Read my review of A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske-a truly marvellous fantasy set in Edwardian England with a grumpy wizard, a confused civil servant, sentient ivy and a love story at its heart. I don’t think I will ever look a maze in the same way ever again!
Series The Last Binding
Publication date : 9th December
Sir Robin Blyth has been assigned to take over a small department in the civil service when his predecessor is missing but he has no idea what he is supposed to do. So, he isn’t too pleased to find out that he is in fact the parliamentary liaison to a secret magical society, reporting only to the Prime Minister, especially when he has just found out that magic exists.
Edwin Courcey, his counterpart, magician and descendent from an old, magical family is also none too pleased that he must work with a new liaison who has no idea about the existence of magic
Unfortunately, the men must work together to help cure Robin who has been cursed by attackers, find Robin’s predecessor and thwart a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles.
I loved this book. This is the perfect read for these dark gloomy nights with a sweet love story at its heart.
The author manages to build an intricate world of hidden and ancient magic within the first few chapters but also effectively build a complex picture of Robin’s and Edwin’s personality, quirks and backstory. Robin and Edwin both have complicated relationships with their families which add another layer of complexity to the story.
The magical system is a uniquely based system of cradling- a complex mix of hand movements based on a pattern and a hierarchy of sorts where the strongest magicians are held in higher esteem. People from magical families without magic or weak magical skills are delegated to jobs, well in the civil service.
The book also captures the changing society in Edwardian times and the descriptions of the food, transport and customs paint a vivid picture of the period.
The story is told from both Edwin’s and Robin’s viewpoints and there is plenty of action and peril. There are some truly breathtaking scenes particularly the scene where Robin and Edwin are trapped in a maze with sentient plants. I don’t think I will ever enter another maze without making sure the plants do not have a mind of their own.
The book has a strong undertone of romance throughout and Robin and Edwin’s growing love for each really made the book for me. I’m not a big fan of romance and sex in fantasy but this was in balance with the rest of the story and was satisfying when we learn how lonely the two main characters are.
I found myself laughing a few times especially when Adelaide Morrison was on the scene- this woman deserves her own book.
The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger and there is enough resolution of the main storyline but there are plot for the next book and I would definitely read another book containing Edwin’s and Robin’s battle against the dark side of magic.
I received a copy of the book for a free, unbiased and honest opinion