A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

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A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

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Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Megan Kenny
Reviewed by Megan Kenny
Summary: A fun, fast paced, frothy tale of magic, mystery and murder! This is a fun romp through Edwardian England, filled with well crafted, interesting characters that will surely leave you...spellbound!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: December 2021
Publisher: Tor
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1529080889

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Robin Blyth is nudged into a job in the Civil Service, much to his chagrin. There he meets Edwin Courcey and learns that the streets of London are threaded with magic. Desperate to remove a curse that threatens to swallow him, Robin follows Edwin to the countryside, where the hedgegrows bristle with incantations and the people shimmer with power. There they uncover a sinister plot that threatens the lives of all magicians in the British Isles.

The heady mix of magic and history in A Marvellous Light is captivating. Marske has managed to make it seem ordinary, even mundane, to have magic coursing through the upper classes of society, as though it was a fact that has always been and we, the reader, are simply the last to get the message. Other reviewers have noted that this is a delightful confection of a story but, whilst I agree that this is a lot of fun to read, I feel this minimises some of the most important elements of Marske's narrative. Magic is used to great effect in this story to explore the dynamics of class and privilege that echo throughout our society, drawing the reader's attention to the undercurrents of power that have always kept communities divided. It is also refreshing to see a work of historical fiction that celebrates queer characters, rather than painting a heteronormative picture of the past. Marske does not shy away from the dangers of this, clearly articulating the fear felt by those who had to hide their sexuality for fear of negative consequences. However, even when exploring these complex topics, Marske still manages to entertain as well as raise thought provoking questions about how far we truly have moved on as a society.

The plot moves at a thrilling pace, filled with intrigue and excitement. It is easy to get lost in the mystery and I found myself racing through the chapters. This is an easy, enjoyable read that paints a vivid picture of a magical past. There is plenty of peril to keep those of you with a penchant for danger entertained, as well as a heady dose of romance that will satisfy the lovers amongst you.

For those of you interested in another sharp, tangled mystery, you may wish to dive into Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke or The Hidden Keys by Andre Alexis.

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Buy A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske at Amazon.com.

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