A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske Review

Posted on March 3, 2022

It was a mistake that got Robin, a baronet short on funds, to work in the secret magical society in England with Edwin Courcey. With Edwin’s friend and Robin’s predecessor, Reginald Gatling, missing, mayhem transpires as the unlikely duo solve Reggie’s disappearance and the missing contract that threatens the lives of every magician.

I reviewed so many books featuring romance but I heard from so many booktubers like fictionalfates that I knew I had to read this book. I started listening to the audiobook with David Thorpe narrating and I recognized his previous work on another book I read, ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion. Simsion did an exceptional job narrating a book about a socially inept professor searching for the perfect partner, and he delivered the same work through ‘A Marvellous Light’ as well.

The first interaction between Robin and Edwin starts off in hostility. Robin for not knowing what the job ensues as the new liaison to the Office of Special Domestic Affairs and Complaints, and Edwin, who does not like the idea of Reggie being replaced, much less someone who is not a magician.

Can you blame Edwin? There’s a muggle working in the magical justice department with no explanation whatsoever! Before Edwin could fix this mistake and find Reggie, Robin becomes cursed by the antagonist’s henchmen believing that Robin can find the missing contract. Edwin and Robin now have to work together in order to break the curse and find the missing contract before it’s too late.

Where Edwin is a cold, stand-offish, intellectual whose knowledge is as vast as his magical gifts, Robin is friendly, charismatic, and engrossed in the new world of magic and all of it’s gifts. I like the interactions between Robin and Edwin throughout the book. Everytime Robin admires Edwin’s use of magic or studying the subject of magic, I think of BBC’s Sherlock where Watson calls Sherlock’s gift of deduction ‘fantastic’. In every chapter, Robin or Edwin find a new reason to enjoy each other’s company.

I think the author did an excellent job introducing magic through worldbuilding. Instead of having a full introduction after Robin’s first day at work, we assimilate how magic works and what magicians can do with it as Robin visits Edwin’s home and other places that could help find the missing contract. There are moments where the author shows elitism and sexism in the book that I think readers can appreciate.

I had the best time reading the book. I thought Robin’s involvement in the magical world was gradual and fluid as opposed to other books where the main character becomes a master at wielding spells within a week. His involvement also seems to spark something in Edwin, who thought his power had limits. The only thing I didn’t like was how some parts were drawn out, it seemed like the desprictions had added fluff that didn’t help the story. I can assure you that the mystery was enough to continue reading. You might enjoy reading the physical copy as much as the audiobook given how beautiful the cover and side pages are. I give this book a five out of five blinding lights. I’m tempted to read the book again, it’s a good thing there is a sequel coming out in November, ‘A Restless Truth’.