The Book Report: “City of Dark Magic,” by Magnus Flyte

Anne Yoskoski, Assistant Life Editor

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“Prague is a threshold,” Sarah is warned, “and it is steeped in blood.”

Many stories about travel and adventure happen abroad. Time-transcending events take place in London, Paris and Rome, but never Prague.

Prague is what drew me to this book in the first place. I honestly hadn’t heard of a lot of adventures taking place in Prague. That’s not the only odd quirk about Magnus Flyte’s novel however. Combining the setting of Prague, with magic, Beethoven and a dwarf, Flyte has created a narrative that is something completely new and fresh.

Sarah is a graduate student who specialized in Beethoven. When she finds out she is being given a job in Prague that her old mentor was previously doing, she has to jump at the chance.

Things take a dark turn, however, when Sarah finds out her mentor died while working in Prague, her piano prodigy student and European roommate both warn her that Prague is a threshold between the living and the dead, and strange symbols start appearing on her walls.

What’s even more impressive is Flyte manages to tie all this up with some spy behavior, WWII, romance, and accurate historical facts about Beethoven and his immortal beloved.

The method to find her teacher’s killer is anything but normal. While in Prague, Sarah Weston begins a torrid affair with a prince, starts doping on hallucinogens that make her see the past (along with Beethoven) and becomes friends with the dwarf (who is 400 years old).

While I did love the novel, it might have actually been too good. Some of the plot lines and sub-plots could possibly support their own novels, which left me a bit frustrated that the beautiful story lines were, in some cases, cut short to make room for the main plot.

Thank god they plan on a sequel, because too much is hurried and left undone for the book to really be over.

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