The Hourglass Throne: The Tarot Sequence, Book 3 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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As Rune Saint John grapples with the challenges of assuming the Sun Throne, a powerful barrier appears around New Atlantis’ famed rejuvenation center. But who could have created such formidable magic...what do they want from the immortality clinic...and what remains of the dozens trapped inside?
Though Rune and his lifelong bodyguard, Brand, are tasked with investigating the mysterious barrier, Rune is also busy settling into his new life at court. Claiming his father’s throne has irrevocably thrown him into the precarious world of political deception, and he must secure relationships with newfound allies in time to keep his growing found family safe. His relationship with his lover, Addam Saint Nicholas, raises additional political complications they must navigate. But he and Brand soon discover that the power behind the barrier holds a much more insidious, far-reaching threat to his family, to his people, and to the world.
Now, the rulers of New Atlantis must confront an enemy both new and ancient as the flow of time itself is drawn into the conflict. And as Rune finds himself inexorably drawn back to the fall of his father’s court and his own torture at the hands of masked conspirators, the secrets that he has long guarded will be dragged into the light—changing the Sun Throne, and New Atlantis, forever.
The climax of the first trilogy in the nine-book Tarot Sequence, The Hourglass Throne delivers epic urban fantasy that blends humor, fast-paced action, and political intrigue.
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|Listening Length||14 hours and 19 minutes|
|Author||K. D. Edwards|
|Audible.in Release Date||17 May 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #8,732 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#5 in LGBTQ+ Fantasy
#26 in Urban Fantasy
#237 in Epic Fantasy
Top reviews from other countries
I’ll keep this short and sweet. You, dear reader, must surely be familiar with the Tarot Sequence if you’ve made it this far. The story begins with Rune and friends investigating a spree-killing in Lady Priestess’s rejuvenation compound. As has become par for the course for this series, the villain is a time-traveller from the past. Which leads me to one of my pet-peeves; we’ll discuss that later.
This book has everything we’ve come to love from the series. The action is compelling: danger always lurks in the shadows, and it can strike when you least expect it. Despite its length, the Hourglass Throne kept me glued to its pages.
In terms of characters and relationships, Rune and Addam share a sweet love story. Brand and Rune are their usual dynamic duo, while Brand and Addam also have something interesting growing between them. It’s almost like a love-triangle, but far less corny, and much more mature. It’s a refreshing change if you’re used to sappy young adult heterosexual romance.
The villains in this series are extremely unlikable. If you want fascinating, relatable villains, look elsewhere. But if you love to hate villains—you’ll love this book. This is not a good or a bad thing; it is simply a matter of taste.
I do have some nitpicks with the relationships. I felt that Rune got too close to the other Arcana too quickly, especially the Tower. The Tower’s dramatic transformation from city Strong Man to doting godfather was a bit too sudden for my tastes. I *believed* it, because it feels in-character for the Tower, but I felt that it needed a bit more build-up.
Regarding pacing, the story is well-paced in the beginning and middle, but I thought the ending was slightly abrupt, especially with how suddenly a major character left the scene (no spoilers). I also want to discuss my pet-peeve of time travel, which I feel has been over-used – since it featured in the previous book as well. Give it a rest, KD!
But perhaps the biggest flaw with this book is how incomplete it feels. It is, of course, the third book in a series that is planned to span a whopping 9 books. I will make my opinion plain: a good series should not have 9 books. I have read many excellent series that fit in 3, 4, 5 or sometimes 6 books. But I have never read a good series that has 9 books. Because the middle books *will* suffer from the dreaded “second book syndrome” – on steroids. The overarching story feels like its reached the halfway point to me.
Still, judged purely on its own merits, the Hourglass Throne was very enjoyable. It gets a solid 4 stars from me.
I had been counting the days until the release of this book, having devoured the first two essentially in one sitting back in 2021. KD does a phenomenal job of not rushing his worldbuilding and exposition, allowing his audince to sit with tension, mysteries and unanswered questions between installments, while still providing more than enough material to keep his devoted reader base consistently coming back for more.
KD is absolutely unique in his remarkable dedication to the world he's created. Churning out more than a book's worth of stories, novellas and extra content between the offical series installments, he blurs the lines between canon content and fanwork more than I've ever seen in my 10+ years of full time fandom engagement, establishing a high-stakes narrative in the series proper while providing consistent lighthearted domestic "fanfiction" of his characters in between books. This serves the dual purpose of providing his readers with the character-centric interactions that fanbases have always craved (and previously created for themselves when they weren't provided in canon) and allows the cast space to recover and heal from the traumas of existing in a dangerous and unpredicatable urban fantasy setting. In 2012, the prolific Avengers fandom sprang up not around the canonical events of the groundbreaking MCU teamup movie, but around the purely fanon concept of the characters having adorable low stakes domestic misadventures (and frequently, queer romances!) while cohabitating in Stark tower between the events of the films. While this obviously never materialized in MCU canon, it’s validating and healing for folks who have been active in these communities for so long to have a content creator making canon space for his characters to live full, happy, uneventful lives in between world-threatening crises. His respect and consideration for both his readers and the characters he's created is, in my opinion, truly unprecidented.
The characters themselves are fleshed out, sympathetic, complex, and diverse. KD writes about trauma delicately and respectfully, creating characters who are informed by their pasts without ever being entirely defined by them. Few relationships in the series start out fully formed, and connections develop slowly and organically as the deeply isloated and self sufficient protagonists unwittingly find themselves at the nexus of a ragtag bunch of misfits who gradually coalece into a found family. This open, generous tone has also allowed a beautiful polyamorous dynamic to form around the main character, who is far too deeply in love with multiple people to ever end up in a truly conventional romance. As a poly person who has resigned myself to seeing potentially non-monogamous dynamics inevitably resolve themselves into frustrating, unnecessary love triangles in media, an author who chooses to embrace the complicated, messy, glorious potential of non-monogamy in fiction is truly a breath (a desperate gasp) of fresh air.
As the first third of a planned nine-book series draws to a close (and I lose count of the number of times I’ve returned to New Atlantis like the comfort and security of an old blanket) I want to strongly urge curious readers to pick up the series, and don’t skip the stories and novellas in between!
This beautiful, kindhearted fictional world has something to offer everyone.
I started the series because of its premise of an alternative world where Atlantis is not a myth but was only recently discovered. I continued reading because KDE has a good sense of character, story and family, with a great helping of humour and interaction between the characters.
The only downside is that KDE plans 3 trilogies, and this is only the end of the first one. The book ends in cliffhangers but .. let’s put it this way .. I’ve read the end chapters about 10 times just for their feel good factor.