Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
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?

371 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 12, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

K.D. Edwards

13 books1,860 followers
Author of the Tarot Sequence and the Magnus Academy Series. Published by Pyr. Reader of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA, Mystery, Graphic Novels, and LGBT+.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,656 (45%)
4 stars
2,841 (35%)
3 stars
1,039 (13%)
2 stars
297 (3%)
1 star
127 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,462 reviews
Profile Image for Kathy Shin.
151 reviews117 followers
May 28, 2018
I've been sitting on this review for over a month, all the while rewriting and tweaking and coming to the realization that a written review can't properly encompass the adoration I have for this story and its characters. A hundred gifs of muppet flails would be a better representation of my feelings, but I figure I still have some shred of respectability and professionalism to maintain.

But that was more or less my experience reading this book--every cell of my body flailing their tiny cytoplasmic limbs in abject worship. Because The Last Sun shines with the light of a supernova. It brims with life and love and wonder and serves as a testament to some of the best this genre has to offer. It's everything I want in quality fantasy and more: a lovingly-crafted, rich setting that's a blend of contemporary and high fantasy; prose that moves from laugh-out-loud humour to quiet poignancy; caffeine-fueled pacing and breakneck action sequences; complex, unabashedly queer characters, and heartfelt exploration of the many kinds of male relationships.

The story takes place in New Atlantis, an island formerly known in the human world as Nantucket. This Earth is very much like our own--same countries, same pop culture, same technology--except for the presence of various magical beings. These magical beings used to exist unbeknownst to humans, but then came the Atlantean World War and the boundaries between Atlanteans and humans became frayed. Among these beings are those called the "Arcana." Named after tarot cards--like The Tower, The Fool, Justice, and The Sun--they're the closest things to gods of this world. Their access to immense power and their considerable influence within and outside of New Atlantis make them the de facto Atlantean rulers.

New Atlantis is like if Shadowrun had a baby with Neverwhere. Worldbuilding in urban fantasy don't normally excite me because many of them feel the same. There's either the fae--the Seelie and the Unseelie--or the paranormal--wereanimals, vampires, spirits, and such. You get the gist after reading half a dozen UF series. The Last Sun, though? It makes me giddy in a way that the Shadowrun world does. For those who are unfamiliar, Shadowrun is a cyberpunk RPG that's unfortunately shadowed (no pun intended) by the popularity of D&D. And what I adore about Shadowrun is its diversity. Its major cities are a hub for not only human diversity--various ethnicity, sexuality, and gender--but magical diversity. When you walk down a street, you would see orcs intermingling with trolls, elves, dwarves, shamans, druids, and more.

The same goes for New Atlantis. The island is crammed with all manner of magical beings. Wereanimals, spirits, fae, ghouls, elementals--pick the name of any random fantasy creature floating around in your brain and it can probably be found in New Atlantis. Every corner of the story unveils something new and exciting and I couldn't help but grin like an idiot tourist at the absolute wonder of it all.

The magic system is very reminiscent of RPGs--dynamic and fiendishly delightful. The plot moves from your standard mystery to something with larger implications, and its pacing grabs you by the neck and hurls you forward at a hundred miles per hour. And what's incredible is that even though the pacing hardly ever lets up, Edwards still makes time for meaningful character interactions without disrupting the momentum.

The book could have stopped there and I still would have given it a very high score. But Edwards takes it a step further. Let's talk about the reason this gets a 10 out of 10: the characters. Because the characters of The Last Sun have wormed their way into my heart, built themselves a little cabin, and are now refusing to leave.

In a genre that so often celebrates a testosterone-laden brand of masculinity, Edwards whittles down stereotypes. Take Brand, our protagonist's foul-mouthed, sarcastic bodyguard. We're all familiar with the type. But the thing with Brand is that he never shies away from showing how much he cares about Rune. He dons the tough bodyguard look and the emotionally vulnerable look with equal confidence.

Take Addam, who is a perfect example of the Knight In Shining Armour archetype done right. He's one of those people that you want to hate because they're so perfect, but can't because they're so perfectly nice. In fiction, nice characters--especially nice male characters and especially nice male love interests--are often disparaged as boring. Dull. Weak. Addam shatters this notion to pieces. He's a pillar of strength born of unconditional kindness and love and trust--qualities that we as a society often misconstrue as naiveté.

And then there's Rune, our protagonist. The heir to the fallen Sun Throne. Victim of an unspeakable tragedy. He lives in a tiny house on the edge of poverty with the fear over his head that someday his luck will run out and his enemies will catch up to him. But most of all, Rune is a survivor. And his display of strength--through his jokes, his empathy, his determination to keep moving forward--amidst the demons of his past is nothing short of inspiring.

But what I love and appreciate the most, and what makes the book special to me is in the way that Edwards tackles relationships. Specifically, the notion that deep, emotional intimacy can't exist between two people who are not romantically involved.

I'm always drawn to stories about friends who share hugs and kisses and tell each other, without shame or hesitation, "I will walk to the deepest of hell for you." Because my own relationship with my best friend is a very intimate one where we tell each other things like "You're my raison d'etre" with complete seriousness. But I hardly ever see this explored in modern western literature--mostly in manga and anime.

Then this book comes along.

Rune's relationship with Brand is different to his relationship with Addam--in that it's not a romantic or sexual one. Yet it's no less intimate. It's still love. It's palpable love that makes you want to burst into tears at the sheer beauty of it. To see this portrayed with pitch-perfection in a book--a fantasy one at that--makes me ridiculously happy. Reading through Rune and Brand's snarky exchanges are always great, but the moments of quiet, during which they reiterate their bond to one another, are what makes this relationship so compelling. They make my heart soar in the same way that the genre's best duos do.

