Reviews

A Marvellous Light, by Freya Marske

graculus's review

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4.0

A Marvellous Light is one of those books where I'd wanted to get my hands on it pretty much as soon as I heard about it - on reading it, this book seemed to push all my buttons in terms of what I wanted from a historical fantasy book: an interesting setting, a strong relationship and enough of a complete storyline to make me want the next book but not be annoyed by it. Somehow, I still couldn't quite give it 5 stars, primarily because of the issues I had with its pacing at times, of which more in a moment.

The basic premise of A Marvellous Light is pretty familiar: there's a secret magical world and some people who aren't magical work as liaisons between that world and the rest of us, part of their role being to ensure that news of the existence of magic doesn't become widespread. In this case, Robin Blyth is dropped into that job but with incomplete information about what exactly he's been employed to do, as it's usually a job given to people from magical families who have no abilities instead of people who don't know about it at all. His magical counterpart is the prickly Edwin Courcey, who struggles with the fact that he's just not that powerful as a magician and that Robin's predecessor has disappeared without a word. As the story goes on, and the two men start asking questions about what's happened, they discover that there's a plot afoot to take control of some magical artefacts and Robin becomes the subject of a particularly nasty curse with some unexpected side effects.

The main reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was that for a good chunk of it around the midway point, I was left thinking 'well , this is all very nice but it's just not very substantial' and the relationship between Robin and Edwin was being given much more attention than the overall plot seemed to demand. There's some very nice set piece work at various points and it did manage to keep my interest past that stage, though I saw the major plot twists coming along.

In all, if you like historical fantasy then this is probably a book you're going to enjoy. The ending is pretty self-contained, with enough of a cliffhanger to tempt rather than frustrate, and I hope to get my hands on book 2 when it comes out as well.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest review of the book in question. 

caseythereader's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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abookishtype's review

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adventurous emotional funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

 What is it about watching two characters who are into each other but won’t reveal their feelings that draws us in? When I discover that this trope is surrounded by unique characters, an intricate conspiracy, and an original magic system—as in A Marvellous Light, by Freya Marske—well, that’s just catnip to me. I inhaled this book on a cool weekend day with a pair of cats and a pot of tea (and probably a dumb, happy grin on my face). This book was a joy to read...

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration. Read the rest of my review at https://abookishtype.wordpress.com/2021/10/11/a-marvellous-light-by-freya-marske/

neverwhere's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful lighthearted mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

ourlibraryatmidnight's review

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5.0

Coming soon.

chaoticmissadventures's review

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced

4.0

booksandyarns's review

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adventurous emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

gracew's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

craftyhilary's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This is a book to be savored. There's so much here--an inventive system of magic, a murder mystery, a slow-burn reluctant allies to lovers romance--that it was far more satisfying to read it in small increments than to barrel through it. I was initially wary of another magical series, but in fact this was such a well-constructed, self-contained story that I feel entirely satisfied while still looking forward to the sequel. I can hardly believe this is a first novel! It's a tremendous debut and I can't wait to read more.

(Obtained from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

jennikreads's review

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adventurous dark emotional funny mysterious tense medium-paced

5.0


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