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The Lights of Prague

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For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each ni For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová-- a widow with secrets of her own. When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle - he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o'-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners. After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.


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For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each ni For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague. In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová-- a widow with secrets of her own. When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle - he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o'-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners. After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

30 review for The Lights of Prague

  1. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    ARC received via publisher!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

    I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 3.5 stars I quite liked this historical fantasy/mystery about vampires (pijavice) in Prague and the lamplighter who kills them, only to then fall in love with one of them. I will admit the premise wouldn't have caught my eye if it wasn't that the vampire heroine is bisexual (I promise you will never catch me reading about str*ight vampires...ever). The book immediately dre I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 3.5 stars I quite liked this historical fantasy/mystery about vampires (pijavice) in Prague and the lamplighter who kills them, only to then fall in love with one of them. I will admit the premise wouldn't have caught my eye if it wasn't that the vampire heroine is bisexual (I promise you will never catch me reading about str*ight vampires...ever). The book immediately drew me in and I found it had a strong start, plus the writing is really good, not too flowery but it manages to create powerful images. The writing is also very detailed sometimes and that made my ADHD brain lose focus more than once, to the point where I kind of skim-read a lot of the more detailed parts, but it should be no problem for someone else who loves descriptions of a beautiful city like Prague. The characters were well built in my opinion, we get a dual point of view from Domek and Ora and they're both well fleshed out people, but to me they didn't feel like the type of character I'm usually going to fall in love with, and that was also not the case here. I liked them both but I sort of felt a disconnect with both of them throughout the book. My favorite character by far was Kája, the wisp that Domek finds at the beginning of the book and that is at the core of the mystery of the story. Kája is exactly the type of character that inevitably ends up as my favorite and I'm only sorry that he didn't have more page time, because I loved it every time he had a line or did something. The romance between Ora and Domek was enjoyable, I liked that they already knew each other, somewhat, because the book didn't have to find a super relatable meet-cute or cliché first meeting (which can sometimes be a hit or miss, especially because you might feel like things are too rushed if they just met) and I think the book had the perfect amount of focus on the romance for its genre, not too much and not too little, but I also felt rather lukewarm about it. In a surprising turn of events, I was more drawn to the actual story than to the characters or relationships in this book, something that rarely happens to me, which is why I referred somewhere else about this book as "perfect for casual readers": you might not find your next favorite character or romance here, but the plot is entertaining and the mystery intriguing enough to hold your interest from the first to the last page. At least it was for me. So overall I think if the premise of this book sounds intriguing to you then it's really worth to give it a try and read about some slightly different takes on vampires.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗

    nichole jarvis just said "oh ur sad about the empire of the vampire extension? here you go, have vampires IN PRAGUE as a treat" nichole jarvis just said "oh ur sad about the empire of the vampire extension? here you go, have vampires IN PRAGUE as a treat"

  4. 4 out of 5

    hades ☾

    excuse me, is this a lgbt fantasy taking place in the capital of my country, prague?? SIGN ME THE F*CK UP

