Anyway, WE'RE HERE NOW and talking A Marvellous Light, the first in a new fantasy series set in Edwardian England. Hang on, let me get info up and we can talk more about this!
Title And Author: A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
Publisher: Tor UK
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction
Robin Blyth has a lot on his plate. He's struggling being a good brother, taking over as head of the house since his parents's deaths and dealing with the mess of bills they have left and trying to find his own way in the world. So, when an admin error means he becomes civil service liaison to the hidden magical world and comes face to face with Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly magical counterpart, Robin finds himself in the deep end.
And then he's cursed by mysterious men who think Robin's predecessor hid something of great importance. A man who has vanished off the face of the Earth. As Robin and Edwin find themselves in a plot that could very easily affect every magician in the British Isles, the two begin to realise that their first impressions of each other are wrong and there might be some connection between them...
I have seen several reviews on Goodreads and other reviewing sites that have said A Marvellous Light is the lovechild of Susanne Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Casey McQuiston's Red, White and Royal Blue. And I totally see it and kinda get why everyone is saying that.
However, I DNFed both Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Red, White and Royal Blue. While I liked the richness of Jonathan Strange, I found it too dense, too longwinded and the footnotes. OH! The footnotes! And with Red, White and Royal Blue, I didn't believe in the romance and the level of inconsistencies that a simple Google search would have solved.
So, why did I finish A Marvellous Light and I have plans to read the next book in the series is kinda a mystery to me.
Oh yes, this is going to be one of THOSE blog posts.
There's something about this book I really warmed to. I liked the characters - both Robin and Edwin, as well as secondary characters such as Robin's sister, Maud, and his secretary, Adelaide Morrissey (oh, I liked her HUGELY!) - as well as the world, the magic system, the romance, the mystery, the writing. Hell, I even liked the audiobook narrator. There's something about this - a quality(?) - that I instantly connected with and I hope that it continues, because if it doesn't, I fear this series will get lost in the fantasy genre.
Notice how I keep saying "series"? Well, there's a reason. I didn't know this was the first book in a series till I was around 60-odd percentage in so some of the niggles/questions I had, I realised that these will be solved or at least semi-answered later on. I just wish this was made a little clearer near the start of my reading journey.
I, still, do have some niggles as some elements to the story were quite convenient. I get why as these were explained, but still at times, it felt a little too easy, a little too neat.
But, I am going to try and read the next book in this series when it comes out (I believe in November 2022). I have hope in this series and am intrigued to see where this goes next, and I do hope that this book gets attention, not only with fantasy readers but with MM romance readers as well as I see a marvellous bright future for this author!