Series: The Last Binding #1
Published by Tordotcom on November 2, 2021
Also by this author: A Restless Truth
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About a Marvellous Light
A MARVELLOUS LIGHT by Freya Marske has been getting so much buzz that I was desperate to read it. When TorDotCom gave me an ARC, I squealed and immediately dove in, thrilled with the opportunity to read it early.
This is a glorious gaslamp fantasy, queer historical romance. On the first day of what Robin Blyth thinks will be a boring, civil service job, he’s kidnapped, cursed, and thrust into a dangerous plot involving a secret world of magic and the families who practice it. He needs to find The Contract, something his predecessor died to protect but has no idea what or where to start looking.
Edwin’s a member of a magic-wielding family but always on the outskirts because his talent is small. Books and libraries are his safe spaces. And yet he finds himself drawn into helping Robin.
My thoughts about A Marvellous Light
This is an Edwardian romance crossed with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Opposites attract, very sunshine and grump romance with a couple of incredibly spicy scenes. Plus you get all of the magic theory you could want, curse tattoos, ancient contracts, magical libraries, secret rooms hidden with spells, a killer hedge maze, and some intense intrigue.
The world-building is detailed and satisfying. The characters are complex and engaging. We get to see women like Robin’s sister Maud struggling against the boundaries that society’s placed on them. We see how even more difficult that struggle is when you’re a woman of color like Robin’s assistant, Adelaide.
Magic conspiracies, alternate Edwardian England, women’s rights, racial injustice, and a scorching queer romance – A Marvellous Light has it all. I can’t wait to read more of Freya Marske’s work!
For fans of Mary Robinette Kowal, Marie Brennan, and Jo Walton.
You might also enjoy Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston if you’re looking for another fabulous queer romance.