Review: The Last Sun & The Hanged Man by K.D. Edwards // Or, I Demand OT3

★★★,5☆ | ★★★★☆

“How do we kill it?”

“With great difficulty and overwhelming force”


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Title: The Last Sun; The Hanged Man

Series: The Tarot Sequence (#1; #2)

Author: K.D. Edwards

Publisher: Pyr

Release Date: 2018/2019

Pages: 384; 383

Genres:  Urban Fantasy | LGBT

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goodreads-add-e1547065951898🌙 m/m rep
🌙 csa survivour
🌙 chosen family
🌙 paranormal mercenaries

I. THE LAST SUN: In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past. Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment’s missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam’s relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune’s Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family’s death and the torments of his past?

II. THE HANGED MAN: 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.

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I planned on reviewig those with 2 SENTENCE REVIEWS but suddenly I got inspired and realised I have MUCH MORE TO SAY.

Also! I haven’t done this type of a review in a while! Yay!

WORLDBUILDING

The world of the novel is alternate to ours except the Atlantics — home of everything paranormal including Arcanum, powerful god-like 22 heads of the courts on the island — was discovered after humans got into space. This resulted in a war between the whole of humanity and the Atlanteans and the Atlantics being unhabitable.

Fastforward, we’re in current times and the Atlanteans moved to an island near the USA and the old powers are put to new challenges. Fastforward again, and the Sun court is slaughtered. Fastforward yet again, and we have the scion of the Sun court and his companion trying to survive.

Rune & Brand daily

➽ WRITING STYLE

I loved the dialogues and Edwards has provided great banter as well as unique voices of the characters but I had some issues with descriptions. Especially the fights feel long. It could have more action verbs and shorter sentences here and there and less lenghty visuals.

It talks about some darker subjects and it does it with respect but the rest of the book manages to have lighter feel to it to balance it and I liked it.

➽ PLOT & PACING

I like how there’s this bigger plot between the novels and the big mystery of what has happened on the night the Sun court on the night it fell as well as the individual plot and the individual mystery of the book. It shows the mercenary investigation and the bigger picture.

However, I feel like they get places too fast? I would like to see some more mercenary stuff before they get the politics to juggle as well.

➽ CHARACTERS

The main character — Rune Saint John — is the scion to the Sun throne and place in the Arcanum’s council. He’s also a CSA survivour. He survived a lot and had to fend for himself with conditional help of Lord Tower and unconditional support of his Companion — Brandon Saint John.

Brandon Saint John is my favourite. He’s Rune’s Companion, which means he’s a human with a special psychic bond with Rune since they were both newborns and he’s sworn to protect him above all else. He shoots first asks questions later. He’s snarky, swears like a sailor, and will do anything for Rune.

Addam Saint Nicholas or the knight in a shining armour, the one of them who is not poor af, Rune’s love interest… He’s adorable, flirty, and wants to be a wholesome person. Also, he’s actually skilled in Talking About Emotions so he complements Rune and Brand who simply only talk when forced on the knife point.

There’s also more cool side characters including annoyingly helpful kids, Arcana and Companions, that one guy who claims to be here for money but just enjoys the chaotic energy.

Brand, Rune & Addam

➽ RELATIONSHIPS

Now, supposedly we have two main relationships — platonic between Brand and Rune which is the main point, especially in the first novel, and romantic between Rune and Addam.

But. But! And I hope I’m right on this one. What if it’s a set up for a poly relationship?? 🤞🤞

There’s so much unresolved energy between Brand and Rune I’ve seen several reviewers hint that they would prefer that as the main ship — which, in the first book we have Addam only about a half in so yep that makes sense but still, even with the cute relationship between Addam and Rune in the book 2 there’s still that feeling like Addam might be the catalyst that will finally get Brand and Rune to do something about this elephant in the room.

And Brand and Addam are clearly attracted to each other plus they have lots of respect to each other and a common goal of protecting Rune at all cost.

Sounds promising to me???

I can’t say I know author’s plans but I’ve peppered in OT3 memes in this review just in case.

Addam and Rune when Brand and Rune finally kiss

➽ THEMES

The themes of this book are harsh because it’s CSA and rape in general so it it’s a trigger for you — you must know that it’s present thruought the whole story. There’s not many moments that are super vivid and it’s treated in a respectful way but still be cautious.

But it also touches themes of healing after rape and that it is not easy or fast.

➽ NUANCE

I don’t think there’s much to say about the nuance? It handles hard subjects well and my main problems were the writing style and the pacing being too slow at times. And the fight scenes. I would like them to be more dynamic and less descriptive.

Addam, Rune & Brand before they all get together (Addam made them listen to his music)

➽ FEELINGS

I love the characters and I’m already obsessed. If I rated the books solely on how obsessed I am with the characters and the ship(s) it would be easy 5 stars. Alas! I have other expectations as well and I hope the writing will be improving with each book.

