The Immortal City

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

3.75 stars
A very interesting read, even with the murder-case that i'm not so fond of. But i loved  the part with Atlantis in it. Plus, i came to like Alexis & Penelope alot, Penelope kind of reminded me a bit of Milo from the Disney's Atlantis movie, without the stuttering and the glasses, but you get the gist.
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This book is intriguing and a bit different. Penelope finds a piece of tablet on the ocean floor and claims it is from the lost civilisation of Atlantis.    Alexis is an immortal magician from Atlantis known as The Defender and for thousands of years, he has tried to keep any knowledge about Atlantis from the public. As one of six surviving magicians from Atlantis, it is his sacred duty. When Penelope’s discovery gains attention, he immediately tries to undermine any credibility she may have but they are starting to have feelings for each other.
Penelope is trying to prove Atlantis exists and travels to Venice to help decipher writing and symbols decorating a horrid murder scene which match the writing on her tablet. As the story progresses she becomes part of a world hidden to ordinary humans, meeting these surviving magicians of Atlantis, and a love story begins between Penelope and Alexis which hopefully will go into more detail in future books.

The backstory of the rising sea levels in Venice was slightly off putting but this book has daemons, magic, mystery solving, love and the interesting story of Atlantis. I will look forward to the next instalment.
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Although a lot of what we get focuses on worldbuilding, the plot is interesting and engaging. I liked this blend of murder mystery, action, and romance. I'll definitely keep an eye on Amy Kuivalainen's future releases.
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I was pleasantly surprised reading this one. I had no expectations whatsoever and it blew my mind. I liked the writing, the plot and the characters were amazing. I need book two.
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Okay team. This is where it gets hard for me. I feel as if I’ve read nothing but wonderful books this year. But I promise to be honest in my reviews always, and this one… fell flat.

The Immortal City had nearly everything that I should want in a story. The Atlantean Legend. Magic. A too involved scholar. Grizzly murders. Venice. It has all the right elements, and it started off well.

I think many of my issues come from the fact that the instalove overshadowed what could have been an amazing book. And the hard part is that they didn’t even rush into it, but it still felt rushed.

There were so many elements, that it almost felt like whiplash, thought they were well done. It just was too much for one novel, without adding another 100 pages. Truly I wish that this had been stretched out over several books, which it might yet be, instead of all in this one book.

Additionally, I love multiple POV books, and I felt myself getting slightly irritated with how they were handled. One of the first POVs that we are introduced to completely falls away, and this promising character loses all realistic growth that I’d been expecting. In reality I would have liked a bit more character growth from the majority of the cast, who were interesting and varied, but other than our main leads, they seemed to not have the depth needed to make them feel truly real.

This isn’t to say that Kuivalainen isn’t a good writer, because she is. Her world building was good, her voice is strong. I just believe that this promising story could have done with another round of edits to make it shine like it should.

I still enjoyed the story, and will be happy to give the next book a chance. This was a solid 3 Stars from me, for the promising story that needed a bit more to make me love it.

Thanks to Amy Kuivalainen, NetGalley, and BHC Press who gave me this advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Well, there wasn’t as much Venice I would have liked but there was certainly cool dark magic and occult things going on so that placated me.

As far as Atlantis content goes, well, I think/hope there’s more of it to come, it is the first book afterall and this was setting up the world and plots and so on.

I loved the Magician characters I thought they were fun and mysterious and I just wanted to go hang out in their ‘crib’ and drink wine with them.

Unfortunately, I had little love for Penelope. I think she must have been so much younger than I would have thought. This reads more as YA, though Penelope herself is old enough/brilliant enough if she’s still a teen, to have her doctorate. I think the reason I didn’t like her is that I found the romance aspect for her rather dull, but, I did enjoy her hunger for knowledge and her curiosity. I love it when characters are as big as history lovers as I am, haha.
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Sadly this was DNF for me. I was so excited about the story and while the writers style is great, the story just felt like it had been done before. I tried to finish this book but I kept getting pulled out of the story. It felt like an adult version of many other young adult novels in one. I'm sure others will enjoy this novel but it wasn't for me.
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This book had a unique premise, it was a tad bit slow at the beginning but swept me up soon enough and kept me in it's grip well until the end. I would recommend it to other fellow fantasy fans in a heartbeat. Thank you for allowing me to read and hand sell this title.
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Title:  The Immortal City
Author:    Amy Kuivalainen
Genre:  Fantasy
Rating:  3 out of 5

Dr. Penelope Bryne has been shunned and ridiculed by the scientific community for her theories about Atlantis. Until a woman is sacrificed in Venice, and an ancient script is found at the murder site and the police need Penelope’s help.

