The second book in Marske's series is an irresistible queer magical mystery thriller with Edwardian England details, racy encounters, vulnerability and love, and witty banter on a ship bound for England.
A Restless Truth is the second in Freya Marske's queer fantasy mystery Last Binding trilogy that began with A Marvellous Light.
A Marvellous Light was full of details of life in Edwardian England, gay love, mystery, magic, wonderful dialogue, and plenty of heart. I adored it.
In A Restless Truth, the character of Maud Blyth (Robin's sister, introduced in book one) expects adventure when she agrees to help save the magical world by serving as companion to an elderly magician on an ocean liner.
By doing so, Maud aims to help her beloved older brother resolve a magical mystery that's been decades in the making.
But when her charge drops dead on day one, Maud must identify the murderer, try to get her hands on a magical object essential to untangling the mystery at hand--and try to survive the voyage without being murdered herself.
Maud and each of her unlikely allies are fantastic characters. The mystery element kept me hooked, and details of proper Edwardian etiquette and clothing were wonderful. Marske doesn't skimp on presenting multiple magical elements, which I loved--and she includes many detailed, saucy, passionate encounters between our main characters.
I was struck by the drastic manner in which Violet attempted to free herself from the shackles of marriage and the subsummation of a woman to her husband that was expected at the time. (This reminded me of the measures taken by the main protagonist in another book I recently read, A Study of Scarlet Women, in order to secure freedom from a stifling marriage.)
A Restless Truth is fun and quirky yet has depth, an appealingly complicated mystery, and a satisfying version of a resolution that sets up book three.
I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tordotcom, and NetGalley.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
The third book in the Last Binding series will be titled A Power Unbound. Its publication date has not been announced.