cover image A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light

Freya Marske. Tordotcom, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-78887-0

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. (Nov.)