CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Magnus Flyte

Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a 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,

more …

Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a 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.

City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.

less …
  • Penguin
  • Paperback
  • November 2012
  • 464 Pages
  • 9780143122685

Buy the Book

$16.00

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Magnus Flyte

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 lives near Sequoia National Park in California.

Visit this author on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise

“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

"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

"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."Margaret Flanagan, Booklist

Discussion Questions

Though 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?