Dark, mysterious, weird and fascinating are words I would use to describe the adventure one finds inside of CITY OF DARK MAGIC. And yet it was the kind of adventure I would jump at the chance to return to any time Magnus Flyte deems it appropriate. Cautionary note: should be reserved for grown up eyes due to the nature of graphic sex passages and a reoccurring story thread related to hallucinogens.
A fairly avant-garde and eclectic group of treasure authenticators and academics are gathered by the Lobkowicz Royal family in Prague. The reigning descendant Max Lobkowicz is combing the world to get back the treasures that were rightfully theirs but through the march of time have been lost, misappropriated, hidden or taken. These experts are in fields which include: music, paintings and weaponry.
The story centers around Sarah Weston, a graduate student specializing in music, invited to spend the summer at the Lobkowicz Palace. She is invited to step into the shoes of her much loved mentor Professor Sherbatsky who mysteriously died while in Prague. With nothing to lose and the hope of solving the mystery behind her beloved Professor she heads to Prague. Sarah soon finds herself involved with Max who is not always what he seems and frankly neither is anyone else she encounters.
This premise was fascinating to me as the items have a history and there some have mysterious and unusual pasts. And then Flyte provides a host of strange, unusual and ruthless supporting characters including: a 400 year old drawf, Beethoven, greedy ex-spy, an evil royal rival and a wise “child” prodigy. And that is not all there is also murder, drug induced hallucinations, mysteries galore and scavenger hunts and lets not forget the twists and turns that keep your heart and mind racing.
Penguin Group USA you are brilliant on several accounts: first, for having the vision to publish CITY OF DARK MAGIC; and second, for putting it into my little paws to read. CITY OF DARK MAGIC by Magnus Flyte has stayed with me since I finished it, as there is always something to ponder about. Nothing is as it seems in this this novel, not even the author Magnus Flyte. While I shared many a breakfasts with CITY OF DARK MAGIC, I think it is more suited to an evening read in the tradition of Poe.
Still curious? this is a trailer you do not want to miss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0z2JXHedLg. Be sure to watch for Conan O’Brien’s blurb he sums up CITY OF DARK MAGIC quite nicely, but then again he went to Harvard.