City of Dark Magic: A Novel
  • City of Dark Magic: A Novel
  • City of Dark Magic: A Novel

City of Dark Magic: A Novel

4.0 63
by Magnus Flyte
     
 

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Cosmically fast-paced, wildly imaginative, and with City of Lost Dreamsthe bewitching sequelon shelves now, City of Dark Magic is the perfect potion of magic and suspense
 
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’sSee more details below

Overview

Cosmically fast-paced, wildly imaginative, and with City of Lost Dreamsthe bewitching sequelon shelves now, City of Dark Magic is the 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.

And the story continues in City of Lost Dreams, the mesmerizing sequel, which finds Sarah in the heart of Vienna, embroiled in a new web of mystical secrets and treacherous lies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cleverly combining time travel, murder, history, and musical lore, this is a breezy, lighthearted novel. Sarah Weston is researching her Ph.D. in neurological musicology in Boston when a letter arrives summoning her to Prague. Maximilian Lobkowicz, the heir to the ancient Lobkowicz fortune, is planning to turn the family palace, located within the Prague Castle complex, into a museum; Sarah’s job will be to establish the relationship between one of the first Lobkowicz princes and Ludwig von Beethoven. Sarah is warned that Prague is “a threshold” to “dark magic,” passion and violence, and she suspects that mysteries await. And how. A little person gives Sarah a pill shaped like one of Beethoven’s toenails that allows her to move through time, encapsulating many centuries. She not only sees Beethoven but also several of the dead Lobkowicz princes; Tycho Brahe, the 16th-century alchemist; and also Nico, who was at that time called Jepp and is now 400 years old. Plucky, impulsive, and reckless, Sarah is determined to discover the identity of Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved, and time and again she’s a hair’s breath from death in dangerous situations. Tensions rise when Sarah’s Boston violin pupil, 11-year-old blind musical prodigy Pollina, arrives in Prague and warns Sarah about forces conspiring against her. Complicating an already tangled plot, an evil senator from Virginia with the U. S. presidency in her sights schemes to kill anyone between her and some incriminating letters she wrote to her erstwhile lover, a KGB officer, while she was CIA. In a story that abounds in mysterious portents, wild coincidences, violent death, and furtive but lusty sexual congress, Flyte (the pseudonym for TV writer Christina Lynch and Meg Howrey, author of Cranes Dance) also offers a veritable guide to Prague that includes such historical references as Rabbi Loew’s golem, the Golden Fleece, the Holy Infant of Prague, and a vault under St. Vitus Cathedral, where Sarah and Max find themselves in a tense denouement that promises a sequel. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER-

"NEW AND NOTEWORTHY" PICK BY-USA TODAY-

Praise for City of Dark Magic- by Magnus Flyte:

“This deliciously madcap novel has it all: murder in Prague, time travel, a misanthropic-Beethoven, tantric sex, and a dwarf with attitude. I salute you, Magnus Flyte!”
Conan O'Brien

“The most wickedly enchanting novel I've ever read and also the funniest. A Champagne magnum of intrigue and wit, this book sparkles from beginning to end.”
Anne Fortier, bestselling author of-Juliet

“An entertaining mix of magic, mystery and romance, it's one of the most original novels released this year.”-
CNN.com

“A fantastical adventure set in the world's most emo city. … A growing number of novels seek to erect fanciful bulwarks against the dull logistical deluge of the real world. … To read these novels is to finally and happily tread the literally magical streets of cities that will only ever exist in our naive imaginings. The officious yet sinister London of China Mieville, Neal Gaiman, Jonathan Barnes, and Mark Hodder; the tense, swollen Istanbul of Ian McDonald; Emma Bull's faerie-haunted Minneapolis, Rob Thurman's monstrous New York City, Laurell K. Hamilton's matter-of-factly supernatural St. Louis: None of them exist, yet all of them are real. To this almanac add the Prague of-City of Dark Magic, by Magnus Flyte. … Beguiling …City of Dark Magicnever fails to shimmer exotically, erotically, on the page.”
Slate.com

“A comical, rollicking and sexy thriller.”-
Huffington Post

“I was sold on newcomer Magnus Flyte's recent novel when I looked at the clock and realized that I'd been reading for four hours without pause. … Rom-coms can, indeed, be smart, sexy, and self-aware.”-
Tor.com

“Sometimes you want a book that simply entertains, and-City of Dark Magic- does just that. There's a bit of everything, and when one scene seems impossible, know that the next will top it. Go with it. It's a good ride and a great way to escape reality for a bit.”
Bookreporter.com

“The riddle of Beethoven's 'Immortal Beloved,' alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. ... An exuberant, surprising gem.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A story that abounds in mysterious portents, wild coincidences, violent death, and furtive but lusty sex ... [this novel] cleverly combin[es] time travel, murder, history, and musical lore.”
Publishers Weekly

