City of Dark Magic
Penguin, Nov 27 2012, $16.00
In Prague, affluent Maximilian Lobkowicz plans to convert the family’s Lobkowicz Palace into a museum. He offers Boston based Ph.D. candidate in neurological musicology Sarah Weston the job of cataloguing the Beethoven manuscripts and determining whether the alleged connection between a royal ancestor of his and the great composer is true. Excited with the work, obsessed over the suicide of her mentor Professor Sherbatsky and encouraged by Jepp the enigmatic dwarf, Sarah accepts the position.
Before she leaves the States someone draws an alchemist symbol on her ceiling. In Prague, Sarah learns the Lobkowicz family is divided into two hostile groups. Trying to remain focused, Sarah begins to find information on Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved" and on Sherbatsky’s final days. When she tries the time altering drug Jepp gave her; she meets Beethoven, the long dead Lobkowicz princes; alchemists; and Jepp known as Nico back four centuries ago. As she falls in love, Sarah’s blind tweener student Pollina arrives in the Czech Republic to warn her teacher that someone wants her dead.
This is a terrific romantic fantasy that deftly combines time travel and Beethoven with conspiracies four-hundred years ago and today in Prague and DC. Fast-paced, readers will enjoy Sarah escapades then and now as she guides us on an exciting lyrical tour of Prague.