Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it―not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.
... features amazing writing – this may be Freya’s debut novel, but I fell in love with the way she writes in her short story published in the Silk and Steel anthology in 2020. Her prose is stunning, flowery without seeming overly descriptive. And the dry wit is amazing. I honestly could not get enough of the words in this book ... And the characters. Edwin and Robin are marvellous. They are plastic, multi-dimensional people, grappling with their realities and relations, and especially, each other. heir enemies (or, at the very least, bickering dislike) to lovers arc is a delight and a model to other authors writing the trope. But the secondary characters are no less well-written. They too become real to the reader and soon take shape. My one gripe with A Marvellous Light was that it occasionally fell very hard into romance for my tastes – this absolutely does not cut to black at any point, so you might be in the middle of reading a delightful interaction between Edwin and Robin only to find yourself in a full on sex scene only lines later. Now, this is not something that everyone will take issue with, and I expect will be a selling point for many – so don’t take this as discouragement, but rather as a warning in case this is something you do mind ... This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and it did not disappoint. Edwin and Robin in their magical bureaucracy setting charm the reader within just a few pages, and the mystery at the heart of the book is compelling...The combination of romance elements, mystery and magic is delightful.
There are some books that feel like a revelation. That crack the world open and give you something you’re not entirely sure you’d ever been brave enough to ask for. That make you feel like, Oh, there you are. I’ve been hoping I’d find something like you. An instant comfort read, one that you know, even while reading it, you’re going to revisit because it feels so deeply good just to be in. That’s what Freya Marske delivers in A Marvellous Light. This is a balm, though it’s also a romp. Propulsive magical intrigue is beautifully balanced with some of the most lush, tender and fiercely cathartic romance. It’s tons of fun and also extremely sexy, exquisitely written and one of my favorite books of the year ... What a sheer joy to read. Marske’s writing is exquisite, evocative and precise yet comfortably readable, and she constructs intricate worldbuilding that’s also easy to understand. A Marvellous Light features one of my favorite magic systems of all time, rooted in consent and enhanced by string, not unlike how one might play cat’s cradle. It’s a genius, fitting premise ... With its sheer tenderness, and the deep care and catharsis with which it was written for queer readers, A Marvellous Light absolutely dazzled me.
... a romantic, fascinating historical fantasy ... Marske's writing strikes the right balance, with lovely descriptions of the world she's built and the relationships between her large but not unwieldy cast of characters ... A murderous hedge maze, a game of booby-trapped boating, searing intimacy and a doozy of a final act make for a read that's in turn funny, romantic and anxiety-inducing. Perfect for readers of Emily Tesh and C.L. Polk, Marske is a writer to watch.