Notes of Magic by Jessica Bucher
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Notes of Magic (The Bohemians #1) by Jessica Bucher
Publication Date: February 24, 2018
Enchanted city. Old magic. New threat.
Taq, a young fiddler, comes to Prague with dreams of joining the Bohemians—a band of immortal, magic-wielding street performers. With a mission to right past wrongs, things don’t go as planned when he meets the beautiful performer, Katia. Now, he must decide if revealing his secret is worth losing her heart.
Katia has spent one hundred years chained to the city, broken-hearted and silent, waiting for her chance to be free. But with an impending threat on Bohemia itself and a mysterious newcomer, peace is starting look farther than ever. Now she must decide if she should trust Taq or put her faith in the one who broke her heart—the tyrannical Magistrate of Bohemia.
Curses can be broken, but at what cost?
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Katia and Taq are entertaining MCs, with a host of sympathetic side characters. You're first introduced to Bohemia and the future city of Prague through Taq's eyes - which are the expected starry-eyes of a dreamer and traveler. Basically, we all want to be a Taq. :) In Prague, he meets the lovely and silent Katia (silent by choice as her vow of resistance to the Magistrate who keeps her alive and safe). While at times I thought Katia could be a bit naive, she is determined and spunky. She never lets her vow of silence get in the way of what she wants to say to people. You learn more about their twisted backstories through flashbacks and slow hints of secret agendas from the characters.
The city of Prague and Bohemia was just plain fun to read about! I could envision each step that Taq took into this world - from the street performance on the bridge to the Moulin Rouge vibe around the Cirque. There's also an interesting twist on the curse keeping Katia tied to the city - mainly that she may be the only one who sees it as such. There's a lot of backstory given on where this "curse" originated and how the magic-filled Bohemians live. It was fun to envision this world, especially when little fanciful elements are thrown in, like when Katia returns to the purple trailer where she lived.