It’s been sitting here on my desk calling for me to read it… Finally? I suppose finally. This only took me forever to get to. Wow.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
Synopsis From The Book
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.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
One of the many books I got from my friend after she gave me all her books. I have no thoughts on this book as I have no idea what its going to be about. Time Traveling, dwarfs, magic, and music… seems like it could be a good book from the back alone. I don’t know. At least this time I know what I’m getting into.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
Not gonna lie, I read this in two sittings. (Gasp!)
Reaction before opening again: Typically this would be a really, really bad sign. In some ways it already is a bad sign. It means I wasn’t invested enough to be drawn back to the book after I set it down (for like two weeks). Not even the slightest touch or second glance at all. I didn’t think about it or the plot or where it was going to go. I don’t remember disliking it, just wondering what in the world is going on. So… Onwards, I suppose.
Reaction after finishing (finally): So it wasn’t bad. The ending was actually kinda cool, going through time and all. There is a sequel to this novel? Yay. Another novel to add to the list of book series I haven’t finished (Can you hear the sarcasm?). I am just… tired? It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. I’m pretty sure a lot of that has to do with my break in between.
Sarah is a Beethoven expert. She lives in America and one day her mentor calls her to Prague to work on some things there with him. She finds out soon after that he died (suicide is assumed). She goes to the city, meets some people, and flirting with a few. She flirts Douglas into having sex with her, but when she meets “him” in the bathroom she somehow was with someone else. She doesn’t know who.
She ends up learning that Prince Max has something to do with her teacher’s death so she investigates him and finds some Beethoven letters in his house. (This guy hordes like crazy; his family has for 600 years). She later sees him giving CPR to a body. After calling the police, the body disappears and she learns more about Max.
Max and her bond. She finds out the Andy guy did die (the cops said he was alive but that was a lie). She ends up taking this drug that lets her see the past. Beethoven knows she is there and calls her his immortal beloved. The drug wears off as Max helps her hone the visions, and then they have sex. This reaffirms that Max was the one she was with (not Douglas) earlier. They get arrested for public indecency. Sarah is almost fired from her job (thanks Max).
Letters are found. Eleanore (the woman who found them) “kills herself” (probably murder). Max and Sarah want to find a missing room in Max’s palace. Sarah finds out the truth of the drug she was on (what it was and where its from). Sarah finds the library and letters that say that Immortal Beloved is not a person but the name of the time traveling drug. Sarah almost dies. Nico saves her. There is a party. Sarah tries to show the library to Max (who wasn’t there when Sarah found it) only for Nico to have stollen everything.
Max, who’s family is sworn to find and protect the Golden Fleece, has Sarah go on another time travel bender. She finds stuff about the key to the door that must not be opened, and then passes out. When she wakes its the grand opening for Max’s museum. They go, the American senator tries to bomb the place to cover up her engagement to the KBG. Max and Sarah save the day by opening a portal to a black hole under Prague.
Sarah goes back to school to complete her schooling. Max continues to search for the Fleece.
What I Liked:
Sarah; She was real, rounded, and pretty great. I liked how she acted, reacted, and lived within this world. Her obsession with Beethoven was fantastic. She’s also sure of herself which was nice (I’ve been reading too many YA novels).
Max; I liked him and the complicated nature of his family and life. In general I also just liked his quips and situations he was put in.
Nico; He was great just in general, poor time traveler who is trapped in eternity.
Use of Alchemy; There is an aspect of this that is magic, but it’s not traditional magic. It’s Alchemy. I really like the way that the book uses Alchemy and old alchemic rules to explain its magic and time travel.
The use of Time Travel; Instead of actually traveling in time, it was seeing time. Nothing could be changed. I liked that, in truth. Also the way it was done was through drugs, which was even more interesting.
In general the plot was nice, easy to follow, and a pretty okay mystery.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Relationship; Though, I suppose more would be explained. I am just kinda confused on when they met as kids and that story. In general, I thought the time line was well laid out.
Charlotte; I never really sympathized with her character. I do have to say that her covering up their deaths (should they have died) and her own death’s cover up, were… very American.
Time Taken To Read
2hr 17min (sitting one: 1hr 12min, sitting two: 1hr 5min)
(Once more my copy is badly damaged by water this time, so here is the amazon picture)