books

K. D. Edwards

Books

The Tarot Sequence: The Last Sun (2018), The Hanged Man (2019)

 

The Tarot Sequence

 

The Last Sun (2018)

The Last SunRune is the last member of his house, excluding his Companion, Brand, the man who has been his bodyguard and confidant and friend since he was a child. He is also a mercenary, using as much power and technology as they can afford, to do jobs for others in New Atlantis.

The best part of the story is the friendship between Rune and Brand.

“They’re screenshots of a GIS overlay,” he said.

“What’s GIS?” I said.

“Rune, when I plugged the memory card into my phone, it looked like your head was going to explode. I’m not fucking explaining what GIS is.”

There is a lot of snark, but there is also a lot of genuine affection and love that the two aren’t afraid of. And as much as Rune doesn’t want to, he not only takes in Matthias, he eventually develops a protective affection for him.

The world building here was good and sucked me in, the characters were fun and even more importantly, well done. There were stupid characters that actually seemed like actual stupid people (as opposed to either caricatures of stupid people or just ridiculous). And the plot just tore along, drawing me right in and not wanting to let go.

There are difficult parts to this story, however, and definite trigger warnings. Rune’s family was slaughtered and in that raid he was tortured, and at times Rune remembers what happened to him. But the book doesn’t dwell on it.

There are some things that aren’t particularly well-explained, and it’s not clear if this was oversight or if it’s something we’re supposed to learn later. We’ll see, because I am definitely reading the second book.

Publisher : Pyr
Rating: 8.5/10

Reread: July 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

The Hanged Man (2019)

The Hanged ManThe world changed decades ago.

The Atlantean World War was brief. The cost was high. Magically radioactive wastes in the Pacific Northwest and half of Poland; the near-extinction of dragonkind; a viral plague that decimated the Atlantean homeland. A hundred thousand headstones, trillions in damage.

In this world, Rune Saint John and his Companion, Brandon Saint John, are in a slightly better place than they were several months, ago, but they are still struggling, and now they have to keep Max safe. Max who was promised to the Hanged Man, and who doesn’t want to be more of a burden to Rune and Brand.

My favorite part of the books is the banter. I love banter. And Rune and Brand do so much bantering.

Brand strode ahead of his party and glared at my injuries. “You fucking led me to believe you could handle a half dozen men.” “

I lulled them into a false sense of security with my bleeding.”

If you did not read this first book (which you should) be aware that Rune had been tortured (and almost killed) as a teenager, and although he is physically better, he still struggles with the memories of what was done to him.

“I’m fine. I just needed a second to get my head on straight.”

“Is it?”

“Yes. Pity party over. I don’t have a monopoly on bad memories. Sometimes I forget that.”

“It’s not a contest. You’re allowed to say it’s too much. You’re allowed to say if this is too much.”

I all but read this in one sitting yesterday, getting off the sofa to eat some chips and salsa–but not much else until I was finished reading.

I liked all the parts of this book (except the formatting, but that’s something else entirely) but what I loved most is the friendship and found family between the characters.

Not only do the male characters in the story hug each other, but they actually break down and tell each other they love each other. And I don’t mean Addam and Rune, I mean Brand and Rune, and Addam and Quinn, and it was just so lovely.

I want more, please.

Publisher : Pyr
Rating: 8.5/10

Reread: July 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

 


Short Stories & Novellas


Tarot Sequence Novellas & Stories (2020)

I was informed that there were Tarot Sequence short stories and novellas online.

After finishing The Hanged Man I immediately sought them out. Most of them can be found in the twitter thread I linked to above. There may be other stories, but this are the five I found.

The Sunken Mall
Scenes from Quarantine
“The Playground” (7 pages)
“The Sanctum” (7 pages)
“The Ghost” (10 pages)
“The Principality Ciaran” (13 pages)
“The Tree” (7 pages)
“The Dinner” (20 pages)
“The Equinox” (13 pages)

That is timeline order–since I didn’t find the stories in order, I ended up reading them out of order. Which was perfectly fine.

The Sunken Mall and Scenes from Quarantine were novella length, though only The Sunken Mall was a true novella. The other four are short stories–holiday stories–set around solstice.

These are stories for those who have already read the Tarot Sequence books–I don’t think any of these would necessarily be a good introduction to the world–but they are a lot of fun.

Rating: 8/10