Well. Hmmmmm. I’m slightly stumped. City Of Dark Magic was one of the odder books I’ve read. It couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a mystery, a romance, a spy thriller, an adventure, or an outrageous fairy tale. Set in Prague, the city’s ancient history was a great foundation for the historical element of City Of Dark Magic. When Sarah trotted off to Prague she landed in the famous castle and met a slew of regal and sinister characters. I was entertained, I was confused, I blushed. There were good elements to this, but maybe too many elements for my taste.
The writing was that sing song style that read like a child’s fairy tale. Example: “What happened next was not technically Sarah’s fault…” The spoofy plot and satirical tone reminded me a lot of the 100 Year Old Man. I thought the main plot revolved around music buff Sarah and her quest to discover information regarding Beethoven’s muse while in Prague. At some points I felt the story was suffocated by the immense facts about Beethoven and his music. Although it demonstrated the author’s knowledge on the topic and allowed the characters to appear well informed, those passages overpowered the story. There was also quite a bit of random sex that occurred without any warning. Sara and Max were not in love and barely knew each other before they began their intimate relationship. The sex seemed out of place and included merely to make this more of an adult book, like a movie that adds a sex scene just to get the R rating.
Drugs, jewels, hidden letters, secret chambers, cryptic drawings, and golden artifacts appeared suddenly and changed the focus of the story without any warning. There was so much being thrown into the story that I had a hard time grasping what I was supposed to be focused on. Overall, this was hard to describe because it veered in so many directions. Call me old fashioned, but I like a linear story with an obvious plot. I didn’t mind the quest plot here, but when the quest kept changing from Beethoven’s lost letters to random artifacts and so on and son on , it was a bit hard to keep up.
I’m a bit befuddled by this one. Suffice to say, I cannot believe there is a sequel.