What else can I say? The book is only just over 350 pages, but Edwards utilizes every single one of them and takes you through a whirlwind of an adventure. The Last Sun gives so much and leaves room for yet so much more. And I feel incredibly privileged to witness the start of what's no doubt going to be a magnificent one-of-lifetime journey alongside these characters.

Review copy provided by Pyr and Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Renée.
1,040 reviews323 followers
July 13, 2019
~4.5 stars!~

SO much to like about this book!

1. The banter - Rune and Brand, as best friends, as Companions, were my favorite part of this book.
"It's a cock ring," Brand told Matthias.
"Godsdammit," I said. "It's a sigil. I have a Shatter spell in it. Do you know how few scions can pull off Shatter?"
"His magic cock ring," Brand said.

I adored seeing such a strong bond between best friends and having it not interfere when the romance with Addam and Rune started.

2. Brand is the best friend I want to have. His one liners MADE this book for me.

"Duel you?" Brand laughed. "Look. I'm sure you were the shit on your frat's beer pong team, but we're way past your pay grade."

3. The mystery that still isn't solved. Rune's family was raided and killed when he was fifteen years old. He went through one of the most horrific things anyone can imagine when he was kidnapped during the raid. He has never learned who was responsible for leaving him an orphan and stealing his innocence.

From "seer" brothers, to adopted brothers, to appointed guardians and uncles, this book made me smile. My only niggle is that there was so much going on in this fantasy story, but it really didn't matter. I enjoyed every minute of it!

This story has just begun, and I can't wait to see what happens now that Addam is officially "courting" Rune.

For those curious, there isn't a cliffhanger - just a continuation of the story. It ended in a good place.
Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews291 followers
June 29, 2019
I adore this story. So much, I've listened to it twice. I thought the narrator was perfect for this book. He got the humor and his timing was perfect. I can't wait for the next book!

I love this book more and more with every re-listen.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
February 13, 2022
The Last Sun follows Rune, under employ of Lord Tower, and his bodyguard, Brand, as they are hired to track down Addam, the missing son of Lady Justice, in a fantastical island city called New Atlantis.

I generally liked this and thought it was enjoyable. My favorite characters were Matthias/Max, Elena/Lady Lover’s grandson whom they accidentally adopt, and Quinn, Addam’s prophet younger sibling. The banter between Rune and Brand is great, and generally the dialogue is really strong. Rune is an interesting and dimensional character, especially towards the later books, and his narrative for future books is really compelling.

However, a few things didn’t quite work for me. Addam is… very fine, and I wanted him to be more complex. The wordbuilding is fairly overcomplex but also often made very little sense to me. Also, a few of the battles contain approximately three coherent words each—most of the battles have clear sense of speciality and active dialogue, but some contain so much worldbuilding that they’re not entirely readable. This is all stuff that would be fine if not for the fact that battle is a decent amount of the novel. At times, I just wasn’t rooting for these people in the same way that I think I should on paper.

There are also a few general content things that I did not love. The running joke where Brand wants Rune to lose weight is tired and I really didn’t like it; there’s a bit about a past experience with “the Amazons” that slightly rubbed me the wrong way; and though I generally really like and am compelled by Rune’s narrative as [SPOILER] , I felt the on-page description of this was just on the side voyeuristic.

Overall I did still enjoy this and I think I will probably read the sequel because my good pal did get me into this and Rune’s character arc is potentially compelling.

TW: sexual assault.

Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | About |
Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,765 reviews3,851 followers
March 13, 2020
You know those audiobooks where you can just half-ass listen to them and still keep up?

Yeah, this isn't that kind of book.

The Last Sun is wildly adventurous with a breakneck pace. It's filled with gnarly creatures, villainy, duplicitous characters and a few heroes. It's lite on the romance, though there is one... maybe two (all the things crossed) brewing.

In short, it's big fun and Josh Hurley is pitch-perfect. He captured the snark and banter whimsically and with élan. I thought he occasionally got a little heavy-handed in his delivery but honestly I got used to it and now can't imagine anyone else being able to inhabit these oftentimes complex characters the way he did. So I will certainly be moving forward with this series and if you enjoy action-packed urban fantasy, you should definitely add The Last Sun to your TBR.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,032 reviews2,605 followers
June 24, 2018
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/06/24/...

It can be a dog-eat-dog world out there—especially if you’re an Atlantean. Rune Saint John learned that lesson early on the hard way, following a bloody coup on his family when he was just a young boy, which tragically resulted in the complete destruction of the Sun Court. Now, years later, rumors about that day still fly among the elites of New Atlantis, who love to gossip about the Sun’s sole survivor whenever the nobility holds their swanky soirees. For even though Rune is still considered royalty, his family’s downfall ultimately cost him much of his status and power, and as such, he and his loyal bodyguard Brand often find themselves doing odd jobs for Lord Tower, the head of another high-ranking house.

But this time, their employer has charged them with a doozy. It appears that Addam Saint Nicholas, son of the powerful Lady Justice, has suddenly gone missing. Tasked to track down the young man, Rune and Brand start their investigation by questioning those closest to Addam, including his family, who may know significantly more than they are revealing. The deeper they dig, the more they also find evidence of foul play and dark magic. And as if that weren’t enough, the case is further complicated when our characters are saddled with an unexpected houseguest, to whom Rune must play guardian. Everything comes to a head when they discover that Addam’s disappearance might have links to the massacre that destroyed the Sun Court, and Rune has no choice but to face the terrible things done to him in the past if he is to uncover the truth to preserve his family’s legacy.