Alexis Donato has spent the last few years trying to destroy Penelope’s career from afar, so she doesn’t discover the truth about Atlantis:  it did exist, and seven of its magicians escaped its destruction. 

With Carnivale erupting around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to keep dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea—just like Atlantis.

I love the tales of Atlantis and I love archeology, so this book sounded exactly suited for me. However…this felt more like a rough draft than a polished novel. Some of the relationships (like Penelope’s friendship with the detective) escalated too quickly to be believable, and there were a few too many instances of things conveniently/coincidentally working out for me to be fully invested in and believing the story. At this point, I wasn’t satisfied enough with the writing to want to read more of the series, as fascinating as the premise was.

Amy Kuivalainen likes to combine fantasy, mythology, and magic in her writing. The Immortal City is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of BHC Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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Actual rating: 3.5 stars

A very involved look into the world of Demon worshippers and their influence on culture outside the US. I thought the concept of magicians as gods and not party-tricks-with-white-rabbits was interesting and unique, and the story was well written. At times I was bored, but then other times I was super invested in Penelope's and Alexis's relationship and their journey. I have to admit the boredom stems from the confusion of the plot. I couldn't follow very well sometimes, and that made my attention wander. The last four or so chapters upped my rating from a 3 star to a 3.5, so I might read the sequel whenever it comes out because I like the idea that Penelope won't be so easily discarded because she's human: she's the protector of the Archives, so she can't possibly be excluded now.
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Could you say you never thought "what if magic was real, what would I do if it was real in my world" while reading a book about magic realism? For me, this, one of the books which makes me thought that. 
Penelope has spent her entire life trying to find about the history of Atlantis (she knew it exists) while trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis. Her father always was the first one who tries to stop her from going after her dream. 
Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis. She found Atlantis tablet she thought it would be the key to her purpose, but what it had done was to set her up for more disappointment. When she just started her first holiday in two years, she got a mail about a case in Venice. Without thinking she went to Venice determined to help, the police before the killer strike again but found herself in a world she can't imagine. 
Everything she believes will be challenged, the magic she tries to hard not to believe was real and learned about Atlantis even more than she can dream. In the darkly, seductive world of magic, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks and she wants to live.
I loved the story as soon as I read the excerpt. After began to read the book I can say it didn't disappoint me except the romance. Shortly I can do without details about the affairs between main characters. I read romance novels not much but I can love them from time to time. But for this story, I love the adventure so much that taking a break with the romance spoiled my joy (I can understand they need to have a connection with each other so the story will be more good). I love the other characters, other romance was a nice addition to the story and I love how the story builds as time pass but the ending was too quick looks like it's rushed. I couldn't believe how the evil plan come to ruin so easily when they prepared so thoroughly. 
All with that I would recommend to anyone who wouldn't mind having romance in a well-developed magic realism story. I enjoy reading  #TheImmortalCity first book in The Magicians of Venice Series by Amy Kuivalainen and I would like to read other books will come in the series. After this book, I would check Amy Kuivalainen's other books too. :))
Thanks to #NetGalley and the BHC Press providing me a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review and making this available!
P.S. After the book published on 19 Sep 2019 I will add my review on my Goodreads and Instagram accounts (added 21.09.19) and Barnes and noble retail site (I couldn't add because I can't find book in the site).
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Dr Penelope Byrne has become a pariah on the outskirts of the academic world, ridiculed for her theories on the lost island of Atlantis.  When symbols appear at a Venetian murder scene that match symbols she believes belong to Atlantis, Penelope goes to help the investigation.  But she doesn't come close to the truth until meeting the mysterious Alexis Donavato.  He may be able to help find the murderer, but only by exposing new secrets: that the city of Venice, and the rest of the world, are in danger from an evil Alexis thought drown with Atlantis ten thousand years ago.

Penelope is a strong, stubborn woman who refuses to stay down when her parents, her colleagues, and the academic world knock her down.  She thinks of herself as an ordinary, risk-adverse person, but can't deny the part of her imagination that wishes magic and dreams were real, and that there is something special she is supposed to do with her life.  So when a Venetian detective asks for her help on a case, Pen is on a flight to Venice before she thinks about it.  Penelope is a wonderful heroine- pragmatic, logical, yet a dreamer with an open mind about the world around her.  She accepts that things aren't always what they seem, and more importantly, she accepts that love and fate can arrive when they are least expected. She wasn't looking for a man, but when she meets Alexis she is willing to accept that not all life's plans fall out the way we expect.

