Monday, February 9, 2015

"I was much reminded by this book of several successful titles from different authors..... They all incorporate history, art and literature into the fictional narrative with great effect." ~Eric B.
Cosmically fast-paced, wildly imaginative, and with City of Lost Dreams—the bewitching sequel—on 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. 
Eric B. says:
"I was much reminded by this book of several successful titles from different authors previously published by Penguin Group. They all incorporate history, art and literature into the fictional narrative with great effect. Interred With Their Bones and Haunt Me Still by Jennifer Lee Carrell feature a Shakespearian scholar as sleuth and use English history as well as theater legends and superstitions to frame suspenseful tales with plenty of murder and mayhem, and a little magic, too. Discovery of Witches also uses history and culture as a backdrop to a lively paranormal landscape. The inclusion of true historical figures and facts lends an extra dimension to these works of fiction.

In this most effective thriller, a student and scholar of music in general and Beethoven in particular is thrust into a situation fraught with intrigue, danger and murder. Invited to Prague to help catalog and prepare documents relating to the composer for the opening of a museum in a historic castle, Sarah Weston finds what at first seems to be a friendly, collegial group of academics all dedicated to different fields of study cleaning, organizing and cataloging antiques of all kinds repatriated to the Czech owners after having been stolen by the Nazis in WWII. The usual petty jealousies and conflicts one expects among ego-driven experts enliven the plot, but something much darker begins to emerge when Sarah’s mentor falls from a high window to his death. Suicide, murder or accident?

Against the rich but sinister history of Prague, woven about the ancient castles, alleys, bridges and churches the story becomes more bizarre by degrees with the introduction of an ancient mind-altering drug concocted by Tyco Brahe and John Dee for the use of Ludwig (Luigi) Beethoven. Rendering the taker capable of seeing events and people who have been long dead is only one of the effects, and Sarah is nearly killed when she ingests it in her room, a former dungeon. I’ll not say more, except that the deceased have much to offer the living.

A fine read, fast-paced and with interesting characters and just the right amount of paranormal occurrences to satisfy but not overwhelm, this should appeal to readers of the books mentioned in the first paragraph. I recommend it."

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