Title: The Hanged Man
Series: The Tarot Sequence: Book Two
Author: K.D. Edwards
Publisher: PYR Books
Length: 384 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: K.D. Edwards sets the pendulum swinging in perfect meter from prologue to epilogue in this feat of epic storytelling, and if I were restricted to only two adjectives to describe it, they would be eloquent and breathtaking. I don’t often make such declarations because so much of the love of a book is ‘in the moment’, but The Hanged Man is easily a contender for the best book I’ve read all year.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: The last member of a murdered House tries to protect his ward from forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own tortured 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.
Review: Time and tide wait for no man is a pithy idiom that’s given a bit of play in K.D. Edwards’ The Hanged Man, book two in the Tarot Sequence series. There is a time paradox that factors brilliantly into this novel—the concept of having both too much time and too little of it, of being just in time, being out of time, and, in a literal sense, experiencing time and time again when the Hanged Man makes time itself his plaything. Edwards sets the pendulum swinging in perfect meter from prologue to epilogue in this feat of epic storytelling, and if I were restricted to only two adjectives to describe it, they would be eloquent and breathtaking. This may be one of the most perfect books I’ve ever experienced, and that feeling stems largely from my love of its characters. K.D. Edwards is a bard, Rune his voice, and they harmonize so beautifully.
“What’s past is prologue” is never truer than when Rune St. John, scion of the Sun Throne which fell during the Atlantean War, is faced with the many things that have come before—each moment of time that has shaped who he is, what he is yet to become, and the ways in which he thrives on the love and allyship of his friends and the family he continues to build. The framework and foundation of it all rests upon the relationship between Rune and his Companion, his brother, his soul mate, the personification of a divine sort of love that transcends definition, Brand. Their bond is one born of magic, but their fraternity and the indefatigable devotion they feel towards one another is native to their existence. Where one goes, the other is. This is sacrosanct. It is the fire and the alchemy of Rune’s ascension, and it is the blatant trust in what they are to each other, along with their banter and Brand’s fierce loyalty and commitment, that makes me hard core, capital L Love them.
This series exemplifies so many different facets of love, each prevail and are explored: the love of brother, of family, of friends, and, of course, the romantic sort. And every version is made manifest through Rune’s ownership of its gift:
– Max began as Rune’s ward but has now become so much more. Rune is protector, father, brother, kin, and he would give his life to keep Max safe from the Hanged Man
– Addam is Rune’s boyfriend. Beyond that, however, he is also a man of honor and generosity and loyalty. Addam is bravery personified. The love he and Rune share is absolute and serves to solidify the foundation of their blended family
– Quinn… Quinn is just L O V E, and that’s inexplicable. It simply is, and I couldn’t possibly enumerate all the ways he owns my heart
And now, with the addition of the Dawncreeks to the fold—Corrine, whose strength and fierceness I adored; Anna, there is so much more to learn about brave and powerful Anna; Corbie, who is composed of adorable; and Layne, who figures prominently in the Hanged Man’s sick and twisted games—not only is Rune’s court grown but his family as well, and I’m anxious to know more about Layne, especially, and his unique power and how it might figure into the whole in the future.
K.D. Edwards is such a proficient strategist and a consummate storyteller, and The Hanged Man does nothing but reinforce my belief of this. From the laying out of the history of New Atlantis, to every aspect of who Rune is, to the quest he rushes headlong into to face down an objectively evil foe. If Rune is to bring down the Hanged Man, he must not only play the game of politics but he must master it on the fly, even if it may be against the wishes of the Tower—Rune’s benefactor, surrogate father figure, and, inarguably, the most powerful and dangerous player in the game—and the author succeeds to the absolute benefit of his readers. This series encompasses a tour de force of imagination, action and danger, and it is top notch. Other members of the Arcana figure prominently in Rune’s success as well, of course, they are Major players in the game, if you will, but it is those who are dear to Rune for whom he would sacrifice all.
Questions remain unanswered. There are nameless, faceless foes yet to be met and dealt with. The future is yet to become present is yet to become past in this earnestly eloquent series. I don’t often make such declarations because so much of the love of a book is ‘in the moment’, but The Hanged Man is easily a contender for the best book I’ve read all year.
You can buy The Hanged Man here:
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