#AusReads “A Marvellous Light” by Freya Marske

Title: A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding #1)
Author: Freya Marske
Genre: Historical/fantasy/mystery
Intended audience: Adult
Date Read: 07/04/2023 – 05/05/2023


Well damn. This was a highly anticipated read and no one is more disappointed than I that it did not live up to expectations. I keep wanting to say “I think I’m in a reading slump, I don’t think it’s the book’s fault” but honestly, I don’t think that goes the whole way to explaining why I struggled with it. Some of it is personal taste, but some of it is definitely the book not delivering.

Firstly, the things I did like. The idea of magic being tied to the land and of being able to draw off the earth, and pledge yourself to it. Yessssss. Give me more of that. My favourite parts of the novel had to do with the characters drawing power from the land, or the land or home surging up to protect them.

I wanted to like the magic system, and I liked what I understood, but to be honest, parts of it went over my head. I think magic was constructed with very precise hand gestures, but the parts about contracts were still not making much sense to me by the end of the book. Which is unfortunate, because the contract aspect is rather central tothe plot.

With regards to the characters, I just… they were fine. I feel like my reading tastes have changed recently and a few years ago I would have been completely invested in Edwin and Robin. But right now, I just wasn’t. They didn’t have enough chemistry for me to be rooting for their romance and I didn’t feel anything when they were in danger.

There was very little fleshing out of the side characters, which was unfortunate, because when the “Surprise, it was XYZ all along!” twist appeared, I had to remember where I’d seen that character before. The effect was lost on me. This happened twice.

To be honest, and this goes back to the personal preference thing, I think I’m just not that into male-led stories. Especially when there are very few of women around them, and some of those are rather disappointing. The fact that the next book is sapphic fantasy, with Robin’s sister as the POV character instead, is probably the only thing making me mildly curious about it. But given the size of my TBR, I doubt I’m going to seek it out…

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2 thoughts on “#AusReads “A Marvellous Light” by Freya Marske

    • Emily Wrayburn says:

      Thank you! I have a feeling it might be one of those things where reading it at a different time could have changed my feelings completely, but it is what it is.

      Liked by 1 person

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