In this action-packed sequel to City of Dark Magic, we find musicologist Sarah Weston in Vienna in search of a cure for her friend Pollina, who is now gravely ill and who may not have much time left. Meanwhile, Nicolas Pertusato, in London in search of an ancient alchemical cure for the girl, discovers an old enemy is one step ahead of him. In Prague, Prince Max tries to unravel the strange reappearance of a long dead saint while being pursued by a seductive red-headed historian with dark motives of her own.
In the city of Beethoven, Mozart, and Freud, Sarah becomes the target in a deadly web of intrigue that involves a scientist on the run, stolen art, seductive pastries, a few surprises from long-dead alchemists, a distractingly attractive horseman who’s more than a little bloodthirsty, and a trail of secrets and lies. But nothing will be more dangerous than the brilliant and vindictive villain who seeks to bend time itself. Sarah must travel deep into an ancient mystery to save the people she loves.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
This is the second in a series and contains minor spoilers.
Well, I liked this book a bit better than the last one, City of Dark Magic. It wasn’t as all over the place with 50 different things going on at once.
Sarah has traveled back to Prague to help Pollina. Pols, the 13 year old blind musical prodigy is dying. She has a rare infection that only one person can possibly cure, a Czech doctor named Bettina.
She is immediately plunged into mystery involving alchemy (again) and history and drugs and music and science. It starts with a brief meeting with the doctor at a ball in Vienna followed by mysterious text message from Bettina asking Sarah to do something that almost gets her arrested. Followed by another mysterious text message that ends up with Sarah handling a stolen artifact from the British Museum and a drug that makes her orgasm spontaneously (go ahead, laugh. I did)
Meanwhile, since him and Sarah broke up, Max has been sleeping with a somewhat famous British historian that, clearly, has bad intentions. Pollina doesn’t like her, which should be a sign not to date a person since Pollina is the smartest, most sensible character in the book.
Nico is also searching for a cure but also searching for a cure for his immortality. Someone is beating him to the ingredients (he refers to this person as his Moriarty. As much as I love Nico, he is no Sherlock).
During all this, Sarah stills finds the time to bang some guy in a horse stable, because ya know, priorities and all.
There are weird breaks into different points of view, which is a bit annoying at times but I guess it gives better insight.
You have to suspend your belief a lot with this book. The historical part of it is amazing. That’s really what drew me into the second book. Someday I shall visit Vienna and Prague! But other than that? Meh. I don’t really like Sarah. Some of her choices make no sense to me. She tends to be obnoxious and pretentious yet really stupid at times.
Max not really in this one much and when he is it’s usually a sex scene but he’s still kinda lackluster. He doesn’t really have a personality, which is a terrible waste of a character.
Pollina, the thirteen year old, is by far the most mature of the bunch. Though I really don’t understand her parents. She’s blind and dying and they don’t live with her? Like…wth? They just leave her in Prague with a nanny and a man they barely know (Max)? That just doesn’t make sense!
Alessandro is a doctor, graduated from an American school but can barely speak proper English? I don’t think so.
Anyways, the book has some beautiful descriptions and some great imagination. It moves along pretty fast, some decent action. The ending was…really weird.
This was an okay book. Not great but decent enough I suppose. If there is another book I’ll probably read it because I’m already two books in.