A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light

by Freya Marske

Narrated by David Thorpe

Freya Marske

Unabridged — 14 hours, 30 minutes

A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light

by Freya Marske

Narrated by David Thorpe

Freya Marske

Unabridged — 14 hours, 30 minutes

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"Narrator David Thorpe's delicious depictions of steamy encounters between Robin and
Edwin are intricately woven throughout this magical realm." -- Booklist, starred review

An International Bestseller!
Winner of the 2022 Romantic Novel Award in Fantasy!
Locus Award Finalist!

An Indie Next pick and LibraryReads pick-with four starred reviews!
A Best of 2021 Pick for NPR | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Red, White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in debut author Freya Marske's A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio


Marske's sparkling debut, a queer fantasy set in Edwardian England, features newly minted baronet Robin Blyth, who joins forces with government official Edwin Courcey to investigate a sinister magical plot. Robin's first day working for the Office of Special Domestic Affairs and Complaints, a shadowy government division that liaises with the magical world, is completely shocking. Not only does he learn that magic is real, but he is also attacked and marked with a deadly curse. Attempting to remove the curse, Edwin and Robin seek answers among the magical elite and discover that Robin's curse is part of a deeply rooted conspiracy. In the course of their travels, a tender and sensual romance blooms between the two, lending depth to this already captivating tale. Narrator David Thorpe skillfully conjures Marske's painstakingly crafted world, populating it with characters that range from perfectly affable to deliciously evil. Thorpe's depiction of Robin and Edwin's sexual encounters is superb, exquisitely bringing out the eroticism while also emphasizing the tenderness and love that runs throughout. VERDICT A perfect addition to round out any fantasy collection.—Sarah Hashimoto

NOVEMBER 2021 - AudioFile

David Thorpe gives a chummy, animated narration of this swoony romantic fantasy set in Edwardian England. Young baronet Sir Robert (Robin) Blyth is just as surprised to find himself replacing the former liaison between magical Britain and the government as he is to discover that magic exists at all. Edwin Courcey comes from a magical family but has little magic of his own. When Robin is struck by a magical curse, Edwin tries to help remove it. Thorpe characterizes bookish, closed-off Edwin with a waspish tone, a foil to Robin’s slightly hapless affability. Edwin and Robin leave London for the countryside, following clues and encountering dangers, and their connection deepens into friendship—and scorching attraction. The magical world-building is eminently satisfying, and listeners will be effortlessly drawn in. J.M.D. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine

From the Publisher

An International Bestseller!
Winner of the 2022 Romantic Novel Award in Fantasy!

An Indie Next pick and LibraryReads pick—with four starred reviews!
A Best of 2021 Pick for NPR | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Truly a scrumptious treat of a book, like a fancy tea all laid out with silver spoons and floral-painted cups.”—NPR

"A delightful book, with richly developed characters rooted in family dynamics and period flavor."—The New York Times

"Delightful and spicy. . . . Marske is simply superb at her chosen genres."—The New York Times on the Last Binding trilogy

"Freya Marske has done something special with A Marvellous Light. . . . The prose is sublime, the world-building top-notch, and the magic system is fascinating and unique. But what made me the happiest is how delightfully queer this story is. Robin and Edward have my whole heart, and I adored watching their relationship blossom. In the end, I can give no higher praise than this: I wish this world that Marske has created was real."—TJ Klune, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The House in the Cerulean Sea

"Mystery! Magic! Murder! Long looks full of yearning! This book is a confection, both marvelous and light."—Alix E. Harrow, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Once and Future Witches

"A delightful book, with richly developed characters rooted in family dynamics and period flavor. It manages the remarkable trick of introducing a trilogy while being satisfying in its own right, leaving plenty to explore in future volumes while completing a complex story in this one."—New York Times Book Review

"This brilliant debut, blending romance, adventure and whodunnit, is told with real panache and elegance."—Daily Mail

"Sensual erotic scenes, an intriguing magic system, and a puzzling mystery combine to make this novel a wonder. Fans of C.L. Polk’s Witchmark, period queer novels, and creative fantasy will all clamor for more."—Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

"Marske’s debut is a delightful blend of Edwardian fantasy and romance, with enough twists and questions to have readers clamoring for the next in the planned series."—Library Journal, *Starred Review*