I enjoyed The Last Sun a lot. Everything about it—from its amazing characters and relationship dynamics to the action-packed plotline and incredible world-building—seemed perfectly aligned with my tastes. Still, like most debuts, it had its fair share of flaws, and I’ll be sure to go into those later, but to start, I definitely want to talk about the elements that really worked for me.

First things first: the world-building. Wow. Just wow. I can hardly remember the last time I was this blown away by such sheer magnificent creativity and imagination. I haven’t seen world-building of this caliber probably since Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence. I could easily go on for pages about what impressed me, but the following are some key features that stuck out. One, the story takes place in an alternate world with many similarities to our own, but with the inclusion of magic as well as the existence of supernatural beings. History also differs dramatically, with the Atlantis being a real place (albeit previously unknown to humans) until the continent was destroyed after the Atlantean World War, which revealed its magic and left the ruling families scattered across the globe. Two, these powerful houses are all named after the Major Arcana of the tarot deck, and their nobles are practically godlike compared to mere mortals thanks to their access to and control over magic. Three, as the prince of a once great house, Rune also possesses a good deal of magical power, including a special mental bond with Brand, who takes his role as protector very seriously. Their mental connection means Brand feels what Rune feels, a perk which actually allows them to communicate quite effectively.

Speaking of which, there’s the character development. Rune is a fascinatingly deep and complex character, with a well-crafted back story, and he’s not even my favorite of the bunch (that honor would belong to Matthias). Granted, it’s a heavily male-dominated cast, sometimes with too little variation in the personalities to set each person apart, but I have to admit, this was an extremely entertaining group to read about, with their lively banter and camaraderie. I also have to mention the queer-friendly themes and the fact that the inclusion and representation of the LGBT characters in this book felt very natural and meaningful, as opposed to being reduced to a mere symbolic gesture or selling point. Without a doubt, the characters were the heart and soul of this novel, and I loved reading about their thoughtful and wonderfully subtle relationships.

In terms of criticisms though, I thought The Last Sun suffered from one minor, but not insignificant, problem. Mainly, it almost feels as if there’s too much going on. The plot might be action-packed, but it’s also arguably the weakest aspect of the book, by which I mean it was decent and entertaining, but still paled in comparison to the spectacular world-building and character development. While you had plenty of skirmishes and nail-biting escapades, ironically my favorite parts of the book were always and unfailingly the quieter parts of the novel, when Rune had his moments of connection with other characters. To me, these were the defining moments of the story, worth more than all the action scenes put together. And yet, the latter was what we mostly got, to the point where the idea of another umpteenth battle sequence actually became unbearably exhausting, so that by the halfway mark I was already skimming over a lot of them.

Still, I can’t emphasize how impressed I was at how all the pieces came together. With so many ideas and moving parts, this book easily could have become a disaster, but in K.D. Edwards’ capable hands, The Last Sun instead became a special series starter full of promise and potential. Despite some hiccups, I enjoyed the book immensely, and I’m excited to see what the sequel will bring.
Profile Image for Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~.
1,579 reviews104 followers
August 5, 2021
2021 reread:
Just as much fun as the first time, and I'm still having a blast coming up with crazy theories. And Brand is still the best. :D

Original review:
This is a new author and new-to-me narrator, and they both make a hell of an impression. While this didn't quite have the emotional depth I usually require for 5-star reads, it was so much fun and generally well-written that I can't give it less than five stars. And it was emotional when it needed to be, even though all the MCs were a bunch of dude-bros (but not douchey dude-bros, have no fear).

So you've got Rune St. John, the last of the Sun Court, which fell twenty years earlier when Rune was fifteen. Rune somehow survived - but he didn't get out undamaged. He wears sarcasm like a shield and has emotional and mental barriers so thick that no powered sigil can get through them (though one guy starts to manage it). There's also Brand, his companion and bodyguard and his best friend. Brand doesn't have magic but that doesn't slow him down one bit.

The beginning is a bit strange and doesn't appear to have much to do with the rest of the story, at least not on the surface. It does set up a lot about this world though. When Rune's recruited by Lord Tower to look for his missing godson Addam, things really start to take off. Along the way we meet a very fun and interesting band of side characters: Max, who Rune unwittingly agrees to look after; Quinn and Kiernan, both seers; and finally Addam, who proves to have hidden depths.

Brand and Rune's relationship is the most important one here. Their friendship is unshakeable, despite some challenges along the way. I liked that their conflicts weren't contrived or born from ridiculous miscommunications or misunderstandings. Rune's a bit impulsive and that sometimes gets them into interesting situations, but they're both competent at what they do. It's just that their opponents are also competent, which really ups the ante and makes the action more interesting.

I hesitate to call this a romance, though there is that potential there . It's just not the focus, and what is here is a slow burn, so don't expect a lot of sexy times.

In addition to all that, Edwards gives us a fully realized alternate reality, where New Atlantis exists within the normal world, where magic is real and humans are tourists. There's a lot to learn about this world and it's done in digestible doses. No info dumps here. There's also plenty set up for the next book - or however many books this series ends up being. There's so much than can be done with this world, and it's done in a fresh and fun way. I'm very eager to see what the next book brings to the table when it comes out later this year.

