City of Lost Dreams: A Novel

( 11 )


The exhilarating, genre-bending sequel to the sensational New York Times bestseller City of Dark Magic

“If you’re looking for a time-travel mystery with laughs, danger, and a romantic interest clad in lederhosen (and who isn’t?), look no further.”
People (4 Stars)

In this action-packed sequel to City of Dark Magic, we find musicologist Sarah Weston in Vienna in search of a cure for her friend Pollina, who is ...

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City of Lost Dreams: A Novel

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The exhilarating, genre-bending sequel to the sensational New York Times bestseller City of Dark Magic

“If you’re looking for a time-travel mystery with laughs, danger, and a romantic interest clad in lederhosen (and who isn’t?), look no further.”
People (4 Stars)

In this action-packed sequel to City of Dark Magic, we find musicologist Sarah Weston in Vienna in search of a cure for her friend Pollina, who is now gravely ill and who may not have much time left. Meanwhile, Nicolas Pertusato, in London in search of an ancient alchemical cure for the girl, discovers an old enemy is one step ahead of him. In Prague, Prince Max tries to unravel the strange reappearance of a long dead saint while being pursued by a seductive red-headed historian with dark motives of her own.

In the city of Beethoven, Mozart, and Freud, Sarah becomes the target in a deadly web of intrigue that involves a scientist on the run, stolen art, seductive pastries, a few surprises from long-dead alchemists, a distractingly attractive horseman who’s more than a little bloodthirsty, and a trail of secrets and lies. But nothing will be more dangerous than the brilliant and vindictive villain who seeks to bend time itself. Sarah must travel deep into an ancient mystery to save the people she loves.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-01
Sequel to City of Dark Magic (2012), set in a world where alchemy, magic and science all work; another lively, amusing romantic mystery from the pseudonymous Flyte (Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch). Musicologist Sarah Weston arrives in Vienna hoping to find a cure for her friend, the blind young composer Pollina, who's dying of an intractable ailment. Meanwhile, Sarah's friend and ally, the drunkenly world-weary, 400-year-old dwarf Nico Pertusato, wanders around London seeking an ancient alchemical remedy only to discover that a mysterious adversary has anticipated his every move. In Prague, Prince Max, Sarah's ex-lover, ponders the baffling reappearance of a saint who drowned 800 years ago, then a World War II Czech resistance hero shot by the Gestapo; meanwhile, his seductive new girlfriend, redheaded British historian Harriet Hunter, pursues a hidden agenda of her own. Rumor has it that the brilliant biochemist Bettina Müller may have formulated a treatment for Pollina, but when Sarah tries to contact her, Müller proves peculiarly elusive and demands that Sarah return the priceless antique model ship purloined from the British Museum that Müller, for some reason, has concealed in her refrigerator. Growing desperate, Sarah makes use of a drug that frees her mind to float back through the centuries and peruse the work of Philippine Welser, the brilliant alchemist wife of Emperor Rudolf II, besides, that is, enjoying all the food and culture Prague and Vienna have to offer, not to mention mind-blowing sex with a hot Austrian noble in a stable that's in the process of burning down (she still remembers to use a condom). Sensual, witty and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, set forth in sparkling prose and inhabited by characters well-worth getting to know. Wunderbar!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143123279
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 127,265
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

After the uproar over the publication of his first novel, City of Dark Magic, Magnus Flyte retreated to his dacha in the Urals, where he enjoys exploring underground tributaries of the Ufa, observing the mating habits of the spotted nutcracker, and smelting. Mr. Flyte is currently at work on a half-hour television comedy about sixteenth-century ethnographer Sigismund von Herberstein, entitled Ural I Love.
Magnus Flyte is a pseudonym for the writing duo of Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch. Howrey is the author of the novles The Cranes Dance and Blind Sight. She lives in Los Angeles. Lynch, who lives near Sequoia National Park, is a television writer and journalist.

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Read an Excerpt

At least, Sarah thought, she wasn’t the only one at the police station in a Dirndl, though hers was the only one with a side seam busted open. She counted a half dozen people in ball costumes, two of them in handcuffs, singing a spirited version of “Das Schönste auf der Welt” at the top of their lungs. The officer who was transcribing Sarah’s statement looked up at the serenaders, frowned, then informed Sarah that the song was a fine one if sung properly, in tune.

Well, she had definitely arrived in Vienna.

There had been quite a scene with the police. After Sarah had explained to the officers what she was doing in the lab and they had holstered their guns, one officer had been dispatched to collect Alessandro from the Platz. By then, Nina Fischer had arrived.

It was Nina who had sent the police to the lab. Bettina Müller, it seemed, had phoned Nina in a panic, saying she had gotten a text from a blocked number telling her that her laboratory had been broken into.

“But she couldn’t come herself,” Nina explained. “Because she was already on a train.”

