Magnus Flyte, apparently, isn’t a real person. It is a pseudonym attached to two women, who apparently deny it, so who knows. In any case, someone(s) used this name to write The City of Dark Magic, a fantasy novel about Prague, Beethoven and a few mysteries.
Essentially, there is a girl named Sarah who lives in Boston while she is doing her PhD to become a musicologist. She is invited to help curate Beethoven’s work that is in the possession of the family of one of Beethoven’s patrons, the Lobkowicz family who were a bunch of prince’s or princesses. The Lobkowicz family, according to the book, is a long dynasty beginning, more or less, in the 1500’s in Prague. They lost all of their lands, titles, and much of their property (art, books, that sort of thing) when the Nazi’s invaded. After that, they reclaimed all their stuff only to lose it to the communists. Now (set in modern times), the stuff has all been reclaimed (again) and Max, the current Lobkowicz prince, is planning to make a museum out of it. When Sarah shows up, a lot of strange stuff is clearly happening. As she works, she begins uncovering mysteries about Beethoven’s deafness and about the Lobkowicz family.
I actually really liked the book. The City of Dark Magic certainly did better at having historical facts (or a creative presentation of “facts”, whether it was true or not is a whole other story) than the last book I read that supposedly attempted to mix history and fantasy in the same book and failed (see The Pharaoh’s Secret).
I also liked the combination of classical music, action, love, history, and fantasy. It’s something that could have easily become to complicated or fallen flat, but I think the author combined these themes in a way that worked quite nicely.
The City of Dark Magic left me wanting to know more about what will happen next. That said, I am not sure if or when I will read the second book, The City of Lost Dreams. I am sure that you will all find out when that was after I post the review here.
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