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.
The Riddle of Prague is the first of the Quicksilver Legacy Trilogy. Kirkus Reviews describes Laura DeBruce's debut novel as "[a]n exciting...thriller with supernatural elements and a brave, enterprising heroine." Clarion Reviews gives The Riddle of Prague five-stars and calls it "[a] fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat mystery-adventure."
One of the intriguing new characters in The Temple of Paris is a dwarf who seems to be following Alex all over Paris. In the scene below, Hana and Alex spot the little man in the Madeleine Church.
Excerpt from The Temple of Paris
I squeeze Alex’s hand and point. It’s the little man from the Pantheon. The dwarf. I recognize the thick, dark hair flopped over to the side. He’s exchanged the suit and bow tie for jeans and a turtleneck.
Alex tugs me down into a chair. “That’s the guy who’s been following me!” We crouch behind a large family filling the row in front of us.
“Who is he?” I ask. “He’s definitely looking for someone.”
“Yeah,” Alex notes grimly. “Me.”
“But why? And how would he know you’d be here?”
Alex . . . puts his hands on his thighs. “I’m going to find out.” He starts to stand.
“No.” I pull him back down. “He could be dangerous.”
Alex keeps the dwarf in his line of sight. “Nah. I have this feeling he’s kind of looking out for me, you know?”
“I don’t know,” I reply. “And neither do you. All we know for sure is that he’s creeping around after you. We can’t just go over to meet him.”
“Not we.” Alex pats my hand. “I’m going to talk to him.”
“That’s a bad idea, Alex.” I can tell from the determined look on his face that he’s not listening.
“What’s he gonna do in the middle of a crowded church full of tourists? I’m just going to find out why he’s been following me.”
“And what am I supposed to do?” I really don’t like this plan.
“You stay right here.” He nods toward an elderly lady sitting a few chairs away from us. “Granny over there will look after you.”
“You’re not funny, Alex.”
He gives me a hug and stands up. “I’ll be right back.” I watch him weave through the rows of chairs. As Alex nears the podium, the man sees him. A look of surprise, bordering on panic, crosses his face. Alex climbs the steps until he’s right next to the dwarf. He bends down to hear something the little man says. They walk down the steps. I stand to see where they’re going. Alex turns and motions to me. “Stay there,” he mouths, giving a thumbs-up.I feel helpless as Alex and the little man disappear behind the columns near the altar. How long am I supposed to wait? What if Hank Riggins is back there, poised to kidnap Alex? I take a deep breath and try to calm down. Someone taps me on the shoulder. When I turn around, I am staring into the face of a ghost.