Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
City of Dark Magic is first novel by Magnus Flute, a pseudonym for the collaboration of two writers: Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch. I didn’t read anything written by them before, but their styles merged perfectly – the transitions are invisible. I don’t know how Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch organized or divided writing of chapters but it feels like one person wrote this book.
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flute is set in the city of Prague. A city where every stone has a story and “most of them involved blood or people going crazy“. Descriptions of city and buildings in this book are so vivid and the locations are imaginary either – every place and building described in this book is real.
The story centers on Sarah, a musicologist from Boston, who gets a summer job in Prague to help in organization of music collection for the Lobkowicz family museum’s grand opening. She would probably define it as a perfect dreams job, except for one sad fact: she is there to replace her college professor & mentor who committed suicide. Sarah is my favorite type of heroine: confident, smart, sassy… Maybe a little bit too promiscuous, but hey everyone has to have some flaw.
Except Sarah, we meet a lot of other weird a quirky characters: her friends and scientists working on other museum collections. They all add to colorfulness and general humor of the story. And of course they make the chaos around museum opening organization, even more… chaotic. Because, as the grand opening gets near, the tension builds and a lot of secrets are discovered: why Sarah’s mentor committed suicide, who was an Immortal Beloved (Beethoven’s inspiration), consequences of conspiracies by WWII spies, love affairs …
Someone would maybe complain that there is too much going on and some things could have been completely left out, but I liked it. It was refreshing and original – you never knew what to expect.