Sarah, Nina, and Alessandro were all taken to the station to make statements. They filled out form after form, repeating all their information, and signing reports. Neither the Polizei nor Nina was able to reach Bettina Müller, who, by the end of the evening, was under suspicion of having stolen her own laptop from herself..

“Perhaps she is not getting phone reception on the train,” Nina offered, outside the police station.

“Do you know where she lives?” Sarah asked. “I’m sorry. I’m really not a crazy stalker. It’s just that I urgently need to speak with her. She did invite me to the lab tonight. . . .” If she had even sent that message.

“I don’t.” Nina raked her fingers through her pink hair. “Somewhere near the Naschmarkt, I think. She always breakfasts there. Shit. But, look, she should be back by Friday at the latest. That’s when our team always meets. And there is a concert that night, at the Konzerthaus. She never misses when Kapellmeister Schmitt is conducting.”

“I’ll stay till then,” Sarah said, frustrated. “Maybe she’ll be back in touch.”

Sarah headed to the Naschmarkt, feeling melancholy, which wasn’t helped by a drizzle of cold rain. She ordered a Melange, the Austrian equivalent of a latte, and a Topfengolatsche, which was Austrian for “You have gone to pastry heaven. You’re welcome.” Sugar inspired, Sarah wondered if maybe Nina Fischer knew of any similar work to Bettina’s being done somewhere else. Sarah thought she had run down every other avenue when she was in Boston, but maybe . . .

Her phone beeped.

I had to leave. My life is in danger.

What the hell?

Dr. Müller? Sarah texted back. Where are you? And how do I know this is you?

After a moment, her phone beeped again. There was a photo of her own cover letter on Pols’s medical records. Then another message.

I can help your friend. Will you help me?

Sarah strode through the Naschmarkt, searching the stalls for a glimpse of Bettina. Had she not left town after all? Was she following Sarah? What game was this woman playing? Another message arrived.

There is something in the refrigerator of my apartment that must be returned. Use maximum discretion. No police.

Whatever was in the refrigerator, Sarah was guessing it wasn’t leftovers.

What is it? And who do I return it to?

But the return message read only: Paniglgasse 18. The concierge will let you in. Tell no one or I will not help you.

How do I know YOU WILL HELP ME? Sarah texted furiously. This wasn’t what she had imagined would happen in Vienna. This wasn’t how scientists operated. . . . This was as bad as fucking Prague!

I can save your friend. Do this for me. I will contact you tomorrow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    City of Lost Dreams is the second novel by author Magnus Flyte.

    City of Lost Dreams is the second novel by author Magnus Flyte. This novel has received a huge amount of buzz coming off the huge success of the first book, City of Dark Magic. These two writers throw caution to the wind and make the reader suspend their beliefs in the what is possible in this novel, as well as, the first. It is a very intelligent, well crafted novel that does not sit well in any genre, but embraces several. Flyte's ability to bend the rules is not left to just time travel as the reader is treated to everything from drug induced expeditions to finding a cure for a blind teenage composer. This novel everything from music to history and everything in between. A can't miss, read!

    I hardly know where to start. What an amazing sequel to City of Dark Magic. I thought the first book, was both amazing and challenging for any reader, but City of Lost Dreams certainly lives up to it's hype. Magnus Flyte is the collaboration of two writers and honestly I can't imagine how all of this came together into such a cohesive novel with two brains creating it. They must think very much alike to make it work. 

    City of Dark Magic was over the top in just about every way you can imagine from the drugged time traveling to the sexual exploits of the heroine, Sarah. I felt like City of Lost Dreams continued in the same vane, but was a little more tempered in reality. What in City of Dark Magic was totally and completely impossible yet believable, in City of Dreams becomes tangible, substantive and yes, achievable. 

    There are so many wonderful things to talk about in regard to this novel. I absolutely loved the way that Flyte blended mystery, history, music, science, alchemy and fantasy all into one tight package. The European setting is so well described that readers will instantly be transported to Prague and Vienna. The world of the arts is so well portrayed that readers will not be able to help wanting to know more about the painters and composers, as well as, other historical figures Flyte describes. The alchemical discussions alone will have science geeks in awe of Flyte's ability to make the reader understand exactly what alchemy was and what the alchemists were trying to do. This is a very intelligently written book that will appeal to a sophisticated reader and a reader looking for imaginative and entertaining read.

    Sarah Weston is looking for a cure for her friend, Pollina, who is a blind teenage composer on the verge of brilliance. But her life is dwindling and time is of the essence. Sarah remains her very inquisitive and thoughtful self in City of Lost Dreams. She is still using mind altering drugs to travel through time and she's one step ahead of a dangerous villain. She isn't slowing down in any aspect of her life and her sexual exploits are still random and just as creative as the rest of the novel. Readers will find her precocious and determined. Her dissertations on Meser and Klimt are come across as believable and credible. She is just a wonderfully unique character and Flyte does an amazing job of remaining true to her in this second book. She changes and grows throughout but she is still Sarah.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2014


    My standard of 'literate' must be set far higher than yours, then. You may be literate and detailed while you post, but bios are a big part of the Nebula. Bios that size simply won't cut it. As I'm very busy, I probably will forget to check this once more. I hope you apply once more in the future. We have a standard one week until you may apply again. Thank you for applying. <p>


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2014


    I'm not going to apply again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Loved it!

