Young baronet Robin Blyth thought he was taking up a minor governmental post. However, he’s actually been appointed parliamentary liaison to a secret magical society. If it weren’t for this administrative error, he’d never have discovered the incredible magic underlying his world.
Cursed by mysterious attackers and plagued by visions, Robin becomes determined to drag answers from his missing predecessor – but he’ll need the help of Edwin Courcey, his hostile magical-society counterpart. Unwillingly thrown together, Robin and Edwin will discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles.
The Binding meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light.
My thoughts: does anyone else get crushes on books? I have a crush on this book.
Magic exists and a department at the Home Office keeps an eye on it, it’s undercover in some ways, those with abilities keep them quiet and the general populace hasn’t a clue. Robin, Sir Robert Blyth if we’re being fancy, ends up in a job he’s not exactly equipped for, gets cursed and ends up on a quest for magical artefacts along with the rather lovely Edwin Courcy.
I’m not sure if magic is a metaphor for homosexuality in some way, both Robin and Edwin are gay, and it’s illegal and they mention Oscar Wilde’s trial. But despite this, and the secrecy needed, they fall in love. The descriptions of the way they observe each other are beautiful, the sex hot and the passion between them moving and tender.
As Edwin draws Robin further into the world of magic and they almost get murdered by a hedge, searching for magical artefacts, to keep them from the wrong hands, he realises that the arrogant toff he thought he’d need to get rid of swiftly is actually a kind, noble and brave person, who’d happily sacrifice himself for those he cares about.
When they discover their enemy and Edwin faces up to betrayal, it’s the bond they’ve slowly built that sustains him, the fact that Robin is by his side that convinces him to fight on and stop the rest of the Contract from falling into the wrong hands. I can’t wait for book two.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.