Addam, Rune & Brand hanging out in the Half House

“Oh, I get it. You think this is one of them big, fancy rescues. Boy you’re about to be embarassed.”

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  • Have you read these books? Or other queer paranormal detective books?
  • What do you do when you ship a ship other that the one the book wants you to?

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7 thoughts on “Review: The Last Sun & The Hanged Man by K.D. Edwards // Or, I Demand OT3

  1. Hi E,
    I read the books back-to-back and simultaneously cringed at some things Brand said/fell in love with him. So weird.
    I like Addam but I”m not feeling his relationship with Rune. At least not until, as you say, the energy between Rune and Brand is resolved. I’m pretty sure the author wants Rune with Addam and Rune deserves (don’t believe in this in RL but fiction, ok) a good man. It seems though that he writes Rune and Brand as in love, not just as loving each other. That’s my opinion, of course.
    Ciaran states in The Last Sun that threesomes never work out, someone is always left out. Is that the author speaking? I know who I believe would be left out in a Rune/Brand/Addam scenario!
    POSSIBLE SPOILER: I also think Lady Justice was in on the raid on Sun Estate. Rune is going to have that to deal with before his HEA with Addam (if his HEA is not with Brand).
    Thanks for reading. I enjoy talking about these great books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jade,
      Haha! Brand can be a shithead but he is MY shithead!
      Yeah, me too. I feel like there’s something missing between him and Rune but also Rune and Brand lack communication and it’s something Addam brings to the table here — he’s the only one good at talking about feelings and being vulnerable. Rune and Brand feel like they were in love FOREVER but without Addam, would they ever talk about it?? Or repress it??
      The question is — is Addam a plot device to bring Rune and Brand together?? Is he the genuine and only love interest?? Or will we have that organic poly relationship I wish for?
      Ciaran said that threesomes never fork out but also Addam said that he doesn’t mind Rune was in love with Brand first (in The Hanged Man) and that their community is not monogamous so I’m feeling he might bring up the possibility of including Brand in their relationship or even meddle a little? Anyway, as it is I feel EACH of them feels left out a little.
      Yeah, I also think she AT LEAST knows something. And I only trust Lord Tower as far as I can throw him. The whole older generation seems shady

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      1. Well, if the author does pursue your wished for poly route, I’d get my Rune and Brand! It’s fun to speculate and anticipate when so often I read a book and forget most of it practically by the time I’m done with it. I just think Addam is too good to be true. There has got to be more to him. At least, I hope so. I think he’s a little dull, Mr. Perfect (though not so in Brand’s eyes, right?). He had more depth in Hanged Man but I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don’t get me started on Lord Tower. I love that we are made to worry he is not all in on Team Rune.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. One of the two is the endgame for sure! It would be weird to have the main love interest introduced only in the middle of the book, right? I think Addam may be a bit dull but wouldn’t that be a bit of normalcy Rune and Brand need? I doubt either of them could just LIVE without all that danger once they figure out the big mystery. They need someone to teach them.
          Ugh, I feel like Lord Tower wants Rune dependant on him a bit too much. I don’t trust that at all.

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          1. I think you’re right. Addam does bring normalcy to Rune and Brand’s life. There’s also tenderness and humor, which I appreciate to balance out the action. I guess I’m starting to lean towards a poly relationship, as well. Mostly, I just speculate about Rune’s secrets. Not much speculating because I have no idea what happened that night. I just know we could be in for some serious drama if Brand finds out something Rune should have told him at some point. That’s where they’ll really need Addam’s generosity of spirit and peacemaking. IF that’s what happens, of course. Any thoughts on Rune’s secrets? And does Brand already know? Addam might not be the only one who understands Rune has secrets he needs to keep.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Haha! I’m glad to be so convincing! Hmm, I’m not sure what Rune’s hiding but I think that’s something he was beating himself over but Brand will forgive instantly because it’s Brand and Rune was a child. I know that it will be revealed in the next book because the author has said so. I don’t know what Addam’s role will be in all of this but if Brand will be mad it will be because Rune was keeping something that was preventing him from protecting him properly or that he was alone in this secret and was blaming himself for so long?

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  2. [if Brand will be mad it will be because Rune was keeping something that was preventing him from protecting him properly or that he was alone in this secret and was blaming himself for so long?]
    Some from Column A, some from Column B no doubt! Addam may play a “smack them upside the head (metaphorically)” role like he did on the Green Docks, or he may just have to watch from the sidelines and hope his new family will not break apart. (It will not)
    You’re so right – Rune was a child. And he was being tortured. Brand knows that better than anyone. I always speculate and I’m never right but I think about how angry Rune gets over mind control, especially of Brand. I think we’ll get more on that. And it might relate to that fateful night. He and Brand need to talk about it because it’s the one taboo between them and I don’t think that’s going to last. Maybe the obstacle to them acting on their feelings for each other and once it’s removed . . . And yes, you are pretty convincing. I’m liking the poly option more and more because I do like Addam. I just love Brand 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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