Book 136: "City of Dark Magic" by Magnus Flyte

Title: City of Dark Magic
Author: Magnus Flyte
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Read In:  Trade Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism

I loved this book. I have a hard time placing it in genre. It rings most true to magical realism, though it obviously lacks the Latin/South American origin that usually goes with that genre; it is also a bit more aware about the unrealistic nature of what happens. Regardless of where it falls, it's a very good book. I finished it on Saturday and it is still with me. I can't seem to escape its world.

Primarily set in Prague, this book is full of intrigue, murder, mystery, history, music, friendship, magic, and love. The characters are unique and complex. The writing is wonderful, it completely wraps you in the world the characters are experiencing. The book is written in first person, from the point of view of two characters. The primary character is Sarah. Sarah is a PhD candidate who specializes is Beethoven. She is asked to help sort and determine the educational worth of Beethoven related music, correspondence, and artifacts from a private collection for a private museum opening in Prague. Once there, she becomes involved in complex, magical story that has been in the making for hundreds of years. Charlotte Yates, the only other character to give her story, is US senator that is driving force of power in the US government. She is desperate to cover up her involvement with a curator of the collection that Sarah is working on, that occurred during her time as CIA double agent in the Cold War. There is nothing she won't do to stop the release of information about her during that time.

This storyline is incredibly complex, especially given the short length of the book (only 464 pages). Somehow, it works. This was not remotely the story or style of writing that I expected when I picked up that book and as I was reading I could not stop thinking about friends and family that I know would enjoy this book as I did. I highly recommend this and look forward to reading it's sequel, "City of Lost Dreams".

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