  5. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    Hopeless or not, life keeps moving. I don’t intend to let it move on past me. On my blog. Rep: bi mc with depression, wlw side character, gay side characters CWs: violence, gore Galley provided by publisher Something about the year 2020 seems to have led half of my most anticipated releases (although this one has since been pushed to 2021) to be boring as anything to me. I should have liked this one. It combines some of my favourite things (sapphic historical paranormal mystery). And yet. The Hopeless or not, life keeps moving. I don’t intend to let it move on past me. On my blog. Rep: bi mc with depression, wlw side character, gay side characters CWs: violence, gore Galley provided by publisher Something about the year 2020 seems to have led half of my most anticipated releases (although this one has since been pushed to 2021) to be boring as anything to me. I should have liked this one. It combines some of my favourite things (sapphic historical paranormal mystery). And yet. The Lights of Prague follows Domek Myska (House Mouse), a lamplighter in Prague who has a secret life as a vampire (or pijavica) hunter. He is drawn to the widow Lady Ora Fischer, who is, unbeknownst to him, herself a pijavica. When Domek kills a pijavica and ends up with a will-o-the-wisp, he finds he has stumbled on a macabre plot, one that might well spell the end to life as he knows it. I think I knew from pretty early on that this book wasn’t going to be for me. Something about the slow pace of it, the lack of real action, flagged it as being potentially boring from early on. And I was proven right. I could not really pinpoint what it was about it that made it so – possibly because it felt like YA-depth writing in adult fiction trappings – but I found myself skimming from fairly early on. The most disappointing thing about it was the amount of potential it had. I truly thought I would love this book, and I did not. Like I said, it didn’t have enough action to truly grab me, but that would have been alright if the world had been somewhat more immersive. It wasn’t. So I ended up bored. So bored in fact that I looked up what the characters’ names meant, which is how I came to be calling the mc House Mouse. That was probably a tactical error, because once I knew that, there was no chance I was going to read this book seriously. I thought for a moment that it might redeem itself by having an interesting mystery, but that too was not to be. It was pretty obvious from the start that the people who were supposedly to be trusted actually couldn’t be. Or maybe that’s just because I’ve read way too many books with similar plotlines. But regardless. It ended up predictable and boring. Like I found much of the rest of the book too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eshana Ranasinghe

    I heard it is gay. I'm here for the gay I heard it is gay. I'm here for the gay

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aly (In Wonderland)

    Look at me enjoying some good old fashioned urban fantasy. If THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE isn't already on your preorder list, do it now. You won't regret it. FRTC. Look at me enjoying some good old fashioned urban fantasy. If THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE isn't already on your preorder list, do it now. You won't regret it. FRTC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Thank you to Edelweiss and Titan Books for the e-arc. Ah, this was such a treat! I've been itching for some historical creepiness since finishing Penny Dreadful on Showtime. This gave me the dark, atmospheric vibes I was craving. This story centered on a lamplighter (moonlighting as a vampire hunter) and a vampire living amongst humans. I loved the split POV as you get to see both worlds. I absolutely loved the setting. Prague was one of my favorite cities I'd visited and it holds a special place Thank you to Edelweiss and Titan Books for the e-arc. Ah, this was such a treat! I've been itching for some historical creepiness since finishing Penny Dreadful on Showtime. This gave me the dark, atmospheric vibes I was craving. This story centered on a lamplighter (moonlighting as a vampire hunter) and a vampire living amongst humans. I loved the split POV as you get to see both worlds. I absolutely loved the setting. Prague was one of my favorite cities I'd visited and it holds a special place in my heart. I could picture the scenes, as Jarvis wrote them in such vivid detail, and found myself back in the Czech Republic, marveling over the sights. I loved everything about this book. If you're looking for a unique spin on vampires, this the book for you.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Thank you Titan Books for the gifted review copy!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gretal

    I... am very disappointed to admit that I am DNFing this. Having read 128 pages, or 29%, I'm just not having a good time. I was very excited to read this because vampires! Prague! but alas, I see no reason to keep reading. I... am very disappointed to admit that I am DNFing this. Having read 128 pages, or 29%, I'm just not having a good time. I was very excited to read this because vampires! Prague! but alas, I see no reason to keep reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Snowleesi

