By Magnus Flyte
Penguin Books, $16.00, 448 pages
When graduate student Sarah Weston gets a mysterious job offer to catalog Beethoven’s manuscripts, it seems too good to be true. Upon arriving at Prague Castle, she discovers it just might be: her mentor, who previously held the position, who died under unclear circumstances. Some say suicide, but Sarah isn’t convinced. Mystery and intrigue prevail amongst the diverse collection of researchers at the Castle, to say nothing of the prince running things and his dwarf right hand. Soon, Sarah is in over her head in a web of lies, magic, and history that refuses to stay in the past.
“There is magic there. Dark magic. Prague is a threshold.”
City of Dark Magic is a mix of romantic comedy and suspense-driven mystery. There’s a plethora of sex, death, and tension. The fantasy elements are weaker, almost always edging in away from magic and into the realm of science we just haven’t discovered yet. At the same time, there’s a great deal of mysticism and mythological elements that color the setting, Prague. Not one for hardcore fantasy fans, but enjoyable for urban fantasy purveyors looking for a good punch of mystique and romance with a flippant sense of humor to wash it down.
Reviewed by Meg Gibbs