Urban Fantasy Book Review: The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

Urban Fantasy Book Review

The Lights of Prague
Nicole Jarvis
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Publisher: Titan Books
Genres: Urban Fantasy

The Lights of Prague is an atmospheric tale of urban fantasy and paranormal horror, set in gaslight-era Prague that feels as authentic as it does fantastic. Nicole Jarvis nails the setting, the era, the personalities, and the mythology in a book that promised a lot, but delivered even more.

One of my favorite scenes is a relatively minor one in terms of plot and significance, but it captures so much of what make the book work for me. Domek, our lamplighter protagonist, protector of the city against the vampiric pijavica, steps into an alley that even the gaslights can't illuminate. There we meet a bubák, a creature of shadow that feeds on fear and is quite literally the monster under the bed. It is with his captive will-o’-the-wisp that Domek vanquishes the monster, and in doing so he learns that even the best intentioned words can have fatal consequences. It's such a great scene in the way it illuminates the darkness and the monsters, and the way it casts such light on what kind of a man Domek is.

I loved Domek, and thought he was a fantastic protagonist, a man of morals and purpose whose bravery stands between humanity and he darkness. He's not your typical Alpha hero, but a sensitive man who thinks before he acts. It was Lady Ora, however, who fascinated me the most, which was a surprise because I would have said I've grown tired of the 'good' vampire trope. She has charm and personality, an interesting backstory, and serves a genuine purpose in the overall conflict as a kickass woman of strength and determination. Together, she and Domek are a fantastic couple (even if I wish we could have explored more of her sapphic past), and they easily carry the story.

As for the story, everything just worked for me - the setting, narrative, the pacing, the horror, the romance, the dramatic stakes, and the action-packed climax. Again, I would have said I was done with stories of vampire cures, of monsters who want to be men, but I thought Jarvis had an interesting approach to the dilemma of morality and mortality, and I like how it played out. I found it very easy to become immersed in The Lights of Prague, and found myself promising 'just one more chapter' far too long into the night.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ 1/2

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


  1. This sounds so good! I will definitely find time to read it in the future, even though I couldn't take it on as a review book due to lack of time.


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