    I was overjoyed when I received a free review copy of this book from Edelweiss+. I grew up in Europe, grew up on Slavic mythology, and I am very familiar with it. Central and Eastern Europe is still too rare a setting in western literature, and Slavic myths and legends are even rarer a subject. This was a book I would definitely have reached for, sooner rather than later. I have never actually been to Prague, although I've visited nearby Slovakia, and I am familiar enough with old European cities I was overjoyed when I received a free review copy of this book from Edelweiss+. I grew up in Europe, grew up on Slavic mythology, and I am very familiar with it. Central and Eastern Europe is still too rare a setting in western literature, and Slavic myths and legends are even rarer a subject. This was a book I would definitely have reached for, sooner rather than later. I have never actually been to Prague, although I've visited nearby Slovakia, and I am familiar enough with old European cities to feel right at home in the descriptions of Prague, this novel's titular setting. The descriptions are vivid, they are atmospheric, and through them the city becomes a perfect setting for this Gothic story. The plot revolves around Domek, a lamplighter moonlighting as a vampire hunter, and Ora, a vampire living among the humans. Domek is a kind, but somewhat bumbling, young man tirelessly working to protect his city, friends, and family from a myriad of paranormal creatures deeply rooted in Slavic mythology (pijavice, rusalki, even a mention of a Golem!). Ora, the several-hundred-year old pijavica, is living a pretty routine "life" among the humans, until a sighting of a fellow vampire apparently committing suicide-by-sun draws her into the sinister machinations of the high society. Sounds good, right? And yet quickly my excitement - and with it my interest - waned. At first, I was merely getting annoyed by the frequent interruptions of the narrative to "dump" the backstory and other information to the readers. Unlike the descriptions of the setting, the plot becomes heavily "tell" instead of "show". I think the most egregious of these was when we find out that Domek and Ora are already acquainted, more - there is already some kind of emotional attachment/attraction that has developed between them. The lack of the traditional meet-cute is an enormous blunder on the authors' part, in my opinion, especially in a novel that is also a love story. A huge part of the reader forming attachments to the characters and falling for their romantic choices is being able to follow these budding romances from the beginning, and not "in medias res". Ultimately, I was unable to spark any interest in these protagonists, and by extension, in what was going to happen to them. By being described primarily through the other POV's eyes, and not enriched in enough internal thought, they lacked personality. I saw no allure in following their romance, because I was not there from its inception, and had no chance to fall in love alongside them. Everything exciting seemed to have already happened to them, including the unceremoniously revealed reasons for why Domek was fighting the forces of evil in the first place. The novel is in dire need of better pacing, better structure, more vivid characters. I wish the debuting author all the luck in the future – and kudos for including LGBT characters in major way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bara

    Someone told the universe: I want The Vampire wedding but make it gay! And the universe exploded and reassembled to give us this. Pijavice. lol

  13. 5 out of 5

    Soozee

    What an exciting rollercoaster! Lamplighters work in Prague, keeping the city alight. But they are also on watch and guarding - against an array of monsters. Vampirric, ghostly, witchlike monsters the like of which you've never seen. Domek Myska is a lamplighter, a good man, who finds himself the master of a will o'wisp, and is drawn into a plot to make the pijavica invincible. He will try to thwart them, with some help from his friends, but the task may be beyond him. A great read, I really enjoy What an exciting rollercoaster! Lamplighters work in Prague, keeping the city alight. But they are also on watch and guarding - against an array of monsters. Vampirric, ghostly, witchlike monsters the like of which you've never seen. Domek Myska is a lamplighter, a good man, who finds himself the master of a will o'wisp, and is drawn into a plot to make the pijavica invincible. He will try to thwart them, with some help from his friends, but the task may be beyond him. A great read, I really enjoyed it. The 'monsters' are portrayed in a very believable and spinetingling way. The final battle was gripping - I couldn't put it down. Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    A lovely action packed historical fantasy that despite the blurb reads like Schwabe meets Castlevania (netflix). Moslty b/c its about two main POV, one from a sweet bumbling vampire hunter dealing trying to defend everything he loves, including his city, family, friends an job and the other being from a deadly vampire trying to navigate her society and relationship to the human world. Both protagonist really shine in their own way and i was never mad having to switch POV since they are both a de A lovely action packed historical fantasy that despite the blurb reads like Schwabe meets Castlevania (netflix). Moslty b/c its about two main POV, one from a sweet bumbling vampire hunter dealing trying to defend everything he loves, including his city, family, friends an job and the other being from a deadly vampire trying to navigate her society and relationship to the human world. Both protagonist really shine in their own way and i was never mad having to switch POV since they are both a delight getting to spend time with as the explore different parts of historic Prague. all the supporting cast fit great to flesh out the protagonists inner circles. And while the fantasy elements sometimes feel like "can we call a vampire a vampire" I want to spend more time turn over all the rocks in Jarvis's myth and magic canon. Everything and everyone feels fleshed out. I always think its a good sign when I'm wanting a spin off or more books to spend time with the supporting cast like Cord and Lina and even Bazil. On a more minor note I appreciate the way Jarvis handles the diversity of her supporting cast in a real historical setting. From Abrahams's issues trying to defend the Jewish quarter and including mention of the Golem of Prague (which I hope gets to make an appearance if we ever return to Domek and Ora) to Domek's worries of Cord's sexuality. Maybe since we have such kind POV characters but Abrahams, Cord, and even Ora arent looked down upon or belittled by the protagonist but Jarvis still recognizes the reality of the prejudices of the time. (Idk as a gay jewish reader I think it was handled well) I'm excited to see Jarvis enter the fantasy scene with her stunning fight scenes, witty characters and a historical city turned fantastic, even without wisps and white ladies. (This review brought to you by an ARC. Thank you Titan and work perks!) (Full disclosure, I am an employee of PRH/PRHPS. All opinions expressed here are my own as a reader)