I listened to the audio at 1.20x speed. Hurley really got into the spirit of the book. He could have done better with the voices - Brand and Rune sounded too much alike - and he might have gotten a little too enthusiastic at times, but overall it really worked for the tone of the story. I hope he comes back for the next one.
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
782 reviews132 followers
January 7, 2021
I came upon this randomly. I was at the library (support your library!) perusing the 'New Books' shelf, and as usual picking up too many books to read when I had plenty still to get to already at home. I always look at the SF/F section here but rarely does anything new there pique my interest. I saw The Last Sun, noted that it was the first in a series, and that it was not an oversized epic. So, I thought, since I am usually years to decades behind the current in my reading, "I will read a new book". I had changing feelings about this novel as I read it; ultimately it was a winner.

From the first line of the prologue (which is only one paragraph), in which the main character introduces himself in a statement that rivals Kvothe in self-importance, my first thoughts were that the book was trying awfully hard to be ultra-cool. Just consider the main character's and his sidekick's names: Rune and Brand; je ne sais pas quoi dire. Every line they uttered dripped with pure snark. The scene quickly shifts into an intense action sequence, very super-spy-plus-magic slick. And then I came to this:
She had translucent honey wings, a dress made of rose petal, and a scent - a musk - of honey and semen.

Uhh... what?

I tried to remain judgmental about the intense ultra-coolness as I continued to read, but here's the thing: it really is fucking cool. So I got over myself and just enjoyed the ride.

Rune Saint John (see what I meant about the names?) is the last son of the Sun noble Atlantean family, and thus is the titular Last Sun. Atlantis has been destroyed and the characters live in New Atlantis, incorporated from our earth. It is a modern urban environment. This society is ruled over by families with names and characteristics drawn from the tarot deck. It seems that only nobles have access to significant magic ability. Rune is young, in his late 30s if I understood correctly, and his species can live for centuries and get more powerful as they age. His family/estate was attacked and destroyed twenty years prior to the novel's events, with him as the sole survivor. His prime companion is Brand, a human, who is tasked with preserving his life and safety, armed only with non-magical weapons and tactical expertise. They share a psychic/magical bond that is appropriately left only partially explained. Brand is the strongest source of snark in the novel, though Rune is no slouch either. They are hardly able to speak without dropping weapons-grade sarcasm.

The use of combat magic in this novel is awesome and intense. Magic-wielding characters store spells in jewelry or other worn objects in order to release them instantly, and once cast the magic can be manipulated by the caster's willpower, either burning up all of the spell's energy in one powerful burst, or stretching it out for a longer-lasting effect. The fighting is highly physical and strategic. Action scenes are frequent and often literally explosive, and are expertly blocked. The intermittent down-times never last too long; they often jump back into action unexpectedly. All in all, it is a thrill ride, with the intensity steadily ratcheting up to the final confrontation.

Emotionally, the characters feel authentic. Rune and Brand's bond is endearing, for all that they are snipping at each other constantly. Their non-romantic devotion to each other is clear. Other relationships develop through the course of events. It can be noted that this is a LGBT-integrated novel. The book states that Atlantean sexuality is not like human sexuality, being more fluid or less restrictive. Most of the romantic relationships are homosexual; the one featured hetero relationship is not particularly healthy. And yes, there is a little bit of hot gay sex. However, I don't think that this book should be categorized as a LGBT fantasy novel or restricted in any way in its marketing, because that is not the main draw. It is refreshing to see diversity in fantasy, which generally strongly favors straight relationships, and white people for that matter. (The latter are still strongly featured here.)

One thing that I feel on the fence about is the world-building, or rather the world-borrowing. The Atlantean society and magic system are unique and well-developed, I have no issue there. What irked me was that New Atlantis was placed not just in a human world, but in our world specifically. In the first chapter when Rune suggests someone have a Tic-Tac, it hurt my suspension of disbelief. Similarly, Rune takes Percocet at one point, and there were cultural references to specific TV shows. I would have preferred to see generic "breath mint" and "pain pill", which would have achieved the same effect, unless the whole point was to specifically tie in our real world. If this was the case, then I would have preferred that the rest of the story involve the human world more fully; here, humans are only occasionally seen as tiresome tourists. This incorporation into our specific world felt unnecessary. The economics of this society also seemed off in a couple of places. For example, despite the fact that Rune was paid ten times his usual compensation for a certain job, the amount was later said to barely cover his cable bill and washing machine repair.

I found one copy editing flub: a certain character is referred by his nickname, 'Max', about 30 pages before this nickname was identified in the narrative. It happened at the beach.

Thus endeth my minor criticisms.

Overall, The Last Sun was an astoundingly strong first novel, and the sequel is just around the corner. The publisher must have felt strongly about it to approve a publishing interval of mere months. The Tarot Sequence is planned as a nine-volume series, according to the author. I did not intend to start a new long fantasy series, but here I am, drawn in and now committed to consuming the rest of these over the following years, provided that K.D. Edwards does not go all GRRM/Rothfuss on us.
Profile Image for Michael S..
156 reviews96 followers
September 4, 2018
It took me a bit of time and a minor leap of faith to get there, but I’m glad I gave this one a chance.

The urban fantasy/alternate history/fantasy kitchen sink setting was somewhat overwhelming at first, and there is no single, massive exposition dump that prepares you. The characters also don’t give many outright “as you know” speeches. It’s a great way to tell a story, but there’s a lot of potential for confusion in the early chapters.

This is not primarily an M/M romance, but it does have some romantic elements and a predominately LGBT-friendly setting.

Lots of entertaining action, the beginnings of some quality intrigue, and more than enough to look forward to in the next book.

