When 18-year-old Hana Silna travels to Prague to reclaim her family’s ancestral home, she finds herself on an unexpected adventure in a city brimming with ancient secrets. She discovers a riddle by the infamous alchemist Edward Kelley that claims to lead to a long-last flask. The contents of that flask could change the fate of the world. When a ruthless enemy kidnaps her family, Hana has to find the flask to rescue them. On her quest she meets a mysterious man with a penchant for poetry, a Gypsy girl with a haunting past, and Alex, the motorcycle-riding son of a U.S. diplomat. Alex — who’s trying to save his sister from a crippling disease — joins Hana on her race across Bohemia to find the hidden flask. It’s hard to trust anyone when the stakes are this high — especially when surrounded by experts at deception. There’s only one flask and Hana desperately needs to find it.
Reported in the first person and abruptly in-the-moment, The Riddle of Prague is intriguing but also, often, disorienting.
Hana, raised in America, is strongly motivated to visit The Czech Republic (home of her ancestors and still some family.) She bumps into unusual characters, and unclear circumstances, right from the start. As we are wondering if she drank a spiked drink, she’s already on to the next challenge. Hana is an incredible heroine: brave yet understanding, clever, but willing to listen. She’s such a real person, her character alone is enough to keep you reading.
Fast, unpredictable and in your face, I found the story confusing at times, as much action (and thought) is neither described nor unexplained, and only made clear as one progresses with the story. Readers must willingly be confused and move forward, nonetheless.
The backdrop, and the historic references, are interwoven into the story simply beautifully. The fantastical Flask with its mysterious, hoped-for healing powers ties the paranormal elements very nicely to the history of the place, and adds a certain depth to the mystery. With a hint of romance and (much) more than a hint of danger in the quest, this book, Debruce’s first in her Quicksilver Legacy Series, offers a little of something for everyone, and leaves us all waiting for book 2.
Very readable, and fans of the paranormal might want to give The Riddle of Prague a try.