  15. 5 out of 5

    luci

    a lot of people will cry because this fantasy features a bi mc in a m/f romance *coughs* biphobes *coughs* but oh boy i'm so here for it a lot of people will cry because this fantasy features a bi mc in a m/f romance *coughs* biphobes *coughs* but oh boy i'm so here for it

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ro

    I thank Edelweiss+ and the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of this novel. Actual rate: 3.50 stars I want to start this review by acknowledging how beautiful were the description of the setting of this novel. They were very vivid and lovely, and they truly made Prague look like a Goth(ic) dream, and they truly suited the overall vibes and the magic worldbuilding of the story. At the same time, though, I found the writing style, especially when narrating "action" scenes a bit dense. heavy. T I thank Edelweiss+ and the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of this novel. Actual rate: 3.50 stars I want to start this review by acknowledging how beautiful were the description of the setting of this novel. They were very vivid and lovely, and they truly made Prague look like a Goth(ic) dream, and they truly suited the overall vibes and the magic worldbuilding of the story. At the same time, though, I found the writing style, especially when narrating "action" scenes a bit dense. heavy. The plot, particualrly during the first 30%, moved incredibly slow, because the narration was often interrupted to describe a building, or the backstory of a character that had barely been introduced was dumped in the middle of the scene. More forward it got definitely better, but the feeling that the narrating style kept using "too many words" remained. Also some scenes could have easily been avoided, and they felt a bit cringey. The two main characters were very interesting, but at the same time I hoped they sparkled more personality. Don't get me wrong, fortunately this wasn't one of those cases when you can't even remember whose POV is it, and you could definitely see the difference between the two protagonists when they were interacting, but at the same time to me it felt like their personalities were often more told rather shown. Overall I think this was a nice read, with a very interesting worldbuilding and with great aesthetic vibes, and I wouldn't mind if the author wrote some companion novel set in the same world.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Feeck

    Almost put it down around halfway through, but I pushed through to the end. The narrative style relies heavily on dialogue and reflective exposition, and I found it difficult to be in the moment with the characters. This book is at its best in descriptions of setting. History and art, castles and tunnels, large pieces of history or description litter the story. They added depth to the story and painted a picture of the physical and political landscape. I would've liked them more if they didn't so Almost put it down around halfway through, but I pushed through to the end. The narrative style relies heavily on dialogue and reflective exposition, and I found it difficult to be in the moment with the characters. This book is at its best in descriptions of setting. History and art, castles and tunnels, large pieces of history or description litter the story. They added depth to the story and painted a picture of the physical and political landscape. I would've liked them more if they didn't so often interrupt the flow of conversation. Transitions were abrupt or murky, and often scenes were left without the feeling of anything being accomplished. Another positive was Lady Ora - she is the second protagonist and plays just as large a role as Domek in the unfurling intrigue. Her position in society and her personal history gave her a unique perspective. And she had more personality than Domek, who I wanted to like, but was blander than an unsalted saltine cracker. This book might go over better with those who are looking for a more expository style, with frequent digressions into anecdote. **Thanks to Edelweiss+ and Titan Books for the ARC**