“The darkly charming and twisted streets of Prague provide the deliciously dramatic backdrop for this paranormal romp that fires on all cylinders, masquerading by turns as a romance, a time-travel thriller, and a tongue-in-cheek mystery.”
Booklist

“A wild ride through the streets and history of Prague. … The author has crafted a beautiful work of art in this novel and I found myself drawn in as much as Sarah. A tantalizing world grows in your mind's eye as the author's words paint the picture effortlessly with tempestuous characters and a beautifully dark setting.”
Bibliophilic Book Blog

“The riddle of Beethoven's ‘Immortal Beloved,' alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance, 2012, etc.) and television writer Christina Lynch have combined their talents, writing under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte. Brilliant musicologist Sarah Weston has been summoned to Prague to catalog Beethoven manuscripts at the Lobkowicz Palace. How can she refuse? Her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky, has defenestrated himself from the palace, and a dwarf has appeared at her door, encouraging her to go and presenting her with a pillbox containing what appears to be a toenail clipping. Yet Prague is a dangerous place, a place where the walls between worlds have thinned to precariously fragile layers. But Sarah cannot believe Sherbatsky committed suicide, and she is eager to study the manuscripts, so she begins to pack. Before she can even get to the airport, however, someone breaks into her apartment. Nothing appears to be stolen, but an ominous alchemical symbol has been drawn on her kitchen ceiling. Once in Prague, events turn both stranger and sexier. The castle lies at the center of a dispute between two branches of the Lobkowicz family. As Sarah dutifully sifts through the manuscripts, she discovers clues not only about the “Immortal Beloved,” but also Sherbatsky's strange behavior leading up to his death. The other scholars hired that summer to catalog the castle's contents suspect Sherbatsky of drug use, and Sarah finds herself experimenting with the time-warping drug. She also accidentally has anonymous sex in the bathroom, joins forces with a 400-year-old dwarf, lands in jail and falls in love with the prince. But Sarah has also attracted an enemy, someone who will stop at nothing to keep Sarah from discovering a secret of perhaps international proportions. Even the minor characters are drawn ingeniously in this exuberant, surprising gem.”
Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
Sarah Weston travels to Prague Castle to complete the work of her late mentor, Dr. Sherbasky, cataloging rare manuscripts of Beethoven. She is immediately plunged into a disturbingly oppressive atmosphere of drugs, secrets, and politics, highlighted by an unusual cast of coworkers who each have their own quirky personalities. Overshadowing all is her uneasy confusion over what really happened to Dr. Sherbasky and what he had discovered about the mysteries surrounding the recently recovered manuscripts. With the introduction of legends that Prague is home to portals to hell, the reader is dropped into a confusing entanglement of plots, personalities, and mysteries that involve alchemical elements. Some readers may find Sarah’s open sexual lifestyle a distasteful rather than romantic addition to the main story line.

Verdict While this novel may well find its own niche of faithful followers, it is, unfortunately, a miss for this reviewer. Readers looking for a fast-paced, historically rich, romantic adventure with paranormal elements would be better directed to Deborah Harkness’s “All Souls Trilogy” (A Discovery of Witches; Shadow of Night). Flyte is a pseudonym for the writing duo of Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance) and television writer Christina Lynch.—Crystal Renfro, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib. & Information Ctr., Atlanta
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
The riddle of Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved," alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance, 2012, etc.) and television writer Christina Lynch have combined their talents, writing under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte. Brilliant musicologist Sarah Weston has been summoned to Prague to catalog Beethoven manuscripts at the Lobkowicz Palace. How can she refuse? Her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky, has defenestrated himself from the palace, and a dwarf has appeared at her door, encouraging her to go and presenting her with a pillbox containing what appears to be a toenail clipping. Yet Prague is a dangerous place, a place where the walls between worlds have thinned to precariously fragile layers. But Sarah cannot believe Sherbatsky committed suicide, and she is eager to study the manuscripts, so she begins to pack. Before she can even get to the airport, however, someone breaks into her apartment. Nothing appears to be stolen, but an ominous alchemical symbol has been drawn on her kitchen ceiling. Once in Prague, events turn both stranger and sexier. The castle lies at the center of a dispute between two branches of the Lobkowicz family. As Sarah dutifully sifts through the manuscripts, she discovers clues not only about the "Immortal Beloved," but also Sherbatsky's strange behavior leading up to his death. The other scholars hired that summer to catalog the castle's contents suspect Sherbatsky of drug use, and Sarah finds herself experimenting with the time-warping drug. She also accidentally has anonymous sex in the bathroom, joins forces with a 400-year-old dwarf, lands in jail and falls in love with the prince. But Sarah has also attracted an enemy, someone who will stop at nothing to keep Sarah from discovering a secret of perhaps international proportions. Even the minor characters are drawn ingeniously in this exuberant, surprising gem.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101603062
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/27/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
100,085
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

