In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past. Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?
Edwards's debut combines swashbuckling action, political intrigue, and romance into a fast-paced and enjoyable adventure. New Atlantis is a self-contained nation of magic users, ensconced on Nantucket Island after a devastating war and ruled by courts named for the major arcana of the tarot. Rune St. John and his bound companion and bodyguard, Brand, are the last survivors of the fallen Sun Court; they make a living doing odd jobs involving varying degrees of danger, mostly for the formidable Lord Tower. After participating in an attack on the Lovers Court, Rune and Brand end up shielding the sheltered and abused grandson of Lady Lovers and searching for the missing son of Lady Justice. Their quest leads them to a conspiracy that involves undead monsters and murder, and may be connected to the fall of Rune's court and the brutal assault he endured afterward. Rune is an entertaining narrator, and his bond with Brand provides a strong emotional cornerstone for their martial and magical skullduggery. Edwards's intriguing worldbuilding and appealing characters set the stage and pique the reader's interest for sequels.
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An excellent beginning to a promising series
It’s hard to believe this is K.D. Edwards’ first novel—it’s that well constructed. The action sequences are engaging and beautifully vivid, the emotional connections are realistic and compelling. The characters themselves have a lot of depth and the narrator is amusing and relatable in a way he probably shouldn’t be. It can take a while to get a handle on Edwards’ world, rooted in the traditions of Tarot, but I enjoyed the challenge of learning the world while inside it. I look forward to the rest of the series and would recommend this book to absolutely anyone who enjoys a well-crafted story.