cover image A Power Unbound

A Power Unbound

Freya Marske. Tordotcom, $28.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-250-78895-5

Marske’s showstopping final Last Binding historical fantasy doubles down on all the romance and magic that made the previous books in the trilogy so delightful. After the events of A Restless Truth, only one object binding the Last Contract, a centuries-old fae bargain that “left magic in the hands of humans,” remains to be found: a silver knife. Violet Debenham suspects it’s hidden somewhere within Spinet House, her recent inheritance, so she, her paramour Maud Blyth, and Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn—the women’s “glorified bodyguard”—comb the house for clues. This proves a difficult task; Jack muses of Spinet House, “It was a fortress. It was a musical, magical puzzle-box. It was a fucking headache.” Luckily, they have allies in some welcome and familiar faces from the series, including Robert Blyth, Edwin Courcey, and Adelaide Morrissey. Help also comes, much to Jack’s chagrin, from dashing journalist Alanzo Rossi, who has a handy ability to repel magic, though Jack is suspicious of his motives. Time is running out, however, as Jack’s villainous, power-hungry cousin, George Bastoke, is determined to find the knife himself, hoping to use the Last Contract to consolidate magic for his use alone. As the stakes ramp up so too does the tension—and the attraction—between Jack and Alanzo. Marske again demonstrates her talent for balancing romance and fantasy action. This does the series proud. (Nov.)