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A Restless Truth

A Restless Truth

by Freya Marske

Narrated by Aysha Kala

Unabridged — 13 hours, 43 minutes

Freya Marske
A Restless Truth

A Restless Truth

by Freya Marske

Narrated by Aysha Kala

Unabridged — 13 hours, 43 minutes

Freya Marske

Audiobook (Digital)

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A Restless Truth is the second entry in Freya Marske's beloved, award-winning Last Binding trilogy, the queer historical fantasy series that began with A Marvellous Light.

"Narrator Aysha Kala delivers action and romance in this sequel to A MARVELLOUS LIGHT."- AudioFile Magazine

“Sublime prose, top-notch world-building, delightfully queer.”-TJ Klune, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, on A Marvellous Light

Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance!

Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She expected plenty of it when she volunteered to serve as an old lady's companion on an ocean liner, in order to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy that began generations ago.

What she didn't expect was for the old lady in question to turn up dead on the first day of the voyage. Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham, who's also returning home to England. Violet is everything that Maud has been trained to distrust yet can't help but desire: a magician, an actress, and a magnet for scandal.

Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must first drop the masks that they've both learned to wear before they can unmask a murderer and somehow get their hands on a magical object worth killing for-without ending up dead in the water themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Maud Blyth takes center stage in the charming follow-up to her brother Robin’s story, A Marvellous Light—and thereby creates a conundrum, because nothing in that book renders plausible the notion of Robin sending his 19-year-old sister, alone and undercover, across the ocean to foil a plot laid by known murderers. Yet there she is on a 1909 White Star ocean liner, acting as companion to elderly magician Elizabeth Navenby, when Mrs. Navenby is murdered. Now Maud must determine whether the killer also stole a potentially world-altering magical artifact. With a combination of brains, instinct, and charm, she enlists the help of Violet Debenham, another magical Englishwoman aboard, who ran away to America and is sailing home now to claim an unexpected inheritance. Violet is 23, outrageous, and openly bisexual, presenting Maud with quite a different set of urgent questions as romance blooms. Marske writes with tremendous period detail and—to use a period term—incident, but without quite the drama or tension of a true suspense novel. This is a cozy mystery at heart, with a sprinkle of romance and magic—and some plot gaps to be sure, but not enough to spoil the fun. It makes for intelligent and pleasant reading over a cup of tea. (Nov.)

From the Publisher

A Most Anticipated in 2022 Book for BookPage | Autostraddle | Book Riot

"A breathtaking romp of a plot, prose as sparkling and luxuriant as a diamond sautoir, and at the heart of it all a sense of wondrous possibility I wish I could go back and offer to my younger self. The magic system, the time pressure, the sumptuous heat of it all — Marske makes her ship a crucible, leaving the reader with a lovely, golden glow to light this waning season."—The New York Times

"A delightful, twisty, endlessly charming romp. I would travel anywhere with these characters."—Grace D. Li, New York Times-bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief

"Combining the greatest elements of mystery, fantasy, and romance, this book is a true soul-fluttering delight."—Buzzfeed

"From the staggeringly excellent world-building to the fleshed-out and lovable characters, A Restless Truth is a delectable sapphic fantasy-adventure on the high seas. Maud and Violet stole my heart from page one. Never has the term "to ship" been more appropriate."—Megan Bannen, author of The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy

"In this sparkling continuation of A Marvellous Light, we get more magical puzzles, more intrigue and trickery, and more romance, this time all packaged into a transatlantic steam liner with extra opportunities for mischief, mystery, and discovery. The perfect book if you're looking for oceanbound queer shenanigans, suspense in a coherently magical world, or opulent historical fiction!"—Malka Older, Hugo Award finalist and author of Infomocracy

"Marske continues the beloved journey from the first book with an almost entirely new cast of characters and a new hot-and-steamy queer romance. . . . reforms the ingénue-falling-for-the-experienced-cad trope with feminist flare and a sex-positive attitude. . . . New magical insights and charming whimsy. Fans will be delighted."—Booklist, starred review

"There’s murder, mystery, and magic on the high seas in Marske’s historical fantasy romp that follows on the heels of last year’s A Marvellous Light. . . . Highly recommended for lovers of urban fantasy that’s mixed with wit, danger, and romance."—Library Journal, starred review

“Stunning, sensual. . . . A thrilling mystery and a lush historical fantasy that will leave readers breathless—both from its exciting plot twists and its captivating romance.”—BookPage, starred review

"Maud Blyth takes center stage in the charming follow-up to her brother Robin's story, A Marvellous Light. . . . Makes for intelligent and pleasant reading over a cup of tea."—Publishers Weekly

Insightful, funny, and unexpected, A Restless Truth is a stellar successor that ably continues the mystery begun in A Marvellous Light and leaves the reader eager for the series conclusion.”–

"A magical murder mystery. . . . A twisty match of wits leavened with society intrigue, skullduggery, and more than a little spy-fiction cloak and dagger action. There are dueling conspiracies, scandalous secrets, and questionable loyalties. But it’s sapphic romance too, with erotica that will leave you checking over your shoulder to be sure you have some privacy."—Geekly Inc.

“Maud Blyth shares a similar aversion to lying as Knives Out’s would-be murderer Marta . . . . Pair Maud with Violet Debenham, an actress and magician who can’t fathom making herself vulnerable enough to be truthful with anyone, and their romance unfolds along the same breathless plot beats as solving a murder that could shift the balance of all the magic in England.”—Paste

Praise for 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."—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, 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."—The New York Times

“Perfect.”—Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings

"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

“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

"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!"—Stephanie Burgis, author of Snowspelled

"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*

“Prepare to fall in love.”—Emily Tesh, author of Silver in the Wood

“A charming, lovingly crafted adventure.”—A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name

"Everything you could ever want from a book—beautiful descriptions, expertly woven worldbuilding, queer kissing, sexual tension in a library . . . Brilliant on every level."—Alexandra Rowland, author of A Taste of Gold and Iron

“Heralds a strong new voice in science fiction and fantasy.”—Sam Hawke, author of City of Lies

Library Journal

★ 09/01/2022

There's murder, mystery, and magic on the high seas in Marske's historical fantasy romp that follows on the heels of last year's A Marvellous Light. The truth that Maud Blyth finds aboard the RMS Lyric is that her life can be just as sinfully dangerous and daring as her brother Robin's as she teams up with a beautiful actress, a conniving salesman, a scandalous aristocrat, and a profane parrot. Their mission? Ferret out which of the ship's many passengers is a magician hell-bent on enslaving all of England's magical community and forcing them to fight on England's side during the coming war. Maud starts out just wanting to help her brother, but as she's chased through the ship by mages, scandals, and an entire menagerie of shipboard animals, she finds both the love she's always denied as well as the true measure of all her surprising talents. The champagne-soaked alternate Edwardian universe of "The Last Binding" series is expanded by Marske's setting this second chapter aboard a ship where everyone seems to be hiding behind a mask of their own making. VERDICT Highly recommended for lovers of urban fantasy that's mixed with wit, danger, and romance.—Marlene Harris

Product Details

BN ID: 2940178753491
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Series: The Last Binding , #2
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 1,156,639

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