A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

A Marvellous Light (Last Binding, #1)

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.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

4.5 of 5 stars


Freya Marske's latest novel, A Marvellous Light, is a blindingly brilliant read, one that swept me off my feet and had me begging for more. It's a little bit of everything – historical fiction, romance, fantasy, LGBT+, all with a dash of intrigue and mystery.

Robin Blyth is the son of two philanthropists that were...less than kind in real life. So, of course, he and his sister are the ones left paying their debts. For Robin, that means getting shuffled off to a job he isn't qualified for, all because somebody didn't like his late parents.

That job ended up changing Robin's life forever – and not in the way he expected. Thanks to a series of strange events, Robin is now very aware that magic exists in the world and that not everyone who has it is considerate of others.

"We are man's light / We hold the gifts of the dawn / From those now passed and gone / And carry the into night."

Words defy description when it comes to A Marvellous Light. It has the right balance of so many different elements; it's no wonder that I ended up loving it as much as I did. If you love librarian tropes blended with magic and with an m/m romance, then you're in luck!

I'll admit that I didn't love either character at first. Both Robin and Edwin had a bit of growing to do, and it took some time to see them for who they really are – and thus truly appreciate them. But once I did? I was hooked on their story!

"Robin was definitely going to punch someone before the day was out."

I'll admit that I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I've had a lot going on in my life; some of it is good, some not so much. It's made it difficult to concentrate. However, A Marvellous Light fought hard against that mood and really did suck me into the story. In fact, I was pretty sad when the story concluded – once again, I wasn't ready to say goodbye.

Luckily, A Marvellous Light is the first in a trilogy, so there will be two more books heading our way soon enough! I am very much looking forward to seeing what will happen next.

Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read more reviews at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 10 November, 2021: Finished reading
  • 10 November, 2021: Reviewed