Release Date: 07/02/12
It is 1791 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is enlightenment Vienna's brightest star. Master of the city's music halls and devoted member of the Austrian Freemason's guild, he stands at the heart of an electric mix of art and music, philosophy and science, politics and intrigue. Six weeks ago, the great composer told his wife he had been poisoned. Yesterday, he died. The city is buzzing with rumours of infidelity, bankruptcy and murder. But Wolfgang's sister Nannerl, returned from the provinces to investigate, will not believe base gossip. Who but a madman would poison such a genius? Yet as she looks closely at what her brother left behind - a handwritten score, a scrap of paper from his journal - Nannerl finds traces of something sinister: the threads of a masonic conspiracy that reach from the gilded ballrooms of Viennese society to the faceless offices of the Prussian secret service. Only when watching Wolfgang's bewitching opera, The Magic Flute, does Nannerl truly understand her beloved brother once again. For, encoded in his final arias, is a subtly crafted blueprint for a radical new tomorrow. Mozart hoped to change his future. Instead he sealed his fate.
I love a book that’s slightly different to the vast majority out there and that’s certainly what you get with this title by Matt Ree’s as he works a story around a musical movement worthy of the great composer himself. It has a carefully constructed build that works into a main theme and finishes with a movement that leads to one hell of a crescendo, however the major problem that I had with this story was that I had a hard time liking Nannerl who I felt didn’t fit into the time period or the expectations of the reader.
Don’t get me wrong, it is very clever, it does give the reader a lot to mull over especially when you look at all the conspiracy theories around Mozart however all that really doesn’t matter too much if the character that leads the reader by the hand isn’t as likeable as they should be.
All in a decent enough read but I’ve had to give it a lower rating due to the very slow starting pace, the difficult use of language in places and of course a character that I didn’t want to spend time around.