Edit: Several other reads later, I'm still thinking about this one and checking in periodically to remind myself of the release date for the sequel. Well played, author; I am indeed hooked.
Profile Image for Teal.
597 reviews190 followers
March 13, 2020
I wanted to love this. I should have loved this. Why didn't I love this?

Somehow it just didn't come together smoothly -- the story felt chunky, like transitions weren't well-integrated, maybe? I don't know how to explain it -- obviously. I wasn't happy with how the tarot angle was managed. I didn't fully buy into the worldbuilding. And it didn't help that at the time I'd just read a truly awesome urban fantasy, Saint of Dead Gods, which made this suffer by comparison.

I had no intention of continuing with the series, but recently I changed my mind, because a) a couple of my friends love it, and b) the author seems like a really nice guy who's attracted a group of enthusiastic fans... so why not give it another chance? I decided I'll borrow book 2 if/when it shows up at my library, and hope it hooks me the way this one failed to do. And since this review has ended up being 99.9% content-free, let me direct you to Linda's review instead.
Profile Image for Megan.
456 reviews74 followers
May 3, 2022
I know I'm not the only one with a distressingly large amount of books on my tbr pile. But sometimes a book catches your eye, and it has a pretty cover or the protagonist has a cool name and you think, sorry tbr, but why not. These spur of the moment books often turn out to be just ok, sometimes less than ok, sometimes more. And sometimes, just sometimes mind you- it wouldn't be one of the most special things about being an avid read if it happened all the time- but sometimes the book you never saw coming turns out to be one of the best books you've read in your life.

So I guess you could say I enjoyed The Last Sun.

So, Atlantis. No, come back, don't be turned off! The worldbuilding is one of the best parts of this book (I'm going to say that about every part of this book by the end of this review, I can see it now). So, Atlantis. Or rather, New Atlantis. The under the sea version is no more, and the Atlantians who outlived the city have built a new one in America, existing as kind of a new city-state in the world. They also built their new city by buying and magically transporting old and unwanted buildings from all over the world, which means that this book is peppered with delightful little history of architecture lessons that I never got tired of.

New Atlantis is governed by ruling houses, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to realise they all reflect tarot cards. Yes I know the series is called the Tarot Sequence. Shut up. Or hero, Rune, is the last scion of the Sun Throne. His father and house were wiped out by persons unknown when he was a teenager, and so while he's technically a scion and heir to his house he also has to take odd jobs to make ends meet. Rune is the best. He's funny and just the right amount of self-depreciating and being inside his head was a blast. This book does this thing where an unfamiliar term or concept will be introduced and then Rune will kind of pause the narrative and take the reader aside and explain it. Which, written down like that sounds info-dumpy and boring, but Rune's voice is so engaging that I didn't care at all. And it was kind of a new feeling too; if I was confused by something I didn't have to try and figure it out from context clues, I knew I just hang to hang tight for a minute and Rune would catch me up. I appreciated it his consideration for my mental energy levels.

Rune has this bodyguard/magically bonded companion named Brand, and did you know that magically-bonded-companion is one of my favourite tropes? (Actually, it's almost creepy how this book pretty much went down the list of my favourite tropes and ticked them all off... Right down to character and possible love interest must take shelter but, wait, what's this? only one bed???!!???) And only scions can cast magic, so non-scion Brand has to rely and guns and super-cool bodyguard senses to keep Rune safe. He is delightfully competent and fun to watch in action. Plus, such bromance.

Speaking of scion magic, such a cool system. Scions can only cast spells by charging sigils, which are rare items mapped to their owners. And Rune of course has only a ragtag little collection of sigils so he must get creative with their use. This book has so many epic battles, each one a mix of magic and non-magic weaponry, and they never got boring or repetitive. The rules of the magic system are laid out well, and the power-creep over the course of the book feels natural. If epic bad-arse moments are you thing then please, step this way.

I feel like I've barely even scratched the surface of all the things I loved about this book. Characters? Amazing. Worldbuilding? Legit some of the best I've read. I'm not talking Sanderson attention to detail, but just so much cool and well thought out stuff. Prose? Every sentence made me happy. Plot? Gripping. The main story wraps up, but I will say this is clearly book one of hopefully twenty-seven, so there are loose ends. Another thing I must mention is that there is sexual violence in Rune's past, and while it doesn't happen on-page there are some pretty confronting flashback moments. I was ok with this, and found it to be handled well, but I know some people choose to avoid this in their reading. Also, I honestly didn't notice it while reading, but realised after I was done that there's a slight lack of female characters which again, doesn't bother me, but I know it's a concern for others.
Profile Image for Leaf of Absence .
127 reviews20 followers
February 12, 2019
Edited to add some awesome The Last Sun fan art by Vic (@bloodwrit)


Rating: 9.5/10 Pyroblasts

The Last Sun is an urban fantasy novel with lots of queer characters, magic, and the undead - and of course Atlanteans who live on Nantucket cuz they blew up Atlantis in tragic world war. It is funny and dramatic and action packed.

The Atlanteans haven’t quite given up their warmongering, even though they’ve had to colonize a lovely former vacation island in the human realm, which now runs rampant with (uncontrollable) magic. The ruling oligarchy of families (based on Tarot cards - hence the Tarot Sequence!) keeps on warring each other while suffering from a superbug version of affluenza, taking down one House after another in loosely allied raid groups.

