The last member of a murdered House tries to protect his ward from forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own past.
The Tarot Sequence imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, governed by powerful Courts based on the traditional Tarot deck.
Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Throne, is backed into a fight of high court magic and political appetites in a desperate bid to protect his ward, Max, from a forced marital alliance with the Hanged Man.
Rune’s resistance will take him to the island’s dankest corners, including a red light district made of moored ghost ships; a surreal skyscraper farm; and the floor of the ruling Convocation, where a gathering of Arcana will change Rune’s life forever.
The Hanged Man takes everything I loved about The Last Sun and kicks it up a notch. I didn’t know it was possible to improve on an already perfect concept but The Hanged Man somehow does that. Most of you already know by now how much I love The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards as I’ve been singing its praises the last several months on the blog. So it’s come as no surprise that this was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2019 and boy did it exceed my super high expectations.
The plot picks up where The Last Sun left off, with our protagonist, Rune, trying to figure out a way to prevent a skeevy contracted marriage between one of the Scions of Atlantis and Rune’s ward, Max. Through this set up we get to explore a couple of new settings in New Atlantis, as well as get to meet and spend time with several of the other Scions. The world opens up here and I love it. Also, the plot might sound simple but it’s really not. Politics in New Atlantis is like politics anywhere–super complicated. Maybe even more so once you through magic into the mix and what different folks can bring to an alliance. Each Scion of a court is almost like the head of a mini-country–they have their own people they’re responsible for and they have their own independent wealth and assets. Like a king or queen, they settle disputes among their own people, literally holding court like in the days of old. So, because the politics is complicated, and further complicated by rules they have to abide by, Rune has to figure out a way he can approach this problem from a side angle rather than head on until he is able to get enough proof and/or support for a direct attack. This leads Rune and Brand accepting a job that is related to The Hanged Man so that they can get an ‘in’ that way. Of course, as things often do in New Atlantis, this job turns into a lot more than expected. I really loved the way Edward’s weaved all the different threads of plot together in this one. There are several things going on, plots within plots and things that are related but still very much their own story, and the way they’re all brought together and then tied up is really satisfying. I also really appreciate the way that these books, and this one especially, deal with some very dark subjects while keeping the overall tone pretty light and fun. There’s a lot of emotional depth to these stories.
I loved that we got to see a lot more of the world building in this one and were also introduced to so many new characters. We get a feel for how the Scions operate even more in this sequel and actually get to see their counsel session and how precarious the politics are. We also get a better idea of how the courts work as far as the structure of them and what exactly a Scion is responsible for when they’re the head of their court. And as far as settings, New Atlantis is always surprising me. I love entire idea of the green docks, a sort of red light district but comprised of ships stolen from humanity. Also, the ghost ship was scary, not gonna lie.
I continue to love our core group of characters. Most of our group get some character development in this volume, but especially Rune and Brand. Rune’s still grappling with his past and the position he now finds himself in and what it all means. He’s now trying to responsible for other people with Max as his ward and it seems like he’s going for a bigger challenge where that’s concerned. Brand is always supportive but he also has his own things he’s grappling with as a companion and what that means for him and Rune. Max and Quinn continue to be favorites, love those kids. Speaking of which, we’re introduced to some new characters–some of which are also kids. I love all the new characters! The kids are especially great and I can’t wait to see how things develop with them. One of my favorite things about the gang in The Tarot Sequence is the whole found family thing and the continues here and we get a bit of an expansion. The dynamics going forward are going to be even more interesting. And Addam–I continue to love that guy. I think sometimes it’s uncomfortable for Rune how much Addam cares for him but Rune needs to learn to loosen up a little bit and let people love him more. ❤ I also thought the other Scions we got to meet were really interesting, especially Lady Death. I hope we get to see a lot more of her in the future. I’m also glad that we’re seeing more female characters. The lack of them in the first book wasn’t a detriment for me but things were a little unbalanced and they feel more natural here. 🙂
Overall, LOVED this sequel, it was everything I hoped for and more. If you love urban fantasy and are looking for something new in the genre that feels completely fresh and has amazing characters, lots of snark, fabulous world building, and interesting magic–read this series. What are you waiting for? 5/5 stars.