Culture & Criticism Since 2003
City of Lost Dreams, a Penguin original just-released, is an ambitious novel that promises an action-packed plot and an incisive characters – and then delivers. As the sequel to the New York Times bestseller City of Dark Magic, this book has a huge reputation to live up to – the question being, could Magnus Flyte sustain the level of energy necessary to elevate this book to a notable plateau? However, in reality, City of Lost Dreams may in fact be better than its predecessor: these characters more well-rounded, this story a step quicker down the field. In essence, every novelist is challenged by having to create characters that readers want to know, with which they want to develop a paper-fed marriage. And that’s really the strength of the current Magnus Flynt collaboration – the grand cadre of characters, led by Sarah, somehow gets under our collective skin and forces us to take note, to care. And once that occurs, we’re hooked – driven to know, compelled to understand. Throw in a story that tests the human condition’s predilection to surrender to temptation and live outside the law, and you have a book that takes hold by the throat and refuses to let go.