"This trilogy opener is sure to capture the hearts of romance and fantasy readers alike."—Booklist, *Starred Review*

“Robin and Edwin’s relationship anchors the narrative, and the way that they challenge and question and then accept each other is captivating. Marske deftly contrasts the couple’s affection with the stuffiness of the world that surrounds them, making their love all the more relevant.”—BookPage, *Starred Review*

“That sublime prose! Her astonishing gift for imagery! And, of course, her bountiful and endless talent for writing some extremely sexy scenes. A Marvellous Light is all that and more. Perfect.”—Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings

"Freya Marske's A Marvellous Light is an absolute delight. I was caught from the very beginning by the compellingly realized characters, the gorgeous and deadly magical world, and the fascinating mystery. If you ever wished Downton Abbey was sharper-edged and full of magic, this is the book for you."—Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians

"This romantic fantasy is full of fascinating world-building, layers upon layers of delicious magic, and characters I adored. I want to spend so much more time in this alternate England's enchanted libraries and sinister hedge mazes! The whole experience was a delight."—Stephanie Burgis, author of Snowspelled

"A gripping story, told in precise and sensual language, with the kind of characters that make you want a spin-off book for even the ones you've barely met. Magic, romance, and mayhem in a beautifully decorated—and occasionally actively dangerous—Edwarian setting."—Malka Older, author of The Mimicking of Known Successes

"A completely enchanting story that sweeps you into a world of art and romance. Marske is an extraordinary talent who writes compelling characters, entertainingly awful families, and love stories like nobody else."—Everina Maxwell, author of Winter's Orbit

“Romantic in the best way, funny, sharp, sexy, fantastical. Prepare to fall in love with the gorgeous Edwardian setting, the sizzling character dynamics, and the murderous enchanted hedge maze.”—Emily Tesh, author of Silver in the Wood

“A charming, lovingly crafted adventure full of peril, romance and wit, illuminated by sparkling turns of phrase and a pervasive sense of humour.”—A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name

"Freya's prose is so splendid that merely reading it makes me feel like I've been filled to the brim with champagne bubbles. A Marvellous Light has everything you could ever want from a book—beautiful descriptions, expertly woven worldbuilding, queer kissing, sexual tension in a library, quite a lot of William Morris wallpaper. . . . This book is brilliant on every level. It is wondrous. It is, if you will excuse a small joke, marvellous."—Alexandra Rowland, author of A Taste of Gold and Iron

“Equal parts fantasy, mystery and romance—with bonus murderous garden features—A Marvellous Light heralds a strong new voice in science fiction and fantasy.”—Sam Hawke, author of City of Lies

“A magical world of exquisite refinement, where peril skims beneath manners, interiors bespeak both faultless taste and deadly secrets, and the sexual tension crescendos until it literally makes sparks fly. A dazzling debut.”—Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun

"A perfectly cozy, fantastical (and quite horny) read that mixes gay Edwardian romance with a heavy dose of magic."Polygon

A Marvellous Light is a fun read filled with beautiful prose, a dangerous quest, a wonderfully unique system of magic, engaging main characters and complex relationships.”—The Michigan Daily

Library Journal

★ 09/01/2021

In Marske's Edwardian England-set fantasy debut, Robin Blyth has just become the baronet of the estate his parents drove into the red. He's forced to take a civil service job ("Assistant in the Office of Special Domestic Affairs and Complaints") in a ministry whose purpose is a mystery to him. His new colleague is the Minister's handsome and intriguing liaison Edwin Coursey, who's hunting for Robin's mysteriously disappeared predecessor. From Edwin, Robin learns that they all work for the Magical Assembly and that magic is real and used by many Britons. Robin knows he's in over his head and hopes that he'll soon be replaced, yet only trouble arrives. He must face sinister individuals, a curse, family secrets, and a mysterious object that could reveal the origination of magic—and how to control it. As answers are revealed, and romantic feelings bloom between Robin and Edwin, the story moves between emotional arcs and physical action, peppered with thoughtful interaction and charming dialogue. Characters are white, save for an Indian secretary. VERDICT Marske's debut is a delightful blend of Edwardian fantasy and romance, with enough twists and questions to have readers clamoring for the next in the planned series.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton

Product Details

BN ID: 2940172961328
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Series: The Last Binding , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 381,027

Customer Reviews