Boozy Books: City of Dark Magic

Welcome back, nerds! (I sure hope everyone read that in their best Liz Lemon voice).  It’s Friday, and hopefully you all know what that means… it’s time for another installment of Boozy Books!

We’ve got a real fun one in store this week. To be perfectly honest, I picked it up at the airport to read on my flight and, to my surprise, was hooked almost immediately. It’s a quick read, chock full of wit, pop culture references, history, time-traveling, and sex. Somehow it’s got everything and doesn’t sit too heavily on the palate.

The book in question is City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte. Moving quickly from Boston to its main setting in Prague – a city notorious for alchemists, magic, and hell portals – the book is astonishingly accurate in its portrayal of the city (I’ve been there so I can vouch for the authenticity) and utilizes a number of landmarks in telling the story. It’s quite realistic all told, even considering that our heroine, Sarah Weston, takes an ancient drug which essentially allows her to pass through non-linear time…

Hmm maybe I should give you a little more in the way of plot. Well, Sarah is a PhD student studying neuromusicology who lands a summer job in Prague. As soon as she arrives strange things start to happen. She finds herself thrown into mystery and mayhem in a journey to disprove a suicide and understand Beethoven’s history in Prague. I don’t want to give away too much here, but throw in a handsome prince, a US senator with a secret KGB past, a couple murders, a heaping dose of Beethoven and a 400 year old dwarf and you’ve got yourself a truly entertaining (and often comic) thriller.

Fast-paced, full of intrigue, and coming in at just under 500 pages it’s a great way to spend the weekend. But what can we pair with this tongue-in-cheek mystery? Since beer is consumed throughout the story and being that it’s set in Prague I would recommend a pilsner lager since the majority of beer brewed in the Czech Republic is just that. The book is fairly lighthearted and a pilsner won’t weigh you down. However, if you’re looking for something with more of a kick let me suggest a glass of Slivovitz. It”s a super strong plum brandy produced in Eastern Europe that will burn the hair right out of your nostrils, but leave you feeling warm and tingly. (Seriously, the last time I had some I was rosy-cheeked and giggling the entire evening).

So have fun reading/drinking and as they say in the Czech Republic, Na zdravi!


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