    I read City of Dark Magic for a book club, and I loved it so much I immediately purchased City of Lost Dreams. I could not put it down, I had it finished within hours. Definitely hoping for more in this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Exceded all expectations

    After reading the firstbook my expectations were high and this book exceded them. More historical figures, murder, villainy, music, wit and love. It has everything and kept me entranced in the book. Even took the time to look up some of the historical places, figures and music. The descriptions made by some of the characters in todays vernacular were hilarious. Loved it all, every twist and turn. You will not know how it ends till you get there. Will certainly look for more by this author.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommend!! - Fantastic!!

    I loved the first book, City of Dark Magic, so I was hoping this one would live up to my expectations. To my delight, it did! My favorite characters were there, along with the new adventures and mysteries were the intriguing historic references that I loved from the first book as well. An easy and fun read. Like the first one, I couldn't put it down until I finished it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    A Lost World: Prolouge

    What if imagination was outlawed? Art burned in the pits? Books tossed out the door? Music crushed at the very depths of its existence? Theartres shut down? And most horrible of all, your very soul, the evidence of emotion, the sweet song of life, wiped to a montonous drone of a spirit? Well, for me, life is like that. Every day. Every single empty minute. A brainwashed, lifeless, dull, miserable, dam<_>ned, and druken world. All because of a child. One child. One soul. And his name was Zach. My..... brother. How does that feel, you wonder? Suckish, to say the least.<p>
    Zach. A rambuctious, spirited teenager. Thirteen years old, played soccer, skateboarded, laughed, loved to sing. But that Zach is no more. The new Zach is quiet, dead, a perfect boy. Well, not to me. Hel<_>l no.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'City of Lost Dreams' is a unique and enchanting novel - it's co

    'City of Lost Dreams' is a unique and enchanting novel - it's completely unlike anything I've read before (aside from the first book in the series). The story once again focuses on our leading lady Sarah Weston, a music expert from Boston who is on a mission to get young Pollina into a drug trial for her serious illness. We are reacquainted with several characters from the first book - Prince Max, Pollina, Nicolas Pertusato, and others. Once again, Vienna holds mysterious secrets from the past and twisting adventures around every corner for our characters. While Sarah is hunting for a medical cure for Pollina, Nicolas begins searching for an ancient alchemical cure - and is surprised to find that a very old enemy is attempting the same thing, and appears to be steps ahead of him on his quest. Meanwhile, Prince Max is trying to piece together the reappearance of a saint who died centuries ago and keeping an eye on a pretty historian who has her own secret agenda.

    Although this is the second book in the series, it was a completely enchanting and fascinating blend of genres that I immediately fell back in love with the moment I began to read. There is so much going on during this book - murders, mystery, intrigue, mayhem, romance, time travel, alchemy and espionage to name a few - that it sucks you in from the first words and doesn't let go until far after the final word is read. The characters continued to be very interesting and distinct - and I really loved getting to know them each a little more. I felt that they were a great cast of personalities for the book and were incredibly flawed and realistic. I loved getting to know more about the main character, Sarah. She's brilliant and fiercely independent, yet she's devoted to her friends and will do just about anything to learn the truth. Yet she wasn't on a pedestal - she definitely had flaws and character traits that made her feel very real. The same goes with the other major characters in the book.

    Speaking of the plot - I don't even know how to describe or explain it. The authors paint such an incredibly vivid and beautiful depiction of both Vienna and Prague that it was easy to immerse myself into the setting and the story within seconds of reading. This series contains some of the best writing I've ever come across. The descriptions are so intricately detailed and vividly imagined that the story comes alive before your eyes. There's really no other way to explain it. There are several story lines that happen at once in the book, all of which are some sort of mystery waiting to be untangled, and all seem to fit together in some way that doesn't show itself to the reader until the end. The main thread of the story is once again magical and breathtaking in it's entirety. I was fully enamored by the way the story was told, the story itself, the cast of characters, and the subject matter that was talked about. All of it intertwined to make an unbelievably compelling novel that will continue resonate with me for a long time to come. Like the first book in the series, it's one of those books that you feel you must re-read over and over in order to pick up on small details you missed before and also just to lose yourself in its pages again. In summary, this is one of the most imaginative and amazing books (and series) that I've ever read. It breaks any genre boundaries and opens the reader up to endless possibilities. I'm already impatiently waiting for the next book in the series to come out so I can find out what mysteries and journeys our characters will stumble into next. Very Highly recommended for fans of all genres - especially those who enjoy historical fiction, fantasy, and mysteries. If you haven't started this series yet, do it NOW!

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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