Brand and Rune

It is on one such raid that we meet our affable protagonists, Rune and his Companion, Brand. The House of Lovers will go down, and Rune will gain a highly valuable trinket and, in a shock move - a foster kid. Rune and Brand are none to pleased, as they seem to think they can barely afford to take care of themselves. That being said, they seem relatively well adjusted and they have a housekeeper so they can’t be too poor all things considered.

Of course, this is just the beginning of the journey for our heroes. Rune and Brand are the sole survivors of a long ago raid on Sun House, and they did not escape unscathed. As a quasi-pariah, Rune has been protected and trained by Lord Tower to do some of this very powerful and secretive man’s dirty work, while being more or less shunned by the rest of Atlantean society. When Lord Tower sends them on a mission to find a kidnapped Scion, Rune and Brand discover a nefarious plot that may or may not have gotten out of control. Can they save the day before the creepy undead villain wreaks havoc on Rune and the rest of Atlantean society?


So what’s so great about this book?

Rune and Brand: While action-adventure is definitely at the forefront, there is a romance subplot, but what truly steals the show is the bromance of the Companion Bond between Rune and Brand - they are both funny AF, and between Rune’s vulnerability and Brand’s steadfastness, there is so much great banter but also affection, friendship and love - and it’s totally platonic. It is such a rarely seen boy-and-boy relationship in lit or in life - that I hope it stays this way throughout the series. They have been through the good, bad, and ugly together and it is a bond that nothing and no one could break (fingers crossed). Besides, Rune’s love interest has potential to develop into quite a beacon of chivalry so let’s give him a chance, eh?


The world building: It’s like a Tarot deck smashed into Gossip Girl and ended up in an MMORPG.

The supporting characters: With the small caveat that sympathetic female characters are few and far between (and also why is there not a single description of Queenie?) - the supporting actors are generally superbly drawn and many are just as entertaining than the main characters. Ciaran, Quinn, and Max are MVPs and Lord Tower has so many secrets up his sleeve - it will be interesting to see where these characters - and the story as a whole - go.

Quinn and Max
Profile Image for Alec Ashlark.
76 reviews40 followers
February 9, 2022
The Last Sun is the very promising first in a would-be nine-book series. It boasts characters that are all interesting but lack a little depth, a worldbuilding that is quite original although a bit roughly put together, a plot that is action packed but just an ounce exhausting, and a romance that doesn't warrant describing yet in its prematurity.

There's nothing bad about the writing style, but neither is there anything special about it. The prose is an ordinary ballpoint instead of a fountain pen. There's nothing fancy about it, but it does do the job.

At first, because I abhor infodump, I like that the story is so... controlled in its narrative. There isn't much expositions and all of them don't go into much details. I like that the narrative doesn't spoon-feed me as a reader, that I get to untangle the intricacies of what is playing out on the page, myself. It gives me a sense of involvement with the story, like I am actually a part of it.

I like it that way because anything more than what is said at the beginning would be needless to progress the story. But the deeper I get into the plot, the more information I have to makes sense of and the more questions I need answers for. Sadly, the author is consistent in withholding critical information upto the very end, and it repeatedly get me confused and very frustrated.

I usually would talk about the characters next, but since it's a plot-driven story, let's go to the plot first.

It's fast-paced and thrilling. I love the things that come into play in the many action scenes— the magic, special abilities, tools, weapons, monsters, creatures, beasts, and the settings—and the dynamics between all of them. But sometimes these actions scenes become a little tedious because there are only few and short breathers in between.

Again, withholding of information becomes an issue because, as a reader, I am left with more questions than answers, and because I am allowed little information that makes sense, as a reader, I end up doubting the integrity of the plot. Of course, I trust that the author knows what he's doing and it'll all eventually make sense, but that doesn't stop me from feeling skeptical. And a reader should never feel that way.

The characters are all interesting and adorable in their own way: Rune in his mysterious personality, Brand in his unapologetic attitude, the Tower in his formidable reputation, Addam in his lighthearted disposition, Max in his teenage naivety, and Quinn in his quirky mannerisms.

But unfortunately, again, because it's a plot-driven story, there are mostly external conflicts— fight scenes after fight scenes —and very few, if any, internal conflicts. And this robs the characters that extra depth that brings a story to the next level and ensnares me as a reader.

Nevertheless, The Last Sun is a satisfying read and a promising start to a hopefully incredible series.

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | StoryGraph | Wordpress
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,011 reviews1,329 followers
February 4, 2023
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“My name is Rune Saint John. I am, before anything else, a survivor:”

There are a few things that encouraged me to pick this one up including its length and the fact that it is an LGBT story written by a man and I was so desperate for such stories specially after finishing the Green Creek Series by Klune. On the other hand, this is Urban fantasy which is one of my least favorite fantasy genres.

Going straight to the point: This was disappointing. It gets 3 stars from me because there were a lot of things that were done right, otherwise I would have DNFed the book and moved on.

Let’s start with the positives: The world building is very cool, very unique and I don’t think I read similar things before. The title of the series is the Tarot Sequence which made me think tarots will be part of the magic system but that wasn’t really the case. The magic is embedded into sigils and other stuff and it can come with cool effects like glowing eyes just like on the cover. The Tarots are some of the strongest magicians in the world hence the name of the series. The story line is also intriguing and although this starts kind of on the mystery side and trying to rescue a character, the story line takes a turn into a bit more dramatic stuff later.

The writing is okay, I wasn’t a big fan of the humor and it was a bit confusing at some points but also it was intense and gripping at other points specially the flash backs so I had mixed feelings about it.

