A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske is the beginning of a new fantasy series set to be published tomorrow (November 2nd). This book was delightful and fun, I really enjoyed it.
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.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a lot of fun. It’s a really impressive debut and I look forward to seeing more from this author.
I loved the early 1900s England setting. It had all the house parties, footmen, and back-stabbing of Downton Abbey but with magic! The setting was great and written perfectly, it really set the stage and made this a delightful read.
Edwin and Robin were really fun characters and I liked the multiple POVs. I felt like I got to know each of them and their backgrounds were quite interesting. Their romance was really fun to watch unfold. I was a little surprised how smutty it ended up getting. Those scenes were a little too much of the second half of the book for my liking but I was still really invested in the story and I could overlook the overly long smut. It wasn’t bad or poorly done, just a lot.
Lastly, I thought the magic system was pretty good. A hidden magic society in England isn’t exactly new but I liked the atmosphere in this book so much and the magic was a big part of that. I also thought it was interesting to read a book about magic where the main characters have little or no magic when normally it’s the opposite. My only complaint on the magic system was how sexist it was. A system where the women have less magic than the men and the man with the least magic is the gay one. They get on the verge of explaining this was more about training and girls didn’t get the opportunity to go to school in this time period but it still bothered me as this wasn’t made totally clear if that was the case.
Overall, this was a really fun read and I look forward to the next one. 4 stars.
**I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**