Book Review: A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

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.

This one has been sitting on my shelves for a little while so I decided it was finally time to read it – I’m so glad I did! Historical fantasy with a hefty does of mystery and murder with a side order of romance this was a fun read.

After a strong opening it took me a couple of chapters to settle into the world and the rhythm of the story but once I did it was absolutely gripping. The world building was excellent with an interesting magic system that we learnt more about throughout the story.

The characters were engaging, well rounded and appeared fully formed on the page. I adored Edwin, vulnerable and yet with a strong core that he turned to the protection of those he had formed relationships with. Robin was delightful, his energy sparkled. The supporting characters were great as well – even the unlikeable ones but I do hope we see more of Adelaide in future books.

The mystery and murders that form the core of the plot were crafted in the best ‘whodunnit’ way and we were swept along with Robin and Edwin as they try to unravel things.

A really fun read and I’ll definitely be picking up book 2 when its released.