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Author: Magnus Flyte
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars
Book Summary: In this action-packed sequel to "City of Dark Magic," we find musicologist Sarah Weston in Vienna in search of a cure for her friend Pollina, who is now gravely ill and who may not have much time left. Meanwhile, Nicolas Pertusato, in London in search of an ancient alchemical care for the girl, discovers an old enemy is one step ahead of him. In Prague, Prince Mas tries to unravel the strange reappearance of a long dead saint while being pursued by a seductive red-headed historian with dark motives of her own.
In the city of Beethoven, Mozart, and Freud, Sarah becomes the target in a deadly web of intrigue that involves a scientist on the run, stolen art, seductive pastries, a few surprises from long-dead alchemists, a distractingly attractive horseman who's more than a little bloodthirsty, and a trail of secrets and lies. But nothing will be more dangerous than the brilliant and vindictive villain who seeks to bend time itself. Sarah must travel deep into an ancient mystery to save the people she loves.
Personal Review: To kick things off, this is not a book/series I would have normally picked up on my own, but while perusing the shelves for something different, I decided to give it a shot, and so far, I sort of like it.
This is the second book in the series, and this second novel, although featuring the same protagonist of Sarah, feels a little different to me in how her voice in the story has somewhat changed. Not in a bad way, it's just different. The author still knows how to construct a good novel that's fast-paced, interesting, and offers something a little different from what I've been usually reading. Although I generally don't get into novels that delve in history, Flyte brings both history and present-day together, in a story that worked well and doesn't confuse the reader along the way.
The book, and series for that matter, has a little bit of everything in it from romance (which I could do without at times), history, adventures, suspense, comic moments, and amusing characters, including the villains. For some odd reason, I felt like constantly drawing comparisons to "the Princess Bride," but these were certainly two different works altogether.
Unlike the first book, Sarah is developing as a character, and doesn't have to rely on a man to get her out of trouble. She doesn't turn down the help[ if offered, but she certainly shows how she can hold her own in this second book.
I've stated before that I'm not a huge fan of fantasy reads, and although this would classify as one, it didn't do so overwhelmingly. I appreciated that because at times some authors can get very much lost in the prose when describing thew magical elements of their stories. I'm a simple guy and sometimes I just need a simple read.
Part historical fiction, part romance, part fantasy, and more, it had a little bit of everything, which could have seriously gone very wrong, but ended up working well together. Call the job well done by the author. I'd recommend this read to others if they were looking for something a little different and off-the-beaten-path, as it did offer a wonderful lineup of characters, which were richly developed, and set against a backdrop of Vienna.
Try looking out for the City of Dark Magic series at the Abilene Public Library and see if you agree. Even if you don't like the book/series, on the plus side you won't be out any money.