Thank you to Tor and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding 1) by Freya Marske
Release Date: December 9th 2021
Tags: Fantasy | Adult | Magical Curse | Magical Items | Family | Magical Family | LGBTQ+ | Gay Relationship
Trigger/Content Warnings: Mentioned Emotional Abuse | Graphic Sex
Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.
Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.
Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep
A Marvellous Light first came to my attention when I was emailed by a publicist to suggest I might like this after having read Witchmark. And they were quite on the mark because it certainly shares some trades with each other like the magic in historical England and the gay relationship between our two main characters.
But it stands on its own just fine. What drew me into reading this book, in one day might I add, is that the characters completely drew me in. They each have an interesting position in life.
While being a minor baron Robin has to take an a minor government place so he can support himself and his sister after the death of his sister. Except it doesn’t turn out to be quite that minor. Edwin on the other hand took his position as liason for the magical community so he could get away from his magical family to get some peace and quiet in the big city. When they meet they initially clash but when Robin gets stuck in a curse Edwin is right there to help him.
There is a lot to uncover about either character, their personality and their lives. Things look so nice on the outside but on the inside it isn’t as pretty. They find safety in one another in a way that neither of them has felt in a while. I did truly feel their connection starting to begin throughout the book.
The plot outside of the romance was interesting. What was it excactly that these goons are after and why? However it is also the reason why I am rating this 4 stars and nog 5. The worldbuilding needed work. I would have loved to have seen more on the actual magic. Like how the magic of the curse put on Robin actually worked or how the runes looked. All of that was just too easily glossed over. That I just had to take it at face value that it was happening and that it was there. As someone who reads plenty of magical books, there needed to be more.