"NEW AND NOTEWORTHY" PICK BY USA TODAY 

Praise for City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte:

“This deliciously madcap novel has it all: murder in Prague, time travel, a misanthropic Beethoven, tantric sex, and a dwarf with attitude. I salute you, Magnus Flyte!”
—Conan O'Brien

“The most wickedly enchanting novel I’ve ever read and also the funniest. A Champagne magnum of intrigue and wit, this book sparkles from beginning to end.”
Anne Fortier, bestselling author of Juliet

“An entertaining mix of magic, mystery and romance, it’s one of the most original novels released this year.” 
CNN.com

“A fantastical adventure set in the world’s most emo city. … A growing number of novels seek to erect fanciful bulwarks against the dull logistical deluge of the real world. … To read these novels is to finally and happily tread the literally magical streets of cities that will only ever exist in our naïve imaginings. The officious yet sinister London of China Mieville, Neal Gaiman, Jonathan Barnes, and Mark Hodder; the tense, swollen Istanbul of Ian McDonald; Emma Bull’s faerie-haunted Minneapolis, Rob Thurman’s monstrous New York City, Laurell K. Hamilton’s matter-of-factly supernatural St. Louis: None of them exist, yet all of them are real. To this almanac add the Prague of City of Dark Magic, by Magnus Flyte. … Beguiling …City of Dark Magicnever fails to shimmer exotically, erotically, on the page.”
Slate.com

“A comical, rollicking and sexy thriller.” 
Huffington Post

“I was sold on newcomer Magnus Flyte’s recent novel when I looked at the clock and realized that I’d been reading for four hours without pause. … Rom-coms can, indeed, be smart, sexy, and self-aware.” 
Tor.com

“Sometimes you want a book that simply entertains, and City of Dark Magic does just that. There’s a bit of everything, and when one scene seems impossible, know that the next will top it. Go with it. It’s a good ride and a great way to escape reality for a bit.”
Bookreporter.com

“The riddle of Beethoven’s 'Immortal Beloved,' alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. ... An exuberant, surprising gem.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A story that abounds in mysterious portents, wild coincidences, violent death, and furtive but lusty sex ... [this novel] cleverly combin[es] time travel, murder, history, and musical lore.”
Publishers Weekly

“The darkly charming and twisted streets of Prague provide the deliciously dramatic backdrop for this paranormal romp that fires on all cylinders, masquerading by turns as a romance, a time-travel thriller, and a tongue-in-cheek mystery.”
Booklist

“A wild ride through the streets and history of Prague. … The author has crafted a beautiful work of art in this novel and I found myself drawn in as much as Sarah. A tantalizing world grows in your mind’s eye as the author’s words paint the picture effortlessly with tempestuous characters and a beautifully dark setting.”
Bibliophilic Book Blog

“The riddle of Beethoven’s ‘Immortal Beloved,’ alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance, 2012, etc.) and television writer Christina Lynch have combined their talents, writing under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte. Brilliant musicologist Sarah Weston has been summoned to Prague to catalog Beethoven manuscripts at the Lobkowicz Palace. How can she refuse? Her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky, has defenestrated himself from the palace, and a dwarf has appeared at her door, encouraging her to go and presenting her with a pillbox containing what appears to be a toenail clipping. Yet Prague is a dangerous place, a place where the walls between worlds have thinned to precariously fragile layers. But Sarah cannot believe Sherbatsky committed suicide, and she is eager to study the manuscripts, so she begins to pack. Before she can even get to the airport, however, someone breaks into her apartment. Nothing appears to be stolen, but an ominous alchemical symbol has been drawn on her kitchen ceiling. Once in Prague, events turn both stranger and sexier. The castle lies at the center of a dispute between two branches of the Lobkowicz family. As Sarah dutifully sifts through the manuscripts, she discovers clues not only about the “Immortal Beloved,” but also Sherbatsky’s strange behavior leading up to his death. The other scholars hired that summer to catalog the castle’s contents suspect Sherbatsky of drug use, and Sarah finds herself experimenting with the time-warping drug. She also accidentally has anonymous sex in the bathroom, joins forces with a 400-year-old dwarf, lands in jail and falls in love with the prince. But Sarah has also attracted an enemy, someone who will stop at nothing to keep Sarah from discovering a secret of perhaps international proportions. Even the minor characters are drawn ingeniously in this exuberant, surprising gem.”
Kirkus Reviews
 

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