• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of A Marvellous Light (Last Binding #1) by Freya Marske

The first book in Marske's duology is full of Edwardian England detail, gay love, mystery, magic, wonderful dialogue and banter, and plenty of heart. I adored it.

A Marvellous Light, the first in Freya Marske's Last Binding duology, starts with a devastating ending (the demise of a character, caused by nefarious magicians) and a less-than-promising beginning (Robin Blyth's first day in his civil service job, for which he doesn't feel remotely qualified nor interested).

Robin is trying to keep the household afloat after the deaths of his parents, to support his bright, ambitious younger sister, and to date some handsome men along the way.

He soon realizes that (a) magic exists (!), (b) he's mistakenly been assigned the job of liaison to a secret magical society, (c) his office has been ransacked and a curse has been placed on him, (d) his curmudgeonly, book-smart coworker Edwin may be the key to saving them all, and (e) maybe he's falling for Edwin just the tiniest bit, despite himself.

Marske offers immersive Edwardian England detail in this adorable, captivating, magical, queer book. Robin and Edwin's love is romantic and sweet and heartbreaking and sexy; the mystery at the heart of the book seems only to be solvable by the biggest book nerd in existence; and the story's magical details are fascinating and odd.

I was completely hooked by A Marvellous Light, and I tried to slow down my reading to make it last. The amount of heart in this book was exquisite.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I didn't see a mention anywhere in the book of a sequel, and some aspects felt tantalizingly unresolved, so I was relieved to find out that another book is coming.

The second and final book in Marske's duology, A Restless Truth, is scheduled for publication in November.