ARC Review: A RESTLESS TRUTH by Freya Marske

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on green with blue flowers
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - second book of trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for A MARVELLOUS LIGHT*

Blurb:

Book cover for A RESTLESS TRUTH: title in gold on turquoise with shilloutette of two women in yellow

The most interesting things in Maud Blyth’s life have happened to her brother Robin, but she’s ready to join any cause, especially if it involves magical secrets that may threaten the whole of the British Isles. Bound for New York on the R.M.S. Lyric, she’s ready for an adventure.

What she actually finds is a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and a beautiful stranger in Violet Debenham, who is everything—a magician, an actress, a scandal—Maud has been trained to fear and has learned to desire. Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of loathsome, aristocratic suspects, they must solve a murder and untangle a conspiracy that began generations before them. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

A RESTLESS TRUTH is an adventure packed cruise with an impulsive heroine who gets what she wants by charm and stubbornly steamrolling everyone else into agree. Maud is just an absolute delight of a heroine, unworldly enough that she’s still fiercely clinging to hope and the belief that things and people can be good. And despite getting more aware of the world, she never loses that part of her, which is why you want her to succeed so much.

She is balanced by the cool, calculating performer, who has so many layers and disguises that it’s fun to have them slowly peeled back to reveal a raw core. And also a self-assure young woman who delights in scandalising people is just so much fun to read about.

This is also a book where the two leads gather a crew about them (well, Maud gathers the lot of them and effectively bullies them into helping.) Not only did that wider core cast really help separate A RESTLESS TRUTH from the close character feel of A MARVELLOUS LIGHT, but it was also just simply a delight to have all that banter and the marvellous group dynamics. They play off each other so well. There’s one returning character who played a very small role in the first book and he was so much fun in this one. We see more of him and peel back the façade. I really hope the whole gang come back for the final book.

A RESTLESS TRUTH has a locked house murder feel. The murderer could be anyone onboard, and they cannot escape into the anonymity of London. Equally, though, Maud et al cannot escape the murderers. Balanced alongside the tension that set up brings was also delightful escapades. There are performances and silly situations created to cover for the investigation, leading to a hilarious web of scandal and lies. I loved that aspect, chuckling through a lot of them.

This book has less of a standalone feeling than the last. While the main story is completely encapsulated within the book, leading to a feeling of completeness and no cliff-hangers, the book is clearly building on the previous – and excitingly setting things up for the next instalment…


Read my reviews of other books by Freya Markse:

The Last Binding (this series):

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