by Magnus Flyte

Reviewer Rating:


City of Dark Magic takes an amazingly unlikely cast of characters and events and rolls them all into a fun, fantastical-historical-music-murder mystery. The book opens with a bizarre mass death and missing chihuahua in Venice. That's followed by the very strange seeming suicide of a world class musicologist. We then meet an extremely long-lived little person, a blind child music prodigy, a CIA operative, a lesbian historical weapons expert, a Czech prince, and of course our protagonist, Sarah Weston. Weston is a sex-crazed, scent-driven grad student who's hoping to become the world's next Beethoven expert.

These diverse folks all join an eclectic army of scholars living at a castle in Prague. As they inventory the contents of an old castle in order to make these treasures accessible to the public, strange events keep happening. Mysteries pop up involving the KGB, an ancient golden key, an underground labyrinth, and Beethoven's Immortal Beloved. Are they connected? Danger abounds as the past becomes present and the present visits the past.

City of Dark Magic was one of the first fantasy books I've read in years, and I was surprised to find myself loving it. If you like this one, check out the sequel that was just released too. In City of Lost Dreams, Weston will embark on a journey to Vienna for another mystery involving alchemy, science, and famous figures from the past.

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