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    Many thanks to Random House and Edelweiss for proving me a copy of this book. SEQUEL please? That was the first thing that popped into my head. I mean, it just set up for a sequel but there was an epilogue so is there going to be a sequel? Anyway. I liked this book. I thought it was interesting - two people who liked one another but were hiding secrets as to who they were. The characters all were interesting but I felt the character development was a little patchy. (Meaning, if it was a stand alo Many thanks to Random House and Edelweiss for proving me a copy of this book. SEQUEL please? That was the first thing that popped into my head. I mean, it just set up for a sequel but there was an epilogue so is there going to be a sequel? Anyway. I liked this book. I thought it was interesting - two people who liked one another but were hiding secrets as to who they were. The characters all were interesting but I felt the character development was a little patchy. (Meaning, if it was a stand alone it needed to feel like a stand alone novel.) Again, I'm rating it down because the character development could have been better if was meant to be a stand-alone. If it isn't, well, I want book two.

  19. 5 out of 5

    The Starry Library

    This was an interesting story about vampiric like creatures and other supernatural beings in Prague who are looking to come into their full power in the light and some unsuspecting members of society who have their own dark intentions. I liked the setting and the paranormal creatures, and making lamplighters secret monster hunters was a pretty cool idea. I found some parts a little boring and I thought there were too many characters, which is why I can only give it 3/5.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mariana

    Me gustó muchisimo, sobretodo su protagonista, es una mujer super liberal en una época aún super cerrada, cool la inclusión lgbt sin pretenciones. Pero para ser objetivos es un 3.5 porque es una historia super introductoria y se queda un poco corta en el character development

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    DNF

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    2.5/5 Copy received from Netgalley. All opinions are my own. In the beginning I thought I was going to love this then, as the story continued, I found myself enjoying it less and less and by the end I was just wishing it was over. I like the premise: Vampires in Prague basically. The story focuses on Domek, a lamplighter who hunts pijavice and Ora, a pijvica who doesn’t feed on humans. It’s like a gender flipped Buffy the Vampire Slayer only twenty years ago I had more time for the ‘vampire who do 2.5/5 Copy received from Netgalley. All opinions are my own. In the beginning I thought I was going to love this then, as the story continued, I found myself enjoying it less and less and by the end I was just wishing it was over. I like the premise: Vampires in Prague basically. The story focuses on Domek, a lamplighter who hunts pijavice and Ora, a pijvica who doesn’t feed on humans. It’s like a gender flipped Buffy the Vampire Slayer only twenty years ago I had more time for the ‘vampire who doesn’t feed on humans’ trope because it didn’t feel so overused. Also, the only reason Angel didn’t feed on humans was because he was cursed and given the chance, he would have been sucking human blood rather than poncing around the sewers for rats. As characters, Domek and Ora aren’t bad. Domek comes across as being a bit dense at times, which is why he’s betrayed so many times and despite being told it was going to happen, he doesn’t see it coming. He’s all brawn and very little brain. I don’t buy their relationship, though. They have already met before the story starts but it all seems so rushed. It’s like Jarvis needed them to have sex so that he could find out what she was to hit the betrayal plot point that there wasn’t enough build up and I felt nothing for them as a couple. The plot in itself is fine. Domek comes across a vampire plot using Will O’ The Wisps and Ora is investigating reports that vampires are being cured. The setting is gorgeous and the opening descriptions of Prague at night are beautifully atmospheric. It’s the reason this is getting 2.5 and not 2. The main issue is that the plot isn’t very well executed. The pacing is all over the place and the writing is often clumsy. There are a lot of info dump-y descriptions and they very often feel out of place. The rest of the characters are… well, they’re there. They are plot conveniences who mainly only show up when the story needs them. This means that they don’t come across as real. Anton, for example, is supposedly Domek’s childhood friend but they have so little interaction throughout the course of the novel, I just don’t see it. The only other character that doesn’t feel like a plot point is the Will O’ The Wisp, who comes across like a less sympathetic Clef from Foundryside. The Lights of Prague was a highly frustrating and deeply disappointing read. I had heard positive things about it before I requested it so I was rather looking forward to reading it but it fell completely flat for me. The pacing was bad and everything was just so surface level, there was no depth, especially with the characters. Just another disappointing historical fantasy to add to an ever growing list.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marnie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meerkatmarcato

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sasha K

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lourdes Rivera

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Jarvis

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