The characters felt a bit flat for me which really affected my enjoyment of the story. Rune felt like the baby that they are all trying to protect and he had that martyrdom tendency all the time. Addam is not bad but came as too pushy and inappropriate at some times. Brand is cool and should be protected at all costs. But for the most part, I couldn’t find myself caring about the characters and relating to them. The majority of the characters were not straight and it was kind of normal in that world which is cool. The problem is that I recently finished Brothersong by Klune and Words of Radiance by Sanderson both of which had extremely well written characters and world building so I know a balance can be struck and this was not the case here.

Summary: I had expectations for this book that were never met. The world-building and writing and even the plot were all good but I never made a connection to the characters which really affected my enjoyment of the story. Unfortunately, I am going to follow my heart with this one and DNF the series.
Profile Image for Elena.
836 reviews88 followers
September 19, 2021
3.5 stars

Brand is the best. 😍😍

I liked Rune and the story was interesting, it was self-contained, but also laid the basis for the rest of the series and left lots of questions to answer in future books, as it’s natural for a first book. There’s

Brand is the best. 😍😍

The worldbuilding was a little confusing at times, with a lot of information on some things piled on all at once and other aspects that could’ve instead benefitted from a little more attention.

Brand is the best. 😍😍

If you’re first and foremost a romance reader, I would advice extreme caution approaching this series because this is not marketed as a romance. I’m still putting this on my m/m shelf because of reasons, but take this as your warning. If you want more (and very) spoilery details, that’s why:

I’m very curious about where the story is going, but also a little worried because of some things my support group (AKA Gabi, Linda, Rosa and Teal. Thank you, guys, for holding my hand through you-know-what. 😘) shared about the author’s plans for the series, so I’m on the fence about continuing with it.
I probably will anyway for the same reason I’m rounding up the rating of this book. Which of course is Brand, in case I’ve been too subtle and you couldn’t guess. Also, I can’t really blame the book for I’m still whining inside, though, just so you know.

Content warning:

Brand is the best. 😍😍
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
885 reviews123 followers
July 3, 2018
4.5 Stars? 5 Stars? IDK, decisions are hard.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*

This was the first book in a new series, and between the realistic characters, adorable friendship, unique world-building, and detailed magic system, it's off to an amazing start!

This book was urban fantasy, but more unique, and I loved it. It took place in New Atlantis, which exists in our world but is like a little country of its own where the Atlanteans live. The story, the city, the characters, and the writing were modern and urban, but it was mixed with magic and the Atlantean society (which consists of noble courts based on tarot cards) and its old ways. It was an interesting combo that sucked me into the story.

The setting itself was also really unique. The Atlanteans literally took abandoned buildings from all over the world, used magic to bring them to this island, and repurposed them. And for many of the buildings the characters visited, the author explained where they came from, what they originally were. There was also the Westlands, which was interesting in its own way because it was filled with wild magic. The anecdotes about things that had happened there, like time paradoxes, were so creative. So much thought was put into this world.

The magic system was interesting too. The scions, or some of them, had a power that related to their house. They also had general magic, but it was limited because they had to use sigils (which were not easy to come by) to store and use spells, and storing the spells took time, focus, and the use of special locations called sanctums.

Now let's talk about the characters! They were so well-written. Some were intriguing. Some were mysterious. Some were likeable. Some were relatable. All were believable and three-dimensional. That was one of the best things about this book, how natural the characters and all their interactions felt, like I was reading about real people. They kept growing on me until I adored them and kept smiling at their banter and antics and relationships with each other.

Rune had a relatable, slightly sarcastic voice and was easy to root for. I felt oddly protective toward Matthias (Max) and Quinn. I can see why Rune was attracted to Addam, what with his tattoos, and his carefree barefoot dancing, and his compassion and empathy. I will admit, however, that I had mixed feelings about Brand. His answer to everything was violence, and I could excuse some of it (Dalton 100% deserved it), but not his treatment of Max. When a teenager under your care does something wrong, it's not ok to dunk their head in a toilet or stick them out the window of a moving train. I know things are different in New Atlantis, but that really rubbed me the wrong way. But of course he had good traits too, and I don't need to like everything about every character in order to appreciate how well-written they are.

Another great thing was the fantastic friendship between Rune and Brand. The banter between them was so much fun and cracked me up, but they also didn't have issues with hugging, expressing how much they cared, and doing little things for each other, like giving their jacket when the other was cold. And the way Rune sometimes referred to Brand as "my Brand" was touching. There was nothing romantic between them, just pure, adorable friendship.

The blossoming romance was nice too. I got to see the characters spending enough time together and connecting to each other that I believed they were starting to develop feelings. But that's all it was---the start of something, not a full-blown romance. And what's cool about this society is that being LGBT+ is common and widely accepted.

I just realized I haven't even mentioned the plot, but I promise that was good too! It was gripping and filled with plenty of action and just the right amount of mystery.

Last but not least, I want to give a *TRIGGER WARNING* for a couple very brief but explicit mentions of rape. When it was revealed just how terrible (terrible isn't remotely a strong enough word) that incident in Rune's past was, it nearly brought me to tears. It was not a thing that was brushed aside. It's something that will likely always affect him.

Before I wrap this up, I want to thank Tammy @ Books, Bones, & Buffy and Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky for raving about this book since I might've passed it by otherwise, and that would've been a real loss!

Overall, this was a gripping, unique start to an urban fantasy series with complex characters, interesting magic, and a unique world that I can't wait to keep reading!