Alexis is a man who takes things seriously: protect his people, protect Atlantis' secrets, and stay away from mortals.  He's seen death and destruction so often over the years he can't see himself as anything but a jaded warrior.  But Penelope gets under his skin before he knows what's happened, and he is helpless to deny the incredible pull between them.  As he helps Penelope solve the mystery that brought her to Venice, he realizes that the threat is worse than mortals can imagine, and he and the magicians of Atlantis need to work past their fears to protect the world again.

The Immortal City is a fantastic book that gives magic lovers an entirely new world to enjoy, and leaves you waiting breathlessly to see what will happen next.  Well written, edge of your seat action, and marvelous chemistry between Alexis and Penelope kept me reading until I had devoured the book in one sitting, and was only disappointed that there wasn't a sequel out yet to go on to!  Full of delightful secondary characters that I can't wait to find out more about (I especially loved Marco and hope he shows up in more of the series! Loved his "Venetian" version of CPR at the end!), magic to learn, and pasts to explore, the Magicians of Venice promises to be a must-read series for fantasy lovers!  

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

Just WOW what an incredible book easy to read and true escapism.  When I requested this book from NetGalley I had no idea what to expect but this has completely exceeded my expectations. 
Dr Penelope Byrne is  a cross between Lara Croft and Indiana Jones , the perfect mix of vulnerability and feistiness. 
The plot strikes a balance between detective murder mystery and fantasy and blends the two very well.  
The dynamic between Alexis and Penelope is interesting if not a little trite at times..

Overall a great read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series once released.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
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I'm definitely a sucker for mythology and fantasy, so I was immediately drawn to this book when I read the synopsis. I haven't read a lot of books that center around Atlantis, so that was a huge plus for me. 

While I enjoyed the magical elements and adventure, I think that the romance element of this book is more the focal point rather than the fantasy, which I wish would've been the other way around. I enjoy romances in fantasy, but I felt that things were underdeveloped and the pacing was short sighted in favor of a romance that didn't feel genuine at times. 

Overall, the book was alright. I think that those who really enjoy supernatural romances will really like this one. 

Thank you BHC Press and NetGalley for the eARC. This did not influence my review.
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The Immortal City has elements of mythology, romance, murder mystery and the lost city of Atlantis. Even though it was a good book, it did not blow my mind or impress me much. There were some things which I was not comfortable with and which felt underwhelming.
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If you loved that old Disney movie Atlantis about the dorky professor who was CONVINCED Atlantis was a real place and turned out to be right, then this is the book for you. That said, it’s definitely a different spin on the Atlantis tale—in The Immortal City, Atlantis was real, but then, because of various magical reasons, was destroyed. Only a few magicians survived, and they’ve spent thousands of years struggling to keep Atlantis secret while also maintaining the knowledge they’ve gained from being basically immortal.

It was a fun read, and while it wasn’t a new favorite and I probably won’t continue reading the series, I enjoyed how Kuivalainen wove together mythology and history and unexplained phenomena.

Found family characters

Let’s be real, if a story includes characters who don’t have any biological family so they’ve formed their own friend family, I’m gonna love them. The magicians of Atlantis embody this. They’re such a great representation of a group of friends who have been together for a long time and have sooo much history—except in this case, it’s thousands of years of history. Relationship drama, trauma from the fall of Atlantis, saving each other’s lives…it’s all just part of the friend group backstory. It was really fun to see the characters being so distinct from each other but also play off one another really well, and feel like a real friend group.

The setting

The story is set in Venice, and anything set in Venice means bonus points from me. It’s a beautiful city, and Kuivalainen did a wonderful job describing it. Part of the plot occurs during Carnivale, so it was really fun to read about all the celebrations and costumes. In addition, one of the big responsibilities of the magicians in the story is maintaining the Archive, which is the repository of magic and really all knowledge gained in the millennium since Atlantis was destroyed. But it’s also magical itself, and chooses favorites and will reveal books it wants you to read, and I loved how the Archive and house it’s in had personality and was character in and of itself.

There wasn’t anything that I outright hated, but there were some aspects that fell flat for me.

Penelope and Alexis

While I liked reading about all the secondary characters, the two main characters were just meh for me. I really wanted to like Penelope, the professor who has spent her career trying to prove the existence of Atlantis and been shunned. She goes to Venice to help solve a murder that includes ritualistic writing related to her Atlantis studies, and is almost like a kickass female version of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon. But…she was also kind of annoying. She was so impulsive, and didn’t think anything through—the whole ‘going to Venice thing’ wasn’t because the police asked her to. A detective emailed her a question about the crime scene, and instead of responding, she hops on a plane to Venice. Like, okay?

