to make a setting come alive like that. 

I loved watching Sarah and Max work together as a team, and am still in shock how much I ended up enjoying this book after such a rocky start. The ending leaves me to believe that there might be more adventures in store for Sarah, and I can't wait to see what they are.