Rune Saint John isn’t from a dying house: he’s from a dead one. Two decades ago, Rune’s fellow Atlanteans attacked the seat of his family’s power, destroying their court and leaving only Rune and his companion, Brand, behind. The two survived by becoming guns for hire, scrounging where they could and taking what jobs came their way. When Rune and Brand are saddled with caring for a teenager as a result of one of their odd jobs, their new charge Matthias is the least of their worries. Their latest employer, the Lord Tower, tasks them with finding the missing scion of House Justice, Addam Saint Nicholas, and their world is quickly turned upside down. As they search for Addam, they are pulled into a labyrinthine plot that threatens not just Addam’s life, but all of New Atlantis.
The Last Sun is K.D. Edwards’ debut novel, and if this first installment is any indication, her Tarot Sequence is going to be a breathtaking ride. A hard-boiled mystery told with breathtaking speed, The Last Sun is something unexpected in urban fantasy. Edwards forces readers into the not-quite-human narration of an Atlantean and insists we adapt. Other staples of the genre are set in well-known cities primarily inhabited by humans, like The Dresden Files’ Chicago or Neverwhere’s London. The Last Sun describes a city that is wholly new and utterly fascinating—a world alien from what we have come to expect from urban fantasy.
An easy criticism to make is that there is very little gender diversity within The Last Sun. The majority of the speech comes from men, and all of the action within the book is driven by men, with few exceptions. However, for all of its fights, high-speed chases and monsters rising from the grave, this story is as much about the many ways men express their love for one another as it is about the conflicts between them. There’s the protective love of the Companion Bond between Rune and Brand, Addam’s love for his brother Quinn, and Matthias’s teenage infatuation with Rune. In a genre that so often focuses on romantic love to the exclusion of all else, a book that manages to have so many non-romantic, complex and loving relationships between men is both revolutionary and long overdue.
Any fan of urban fantasy will enjoy this moving and sardonic magical mystery. Edwards has set up a fantastic ride—one that we can only hope will continue to surprise and delight in the second book in the series, The Hanged Man, which is due out next year.