City Of Dark Magic: A Novel by Magnus FlyteCity Of Dark Magic: A Novel by Magnus Flyte

City Of Dark Magic: A Novel

byMagnus Flyte

Paperback | November 27, 2012

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Cosmically fast-paced, wildly imaginative, and with City of Lost Dreamsthe bewitching sequelon shelves now, City of Dark Magic is the perfect potion of magic and suspense
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.

Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

And the story continues in City of Lost Dreams, the mesmerizing sequel, which finds Sarah in the heart of Vienna, embroiled in a new web of mystical secrets and treacherous lies.
Magnus Flyte is a pseudonym for the writing duo of Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch. Howrey is a former dancer with the Joffrey and the winner of an Ovation Award. She is the author of the novels The Cranes Dance and Blind Sight and lives in Los Angeles. Lynch is a television writer and former Milan correspondent for W magazine. She live...
Title:City Of Dark Magic: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8.2 × 5.1 × 0.9 inPublished:November 27, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143122681

ISBN - 13:9780143122685

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fun and sexy read! This book is a fun read, especially if you like some magic and time travel. I really enjoyed this, and it inspired me to visit the city of Prague.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Pass on this one. I seem to be reading many books lately that are neither great nor terrible. This is most certainly one of those. Well, maybe it's terrible. It's getting one of its two stars for the idea... The only interesting character is Nico, and even then, only slightly. The plot is really the only great thing this book had going for it - the idea is neat, and just different enough to have pulled me in and force me to read until the end. But if you're looking for ANY character or relationship (platonic or otherwise) development, look elsewhere. The endless fascination of the main character's obsession with sex is overdone. It's rather gratuitous, frankly. Her male interest begins as a complete ass then suddenly does a 180 - attentive and falls in love with our "heroine" after having awkward and likely disease-spreading sex all of thrice (haven't these people heard of condoms?!). The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which brought me to the unfortunate realization that this is the first book of a series. I'm torn between by ambivalence over the shitty characters and my interest in learning how it all ends up playing out.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Escapism Excellent, and refreshing.
Date published: 2014-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my new favourite books! I wish every book I read could be this surprising and exciting. I found this book fascinating and loved every minute of it.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Over-hyped and disappointing City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte -- the pseudonym of authors Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch -- had an interesting concept. Flyte obviously did their research of Beethoven's life, and the twist with his "Immortal Beloved" was an interesting take on it. However, that's unfortunately about the best I can say about City of Dark Magic, It was through sheer force of will that I finished this novel. The writing seems to be at an amateur level at best; the plot scattered and in general, just a mess. There's little to no character development throughout the story, and the dynamics between characters seems to fall flat. With an antagonist who seems entirely power hungry, and just killing for the sake of killing, and a protagonist who is nothing special except for having a nose sensitive enough to smell things like danger, evil and pheromones, and has an extensive knowledge of Beethoven's music, there wasn't really much to the characters, nothing that makes you feel sympathy for their quest, or takes you on an emotional ride through their trials and triumphs. While the book and the writing does seem to improve somewhat about half-way through; there are still sections in which it seems the authors forgot what genre they were writing, with segments which seem like they'd be better suited for an erotica novel - coupled with their style and word usage making the book feel like it was intended for young readers -- made those scenes awkward to read and completely unnecessary. (Note: I have absolutely no issue with sex in novels, but when it's out of the blue and goes into great detail where it's completely out of place, it's probably best to leave it out.) A lot of what was hinted at and referenced through the novel also fell short and were quite disappointingly executed, seeming rushed at best, or not given more than a few words of mention when they were finally shown. This isn't a book I would recommend at all, but perhaps others will see what I failed to in this novel, and will enjoy it.
Date published: 2013-04-24

Bookclub Guide

1. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSThough the novel is humorous, there are some serious themes under all that fun. What are Sarah’s thoughts on the idea that some people inherit huge wealth and are considered “noble,” while others have to earn their keep, and how does Max feel about his inheritance?There are people from many cultures, backgrounds, and with various physical strengths or disabilities in the book. How does this book deal with stereotypes?How are the themes of loss, fatherhood, and longing explored in this novel?Characters in the novel have differing religious beliefs. How does Sarah’s time in Prague affect her beliefs?Sarah’s ambition puts her in the crosshairs of Charlotte Yates’s ambitions. How does the novel address issues of ambition?Nicolas Pertusato claims he’s four hundred years old. In what ways does the novel explore different aspects of immortality for him, for Beethoven, and for Sherbatsky?Sarah Weston is approached out of the blue to go to Prague for the summer to help catalog Beethoven’s papers. What convinces her to take the job?At the castle, Sarah is introduced to her fellow housemates, most of whom are there to do their own respective research. What do her initial impressions of the other residents tell us about her, and them?Sarah notices early on that Prague has a “vibe” (p. 55). How do Sarah’s feelings about things like “vibes” and magic change in the course of the novel?Who is Charlotte Yates, what is her connection to the Lobkowicz family, and what does her story tell us about the history of Prague?Dr. Sherbatsky is an important mentor for Sarah. What has she learned from him and what does his unfortunate death mean for her?Sarah is, by her own admission, a highly sexual person. Which qualities draw her to potential partners, and how does she feel about love as it is conventionally portrayed in books and movies? Do we judge female characters that are openly sexual differently than we do male characters with the same trait?Nicolas gives Sarah a strange drug. What does the drug do and what is its connection to the mysteries of the castle? What does it awaken in Sarah?What is Prince Max looking for, and why? How do his and Sarah’s ambitions at first keep them apart, then bring them together?Sarah and Max learn they knew each other as young children. What effect does this strange coincidence have on their relationship?Sarah ultimately discovers the “truth” about Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved. What does she find out,and how does it change her feelings about the composer?In the epigraph, there is a quote from Beethoven: “Of Princes there have and will be thousands—of Beethovens there is only one.” Why do you think the authors chose this quote to open the story?

