Summary: Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
Whoa, this book was a good book to start my 2014 One Year Book Challenge with. This book started off a little slow, but once it really got into it, I was hooked. Prague is a city I’ve started to see turn up in a couple books I’ve been reading, and it’s an interesting city from what I’ve been reading. Also, they have a problem with defenestration. That’s probably my favorite word. I also really love history mysteries, which led to me buying this book with my Christmas money. I’m happy to say I got my money’s worth. The plot was intriguing, and I liked the elements of magic they had. They also had the time traveling drug, which was an interesting approach to time travel as well. It had its noted flaws, but at least had a decent explanation behind it.
Sarah Weston is an interesting character. She has things I love about her, and things I hate about her. She’s a smart girl with a bit of a plucky personality, and her intelligence is in a bit of an obscure subject: musicology. I didn’t even know that was a thing. But she seems really passionate about it, although I can’t really remember if there was much of an answer about why. But she really loves Beethoven, and came up with a clever nickname for him: LVB. What really bothered me about her was how she couldn’t seem to keep her legs closed, if you get what I’m saying. She kept talking about how sexy a STATUE was. A STATUE. I don’t know why, but that aspect of her personality just bothered me. I think it’s because it drew away from the story a little.
I really love seeing characters from Virginia, by the way. Especially when it comes out of left field. The senator was from Virginia. I liked that.
Overall, this was a good read. Four stars. ★★★★