Series: City of Dark Magic #2
Published by Text Publishing on November 2013
Genres: Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Urban
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After her amazing adventures in Prague, brilliant music student Sarah Weston heads to Vienna, the city of Beethoven, Mozart and Freud.
She's racing against the clock to find a cure for her young friend Pollina, who is dying. But in the maze of Vienna's cobbled streets she is trapped in a deadly puzzle that involves a scientist on the run, stolen art, long-dead alchemists and a gorgeous horseman with more than dressage on his mind.
Most dangerous of all is the vindictive criminal seeking to warp time itself, forcing Sarah to travel deep into an ancient mystery to save her loved ones.
At a nearby table an Englishman ranted about the poor curation of the Freud Museum, while his wife did a crossword and complained of “Platz fatigue.”
“This café was the favorite place of Dr. Freud,” Alessandro said to Sarah.
“How do you think Freud would have interpreted a dream of a round white room?”
“You want a penis,” guessed Alessandro, a little too loudly. The couple sitting near them looked over, and the man laughed a little.
Please note: This is a review of the sequel to City of Dark Magic, and so contains spoilers. You may wish to read my review for the first book instead!
Sarah Weston’s friend Pollina is in a bad way, her illness worsening. Seeking a specialist who may be able to help Pols cure her particular gene condition, Sarah travels to Vienna to speak to Doctor Muller personally, but when she arrives she finds the Frau Doctor involved in more than just breakthrough medical cures. There’s more alchemy, hell portals and historical mysteries in Vienna for Sarah, Max and Nico to investigate.
As much as City of Dark Magic was a travel guide to Prague, this second book is a very similar guide to Vienna. The city appears neat and clean, white and gold on the outside, but it hides centuries of war and conflict just like other European cities. Happily, as with the first book, the darkness of the historical portions of the story is lightened considerably by the tone of the story – the banter between characters and witty observations about the city are refined in this second book and I found myself really enjoying the read, even if the travel-guide sections tend to drag a little, especially towards the start of the story.
In terms of story, it didn’t feel as though there was as much at stake as in the events in Prague. Sure, Pollina’s life is in danger but the build-up and final confrontations weren’t quite as nail-biting, I thought. It was still a very well-written mystery and the fact that there was less about the historical figures allowed for the present-day characters to be more fully developed. The pace is not as frenetic as it was in the first book, and the surprise sex seems to have diminished (although it has been replaced with some more conventional sexy bits instead).
An enjoyable and fairly light read – I’m looking forward to seeing what else Magnus Flyte can serve up.
– A cracking sequel – well worth the read if you enjoyed the first one.