I had three days off last week, and I finally got the time to read this debut by Freya Marske. Billed as Red White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, A Marvellous Light features an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies. It was absolutely delightful!
Robin Blyth has just been named the new civil service liaison to a hidden magical society. He is assigned to work in a government office that liaises between magic users and the Prime Minister of Edwardian England. His new job suddenly turned dangerous when he was targeted for something involving his predecessor and had the misfortune to be under a curse. And it’s up to his official counterpart, Edwin Courcey, to help reverse the curse.
The book touches on the social division between classes, race, sexuality, and magic-user over non-magic user (you get the drift). As a fantasy romance, You cannot ask for more. The author sure knows how to pack everything in this story! The whole premise of the book was just fantastic. It has impressive world-building, the entire magical system was engaging, and of course, the chemistry between Robin and Edwin – ugh. It was so much fun to read. I loved the adorable scenes between them, including the sexy times, which are totally off the charts!
I guess my only qualm about this book is its misogynistic undertone. I am not sure if it’s just me or I’m reading too much into it, but there’s just some commentary that I’d rather ignore since I didn’t think that I would enjoy it as much as I did.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 377 pages
Published November 2nd 2021 by Tordotcom
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tordotcom, via Netgalley for an impartial and honest review.
About The Author
Freya Marske lives in Australia, where she is yet to be killed by any form of wildlife. She writes stories full of magic, blood, and as much kissing as she can get away with, and she co-hosts the Hugo Award nominated podcast Be the Serpent. Her hobbies include figure skating and discovering new art galleries, and she is on a quest to try all the gin in the world. Her debut novel, the queer historical fantasy A MARVELLOUS LIGHT, is forthcoming from Tor.Com Publishing in 2021.