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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.
The Hourglass Throne is fantastic and a great accompaniment to the prior two books. I am so invested in Rune, Brand and Addam, along with the rest of the found family, and I really hope there are more books coming. The writing is amazing and the plot is gripping (although check out the authors trigger warnings on their site). Thank you KD Edwards for a fantastic series; you are now one of my favorite authors.
Personally, I think it is a really good series of books. The only problem I have with them is how awful it is to wait until the next one comes out. However, as a person who had to wait for The Hanged Man and THT, I can confidently say it is worth the wait. I love the action, the heartfelt scenes with all kinds of loving relationships and the sound magic system. I think I would like to know more about the past history of Atlantis and the War, but maybe it will be addressed later on in the series. Anyway, I don't normally give my endorsement to any books but my love for this series has come to the point where I just have to tell everyone how good this book is and how everyone should read the Tarot Sequence. Big Congrats to the author.
This series is one of the most important pieces of media in my life right now.
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.
This series defines my inner life. What would Brand do? What does Quinn have to say? What did Corbie eat?! Lol
These are some of the most vivid, diverse characters with some of the most touching and terrifying interactions. The Found Family component makes these books so compelling and addictive. The emotional pull is strong. The story itself depends heavily on the previous books in the series due to the amount of world building.
The book is the third in the Tarot Sequence, a story arc that is intended to span three trilogies. It is well written, with careful character development. Readers are warned it’s not a standalone book and it builds on its predecessors .. “The Last Sun” and “The Hanged Man”.
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.
First off, as many other reviews say, The Last Sun and The Hanged Man are among my absolute favorite books of all time. The creativity, worldbuilding, the relationships, the magic system, everything was just **chef's kisss**.
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD, SORRY.
However, something happened here. I get the feeling the author felt like he had dug a hole he couldn't find a good way out of.
Established characters were arbitrarily written out of a huge part of the story (Quinn and Max), powers stripped away for no good reason (Quinn, which really really irritated me). Scenes end very abruptly (the Cacodemon in the Manse? At the end of one chapter it's on the loose, rampaging through the building; then the start of the very next chapter Rune wakes up in bed and we've moved on; wtf? it seems like a chunk of the book is missing here). Addam, who I loved in books 1 and 2, just turns into a shoulder to cry on with almost no agency of his own here.
And inserting Covid into the world was very weird. It threw me out of the atmosphere of the story every time it came up. It felt completely unnecessary and jarring.
Also, all of a sudden, everyone was a principality or had special powers of some sort. To have been described as rare, unusual, even exotic in books 1 and 2, it was disconcerting to have a new principality pop up almost every other chapter.
To be clear, I enjoyed the book and will definitely read more in this universe but this particular outing just felt very off.
I tried so hard to make this last, knowing that it would be a long time before I got the next instalment.. I think I managed to make it last 4 days, and I'm a slow reader. This is just amazing so many amazing reveals, Funny, heartfelt, shocking, frightening in places, it took me on such a journey as all the books have so far a brilliant culmination to a brilliant first trilogy. I love it so much. I have been recommending it to any one I can get to listen to me for more than 2 minutes. I love it so much. I 've brought the entire trilogy twice; both paperback and audiobook.