03 December 2012

Meeting Beethoven

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte (Penguin trade paperback, 27 November 2012).

Prague has a reputation for being a mysterious and shadowy city.
It's where  the  alchemists Edward Kelley and John  Dee  worked, for a time, under the patronage of Emperor Rudolf.  Superstition has it that Prague is also home to at least one hell portal.

When musicology student Sarah Weston accepts a summer position cataloguing Beethoven's manuscripts for a private collection in Prague, she is warned by more than one person that the city  "is a threshold, and it is steeped in blood".

Knowing that the experience will be the highlight of her resume, she accepts, but before she even leaves, strange things begin to happen. Her apartment is broken into, and though nothing is taken, a strange symbol is painted on the wall.

When she arrives in Prague, she learns that her mentor Absalom Sherbatsky, who recommended her for the position before his death, had been behaving erratically before his supposed suicide.  Her colleagues at the museum are distinctly odd, and she begins to suspect that Dr. Sherbatsky did not, in fact, take his own life.

It's difficult for Sarah to tell who she can trust, who might be dangerous, and who is playing a role, because the place is rife with intrigue and politics.

Complicated, yes, but the story is fascinating.   Reminiscent of the All Souls series by Deborah Harkness, this is much lighter, more humorous, and quicker to read, and should be popular with readers of romantic-mystery-paranormal fiction

The Penguin Group has very kindly offered a copy of CITY OF DARK MAGIC to one of my readers.  Please comment on this post, and make sure you include contact information.  Entries from the US only, please.

FTC full disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher for a review copy of the book. 

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