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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of A Power Unbound (Last Binding #3) by Freya Marske

Marske's quirky, funny, richly imagined magical world, complex character-building, relationship exploration, and storytelling continues in this third and last installment of the Last Binding series.


I've been sooooo excited to read this final installment in Freya Marske's Last Binding trilogy, a queer historical fiction fantasy-mystery series I've loved.

Jack Alston (Lord Hawthorn) swore that he was finished with magic for good after his twin sister Elsie died. But when a dangerous ritual threatens the safety of all the magicians in Great Britain, he reluctantly dives back into the world to try and help procure the Last Contract to keep safe his remaining loved ones--and the public at large.

An unlikely (and wonderfully mischievous and complementary) group of allies fights to reveal the source of the evil at work, and favorite characters (and villains) from past books are present throughout. Through unexpected attractions to each other and the uncovering of weighty secrets, the group works to unravel the mysterious roots of British magic once and for all.

I loved a deeper dive behind Jack's grumpy, closed-off façade. Marske continues the LGBTQ-positive storylines in a Jack-Alan romance that is frequently intensely steamy and develops into a sexual attraction heavy on the role-playing and specifics. The relationship is complicated, sometimes marred by betrayal, and also beautifully heartbreaking and heartwarming in its breaking down of emotional walls.

In A Power Unbound, Marske also explores class divides, gender-power imbalances, LGBTQ love, and the difficulty in--and sometimes necessity of--breaking long-held, outdated traditions.

The friends-like-family element and deep loyalty is strong among the members of Jack's group, and the magic of the situation is wonderfully imagined and rich in detail. There's danger, and justice served, and imperfect solutions, and compromise, and Marske's storytelling is yet again charming, funny, sometimes dark, and always fantastic.

I received a prepublication edition of this title courtesy of NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group.


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Marske is also the author of A Marvellous Light and A Restless Truth.

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