Freya Marske


The Last Binding: A Marvellous Light (2021)

The Last Binding

A Marvellous Light (2021)

A Marvellous LightSet in England prior to The Great War. Maybe 1906 or 1907.

After his parents were killed ina car wreck, Robin Blyth has to pick up the pieces of the life they left him and his sister.

“You don’t talk about your parents much.”

“I am— trying very hard not to speak ill of the dead.”

So he is grateful for the Civil Service job he has been given–until he arrives at his new office.

He was to comb through complaints, letters, and hysterical newspaper stories, working out which of them might represent real magic.

Edwin Courcey is a bit of a magical dud. His siblings might be powerful but he still needs cradle strong to cast any magic. So to escape his family he works for Civil Service, checking out reports of magic that might be seen by the general populace.

But the man who held the job before Robin is dead–and those who killed him think that Robin knows the answers the dead man couldn’t tell them.

Although Robin’s parents were objectively terrible, he had his sister to help him become a decent person. Edwin just had to struggle and try to escape as best he could, which made Robin the less damaged of the two, with his sister’s love and faith to keep him going when he’d rather give up.

Edwin has been told he is weak and useless, so even if he is precise and knowledgeable, that gets him nothing from magical society–or his family.

One of the things I appreciate about MM historical romance is that the reluctance of the two characters who actually talk about their feelings is not only understandable–it makes logical sense, given that homosexuality was a serious crime at the time. But even though Robin knows this, he still wants to find a way to reach out to Edwin.

Robin didn’t want to press against what seemed a deliberate drawing-back. Should he assume that Edwin would say something, if he wished the topic to be broached at all, or was Edwin waiting for him?

The romance is very good. I loved the world building, and the mystery was very good–and although there will obviously be further adventures, we aren’t left wanting at the end, unknowing of the safety of the characters.

Really lovely.

Publisher: Tordotcom
Rating: 9/10