Alexis is the Atlantean magician and the second point of view in the book. Again, I didn’t hate him. But I wasn’t super excited about him either. He’s some perfect magician almost-god who’s spent his thousands of years protecting the other magicians, meaning he has some serious emotional walls built up that Penelope—of course—comes in to knock down. It could have made for some really interesting character development, but instead the focus is on the fast-moving relationship between Penelope and Alexis, and less about their growth individually. Which leads me to…

A lot more romance than expected

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good romance novel. It’s not necessarily my go-to, but I enjoy them, and love rooting for characters to get together when there’s a romance thread in a book I’m reading. But I came to this book expecting more about fantasy and magic, and it ended up being way heavier on the romance between Alexis and Penelope. Even that wouldn’t have been as bad, except it felt like their relationship moved super fast. There was some fun flirting and “does he like me or not” vibes at the beginning, and that was a good romantic tension. But then all of a sudden they’ve decided that they’re soulmates and are completely obsessed with each other, and it felt like a big jump.

The complicated plot

While I loved the premise of the book, the execution of the plot itself was a little confusing. I’m not sure if I just took too long to read it or if all the weird, Atlantean names threw me off, but I was constantly confused which characters were which and how everything fit together. I think for other readers it probably wouldn’t be a problem, but I felt a little lost throughout the book.
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To start off, I would like to thank NetGalley and BHC Press for giving me a free ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to get a hold of an e-ARC of this novel. I really enjoy novels with supernatural and mythological elements. However, this novel pulled away from that relatively early on and started to lean heavily on the romance elements. I would normally not mind if that was what I thought I was going to get from this novel, but I was expecting more supernatural mystery. The romance also moved along a bit quickly and felt unnatural at times. Also the other thing that really bothered me was that everything Penelope suggested always "happened" to be true. It's like she couldn't be wrong. She was perfect and flawless, which isn't realistic. However, this is a fun book in a kind of tropey way.
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Immortal City, Amy Kuivalainen

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way and the thoughts expressed are my own.

Warning: Due to the graphic scene(s) I would advise against this for young adult readers.

An Australian academic travels to Venice and becomes involved with hunting a fanatical serial killer and uncovers the ancient truth of Atlantis. Penelope has always believed in Atlantis – regardless of what her colleagues think – and is willing to uncover the truth, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Alexis has spent hundreds of years hiding the existence of Atlantis and magic but a serial killer’s public rituals risks exposing the truth. Now the two are forced to work together to save Venice itself.

I loved exploring the city of Venice, especially from the perspective of an Australian academic. Venice is a beautiful city with an ancient culture and this novel was good at showing this. Carnevale was epic and sounded like one of the biggest parties in the world, full of life and spirit. Plus, I knew plenty of the Australian places Penelope spoke of, which was a lot of fun.

While the blurb made me think this was going to be an urban fantasy hunting a serial killer (and at times it was) this novel was more focused on the romance between Penelope and Alexis. Their relationship was mildly interesting, but I am in no way a romance fan, I always find it slows down the story, and that I exactly my problem with this novel. You’d think hunting a serial killer would be their main focus with them attempting to catch him as fast as possible. However, they spend most of their time discussing Atlantis – and I can understand Penelope’s curiosity as an academic – or in their secret library instead of dealing with the impending threat. You only really deal with the serial killer in the beginning and at the end.

I did enjoy the magic and how each magician’s magic smelled differently. The scenes of Atlantis flashbacks were interesting, and the story of Atlantis’ fall may have made a good book or novella on its’ own. Plus, the small crew of magicians were entertaining, though both the interactions and flashbacks greatly slowed down the pace. Each magician clearly imbodied a specific personality type and each of their actions expressed this. From your spoiled, tempestuous princess, to your charming playboy and the brooding love interest.

The climax was fine, some parts were obvious from the clear foreshadowing while some elements were a surprise. Overall, I found it alright, though I believe my dislike of romance makes me the wrong audience for this novel. I give it 3/5.
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This was a fun read. Dark magic, Atlantis and Venice are ingredients for an intriguing premise. 
I enjoyed the adventure, murder mystery and romance within, and the plot kept me turning the pages. 
I have to say it’s been a long time since I read some steamy romance but I enjoyed the spark between Penelope and Alexis.
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The Immortal City is an adult fantasy novel set in Venice from Amy Kuivalainen. The story revolves around Dr. Penelope Bryne who is on the trail of finding the Lost City of Atlantis. There are some pretty awesome magicians, stunning scenery and a captivating alchemical mystery rooted in the mythology and folklore of a lost city which has baffled generations of academics and history lovers alike. Huge thanks to BHC Press and Netgalley for providing me with a complimetary eARC in an exchange for this honest review. Here are my 5 Biblioshelf Musings about 'The Immortal City'.