Editorial Reviews

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "NEW AND NOTEWORTHY" PICK BY USA TODAY Praise for City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte:“This deliciously madcap novel has it all: murder in Prague, time travel, a misanthropic Beethoven, tantric sex, and a dwarf with attitude. I salute you, Magnus Flyte!”—Conan O'Brien“The most wickedly enchanting novel I’ve ever read and also the funniest. A Champagne magnum of intrigue and wit, this book sparkles from beginning to end.”—Anne Fortier, bestselling author of Juliet“An entertaining mix of magic, mystery and romance, it’s one of the most original novels released this year.” —“A fantastical adventure set in the world’s most emo city. … A growing number of novels seek to erect fanciful bulwarks against the dull logistical deluge of the real world. … To read these novels is to finally and happily tread the literally magical streets of cities that will only ever exist in our naïve imaginings. The officious yet sinister London of China Mieville, Neal Gaiman, Jonathan Barnes, and Mark Hodder; the tense, swollen Istanbul of Ian McDonald; Emma Bull’s faerie-haunted Minneapolis, Rob Thurman’s monstrous New York City, Laurell K. Hamilton’s matter-of-factly supernatural St. Louis: None of them exist, yet all of them are real. To this almanac add the Prague of City of Dark Magic, by Magnus Flyte. … Beguiling …City of Dark Magicnever fails to shimmer exotically, erotically, on the page.”—“A comical, rollicking and sexy thriller.” —Huffington Post“I was sold on newcomer Magnus Flyte’s recent novel when I looked at the clock and realized that I’d been reading for four hours without pause. … Rom-coms can, indeed, be smart, sexy, and self-aware.” —“Sometimes you want a book that simply entertains, and City of Dark Magic does just that. There’s a bit of everything, and when one scene seems impossible, know that the next will top it. Go with it. It’s a good ride and a great way to escape reality for a bit.”—“The riddle of Beethoven’s 'Immortal Beloved,' alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. ... An exuberant, surprising gem.”—Kirkus Reviews“A story that abounds in mysterious portents, wild coincidences, violent death, and furtive but lusty sex ... [this novel] cleverly combin[es] time travel, murder, history, and musical lore.”—Publishers Weekly“The darkly charming and twisted streets of Prague provide the deliciously dramatic backdrop for this paranormal romp that fires on all cylinders, masquerading by turns as a romance, a time-travel thriller, and a tongue-in-cheek mystery.”—Booklist“A wild ride through the streets and history of Prague. … The author has crafted a beautiful work of art in this novel and I found myself drawn in as much as Sarah. A tantalizing world grows in your mind’s eye as the author’s words paint the picture effortlessly with tempestuous characters and a beautifully dark setting.”—Bibliophilic Book Blog“The riddle of Beethoven’s ‘Immortal Beloved,’ alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance, 2012, etc.) and television writer Christina Lynch have combined their talents, writing under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte. Brilliant musicologist Sarah Weston has been summoned to Prague to catalog Beethoven manuscripts at the Lobkowicz Palace. How can she refuse? Her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky, has defenestrated himself from the palace, and a dwarf has appeared at her door, encouraging her to go and presenting her with a pillbox containing what appears to be a toenail clipping. Yet Prague is a dangerous place, a place where the walls between worlds have thinned to precariously fragile layers. But Sarah cannot believe Sherbatsky committed suicide, and she is eager to study the manuscripts, so she begins to pack. Before she can even get to the airport, however, someone breaks into her apartment. Nothing appears to be stolen, but an ominous alchemical symbol has been drawn on her kitchen ceiling. Once in Prague, events turn both stranger and sexier. The castle lies at the center of a dispute between two branches of the Lobkowicz family. As Sarah dutifully sifts through the manuscripts, she discovers clues not only about the “Immortal Beloved,” but also Sherbatsky’s strange behavior leading up to his death. The other scholars hired that summer to catalog the castle’s contents suspect Sherbatsky of drug use, and Sarah finds herself experimenting with the time-warping drug. She also accidentally has anonymous sex in the bathroom, joins forces with a 400-year-old dwarf, lands in jail and falls in love with the prince. But Sarah has also attracted an enemy, someone who will stop at nothing to keep Sarah from discovering a secret of perhaps international proportions. Even the minor characters are drawn ingeniously in this exuberant, surprising gem.”—Kirkus Reviews