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Summary

Set in an alternative Edwardian England, this is a comedy of manners, manor houses and hedge mazes: including a magic-infused murder mystery and a delightful queer romance.

For fans of Georgette Heyer or Julia Quinn's Bridgerton who'd like to welcome magic into their lives....

Young baronet Robin Blyth thought he was taking up a minor governmental post. However, he's actually been appointed parliamentary liaison to a secret magical society. If it weren’t for this administrative error, he’d never have discovered the incredible magic underlying his world. 

Cursed by mysterious attackers and plagued by visions, Robin becomes determined to drag answers from his missing predecessor—but he’ll need the help of Edwin Courcey, his hostile magical-society counterpart. Unwillingly thrown together, Robin and Edwin will discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles.

The Binding meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light.

©2021 Freya Marske (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic reviews

"Mystery! Magic! Murder! Long looks full of yearning! This book is a confection, both marvellous and light." (Alix E. Harrow) 

"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)

 "A dazzling debut." (Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun)

"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)

What listeners say about A Marvellous Light

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Much promise, little delivery

I had high hopes for this book as it promises lots to love (gay Edwardian magicians? Yes please). There are some neat ideas but unfortunately the writing is completely charmless. It makes for hard going. I soldiered on because I was listening but if I had a hard copy of the book I’d have given up. It’s slow moving and the writing isn’t good enough to enjoy it fit itself. Finally, the sex is tacked on, overwritten and, frankly, unnecessary. It completely detracts from the story (gay man here, and no prude).

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting approach and enjoyable romance

I did enjoy this story and the very different way in which magic was presented, I wasn’t overly keen on the narrator if I’m honest, I do generally prefer English narrators, but at times it felt like this chap was narrating a child’s story and the accent used for the secretary wasn’t consistent and the voice for the sister was just plain odd - it wasn’t so bad I couldn’t get through it, but I don’t think I’ll be listening to this story again, which is a shame, as with a different voice actor I’m sure I would have

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Excellent

Excellent world building and characters with depth. Can I ask for more? Yes, I want more books! The only problem is that the narrator, even though he does a good job, might be too old, the main characters are around 25 years old and he makes then sound much older and it's a bit distracting. I would read it instead.

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definitely worth listening

I've just listened to this book for a third time. Great story, characters, and writing

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A Great Magical Yarn.

A great magical yarn with well developed major characters and interesting plot. The narration was excellent. A fab holiday listen.

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  • D
  • 10-06-22

Really a Romance Novel

Don't read this if you want a book with an intense complicated story. While the world building is delightful and the characters terribly charming, the book feels almost like a prologue to the real story.
Apart from the growing and deepening relationship of the protagonists... nothing much really happens. And I enjoyed this book for the romance sure, but I do wish we had gotten more of the mystery, of the lore. Understood more about the setting and about magic and how it works and how it remains hidden in plain sight. Am very disappointed that most of my questions were not answered.

TL;Dr: Read if you want a well written romance, and skip if you want some hard fantasy with a focus on plot.

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Quite repetitive

The overall story was okay, but the constant repetition of subjects like the ownership of Sutton house and the unchanging emotional mindset of the main characters really detracted from it. It would have been way better with some editing, and it would have been nice if the author trusted the reader to remember what they've just read, instead of putting it on a loop.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-03-22

Gay and magical

I'm fairly new to queer romance as a genre. And I've always been a fantasy nerd. This ticked every box I have: Lovely romance, interesting magic system and wonderful characters with an engaging plot (and some well-written spicy scenes). I can't wait for the sequel (even if the focus isn't on Edwin and Robin).
Additionally, the narrator has a wonderful voice and delivered an amazing performance. I hope he returns for the sequel.