Viva Venezia – There were two words that made me hit that Request button as soon as I read the blurb of The Immortal City – one of them was ‘magicians’ and the other was Venice. Having been lucky enough to visit this stunning city, I’m always longing for a novel which is going to instantly transport me back to those canals and bring about the nostalgia of spending time there. Not many books have been able to do that for me, but The Immortal City definitely invoked my inner wanderlust and transported me back to that wondrous place. The detailed ways Amy describes the Magicians’ palazzo and local landmarks of Venice creates an absorbing setting which makes me want to hop right on plane and head back over to Italy. Incorporating the MOSE system (a design to try and protect Venice and the Lagoon from flooding) into the storyline adds a realistic and poignant edge to many of the topical news stories currently surrounding this famous city such as the rising water-levels and protection of the city and its heritage from mega cruise ships and mass tourism – preventing it from becoming our own modern-day Atlantis.

Lost civilisations – Atlantis has inspired countless stories and conspiracies across the generations. Don’t be duped, The Immortal City is not a quest to find the physical location of The Lost City of Atlantis – the author takes a different thread of this well-known myth by making it so that Penelope ends up finding the heart of what Atlantis left behind – the last guardians and magicians from a place lost to the sea. In my own opinion, I felt that one of the main messages here was trying to highlight that it is the stories and remnants of places which end up forming its heritage and keeping them alive, not necessarily physical places. The way the mythology of a lost civilization is tied together with a plot-line filled with forgotten languages, alchemical symbology and the one of the most amazing historical archives literature could ever imagine all makes for a fascinating plot which kept me turning page after page.

Move over Christian Grey…
…There’s a new hot guy in town and his name is Alexis Donato. This fantasy novel is definitely one for the adults out there. Alexis Donato, the dark and brooding magician at the centre of the story is HOT! The romance and relationship between him and Penelope tastefully fits into the story without bordering on seedy or distracting away from the plot and changing the tone of the novel to something more “chick-litty”. I definitely wouldn’t say no to being pulled out of a Venetian canal by him!

 The Atlantean microcosm – gimme more! – Amy Kuivalainen has created such an intriguing bunch of immortal characters. Packed with romance, banter, tension, tragedy and friendships, I quickly grew attached to each and every one of them. The events that happen towards the end of the story left me on a cliff edge waiting to see where this story goes next. Amy has created a little world of characters who I want to find out everything about. Having seen two listings for this book on Goodreads, I’m slightly unsure as to whether or not this is a standalone or part of a series as it’s listed as both but I would instantaneously be adding a sequel to my TBR should one be written… *hint hint* 🙏🙏 

More than just watery – There is a whole sunken city’s worth of different elements to like within this story that it could appeal to many readers. When I first requested it, I didn’t really know what to expect and at the start of reading it was clear this story didn’t really fit into just one bracket: there are murders and violence, but this doesn’t feel like a typical crime novel – the murders are filled with alchemical symbols and mystery which are used as plot devices throughout the story; there are magicians, but they are not your typical Dumbledores walking around in stuffy castles wearing cloaks – they are the last immortals left over from a lost civilization who are now living in our modern world; there is romance which varies from zero to all-consuming within mere pages but didn’t distract me from the main story; there is fantasy, history and magic that feels totally realistic, even though you know it’s just fiction.  Either way, there’s plenty to entertain!

Overall thoughts –
For the past few years, the books I’ve read have tended to be the ones which have been hyped about all over Goodreads or Bookstagram. I took a chance in reading The Immortal City and it was a breath of fresh air to my reading pile – this is the adult fantasy novel I have been waiting for! If you’re a fan of some of the things mentioned above, then I definitely recommend you try this book. It’s a little whirlwind of a ride and like all stories there are some points which don’t always flow or which may make you roll your eyes internally, but this book has definitely left me wanting to find out more about the captivating world of the Magicians of Venice and I’m positive I’ll be rereading it at some point in the near future. There is magic, gore, lust, danger, passion and a whole load of Italian/Atlantean goodness packed into every page. Yes this is a work of fiction, but holy gods do I wish it were real! Get me to those Palazzo archives right away!
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