An International Bestseller!
Winner of the 2022 Romantic Novel Award in Fantasy!
Locus Award Finalist!
An Indie Next pick and LibraryReads pick—with four starred reviews!
A Best of 2021 Pick for NPR | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
Red, White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.
Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.
Now 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.
Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.
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Marske debuts with a breathtaking queer romantic fantasy set in Edwardian England. Financial necessity leads newly titled, 25-year-old baronet Robin Blyth to take a post in the Office of Special Domestic Affairs and Complaints, where Edwin Courcey, liaison to the Chief Minister of the Magical Assembly, "unbushells" him by disclosing the reality of magic. Thugs accost Robin that same evening, placing a curse on him and demanding to know the location of a powerful object his predecessor hid. When Edwin learns of the curse, which gives Robin unbidden glimpses of the future, he whisks Robin to his family's country estate. There, Edwin, who lacks raw magical power but has a keen mind and a knack for research, attempts to find a solution while his family, including a sister whose pranks teeter on mean-spirited and a brother who torments him, cook up magical diversions. Edwin and Robin share some deliciously described sexual encounters as their research takes them to a powerful, dangerous magical estate. After forcing a vision leaves Robin nonresponsive, Edwin makes a risky decision that lifts the curse but causes a rift between the men as the identities of Robin's attackers come to light. Sensual erotic scenes, an intriguing magic system, and a puzzling mystery combine to make this novel a wonder. Fans of C.L. Polk's Witchmark, period queer novels, and creative fantasy will all clamor for more. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary.
Amazing. Couldn’t put it down. Fell in love with Robin and Edwin. Can’t wait to read more. The author really painted a beautiful story vividly in my mind; it felt as if I was there
What an amazing novel. The story is immediately engaging and the characters are superbly realized. If this is truly a first novel from Freda Marske then we have much to look forward to from her. It also would make me supremely happy if she would write a sequel to A Marvelous Light…I’m just putting it out there!