Recommended For:
Anyone who likes realistic and likeable characters, adorable friendship, magic, and completely unique urban fantasy world-building.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight


Initial Thoughts:
Still deciding on my rating, but I loved it! Realistic characters, adorable friendship, and a unique urban fantasy world!
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews85 followers
December 6, 2020
This was...WOW!!! Simply WOW!!!! New to me narrator, new to me author and I loved them both. I'm already into the next book so, I'll be back later with a more complete review but in a nutshell if you enjoy fantasy and want something with snark and humor...seriously check this one out it's simply awesome!!!!

So many thank yous to my cyber child for this super holiday gift.
Profile Image for ⚣Michaelle⚣.
3,672 reviews204 followers
May 27, 2020
4.5 Stars

Holy crap. I was not expecting a book with that cover to be this dark, gritty, violent...and so damned good! The world-building is phenomenal and the characterization was exceptional. The only reason it didn't get that last half-star is my own fault: I had a hard time keeping up.

See, first of all, Josh Hurley is an amazing narrator. Like, top-notch. I've listened to him on other audiobooks and he was good - but here he shines. A lot of performers tend to just use falsetto for female character voices but in a couple of cases here, it sounds much more feminine. Loved that. But he also has great cadence and pacing...so much so that I actually had to listen at ONLY 1.0X speed. That's incredibly rare for me. In fact, I started at the usual 1.25X - and then had to start the book over when I realized that was too fast and I was missing stuff.

Also, this story was very intricate and complicated and...well, I love it when an author expects us to keep up and know stuff - but I couldn't keep up! Had to start again! I think I may have been a bit distracted, too...and you can't listen to this book and not pay attention. In fact, as much as I thought of JH's narration, it might be better served for those of us that sometimes listen with half an ear to maybe read this one. For that reason, it's going on the re-read shelf because I am pretty sure I didn't absorb everything.

And re-read it I will - especially since there's a sequel!
Profile Image for Lindsay M..
284 reviews7 followers
November 4, 2018
Holy. SHIT.

Do not sleep on this book.

It's hilarious, heartbreaking, original, queer, and incredibly well written. I don't think I've ever read a book where I can't pick a favorite character. I can't even pick between four. They fly off the page, and there is so much depth to this world that I can't wait to reread it and immerse myself again and again.

If you love fantasy, you have to try this.

ETA after 3rd reread: The audio is AMAZING! Highly, highly recommend. Definitely keeping this narrator on my radar. His voice acting is truly wonderful, and he brought the book to life. I'm not saying this is my favorite book of the year...but this is my favorite book of the year. :)
Profile Image for Jenia.
413 reviews101 followers
October 23, 2019
Oh man this book was a ride. It's very, VERY fun, and I highly recommend it to any fan of the Heartstrikers series. The character moments are all very sweet, ridiculous, funny, etc. The completely ridiculous Brand is my fave, to no one's surprise lol. And the action scenes are really badass! In short, again: FUN.
CW for rape.
Profile Image for thefourthvine.
523 reviews199 followers
December 26, 2019
I really enjoyed this. Solid worldbuilding, characters I liked, a platonic soulbond, intrigue and mysteries, and a compelling m/m romance. I read this quickly and spent especially the last half of the book eager to see what happened next. I’m looking forward to the next one. And yet I’m going to spend most of this review talking about the things I didn’t like.

I was disappointed that this has the flaw that a lot of m/m books do, in which women are there to be mothers, servants, and enemies, and only those things. (In fact, this book has six named women with (minor) speaking parts that I counted — two (bad) mothers, a devoted housekeeper, a devoted personal assistant, and two minor baddies. So we get two of each kind of woman that exists in this world! Yay?) Every major character, every character who does something positive toward any goal, every character who is there for more than to serve men — they’re all dudes. There were many characters who could have been women without in any way altering the plot, but this author seems really determined to keep ladies on the margins.

I also was not a fan of the body shaming. The fat jokes in the beginning of the book and the way the character with anorexia (uh, warning for anorexia and fatphobia) is treated seriously bothered me. They’re so completely unnecessary, except as a means to let the audience know the author Does Not Approve of Those Kinds of Bodies. Ugh.

So, basically, this is a four-star book, and I’m docking it a star for misogyny and body shaming. But I’m still going to read the next one.

UPDATE ON REREAD: I went back to read this again after finishing the second book in the series, because that book has neither of this one's major flaws (misogyny, body shaming). I thought maybe I'd been wrong. Nope! The same flaws bothered me this time around. But the second book is much better, on this and other fronts. (This series has whatever the opposite of the second book problem is.) And if you can't stand these specific issues, it is, I think, possible to start with book 2. (I'm still glad I read both, though.)
Profile Image for Susan.
2,195 reviews397 followers
May 18, 2021
Re-read May 2021

Now that I already know all the characters I could enjoy this more, since I wasn't as lost as the first time I read it. I could really appreciate all the little things that will matter a great deal in the second book.

Oh, and I no longer think the author was making things up as he wrote it, I now think the dude is a genius. ;)


I really enjoyed the audio of this book. The narrator did a great job with this!

It did take me a while to get into the story, and there were times when I was still not sure if this book has been thought out in great detail or if the author just made things up on the fly.

I actually loved the characters from the start and that’s why I stayed interested. The story itself felt a bit all over the place in the first half. But once Addam was introduced I felt the story was finally heading somewhere. And when the romance started I was hooked.

Rune was such a strong independent character, but had a lot of unresolved trauma as well. And I thought Addam was just perfect for him. At first I thought Addam was a bit naïve and even a bit dumb.. But I then saw that it was just how he was. He wasn’t dumb, he was just very trusting and wanted to see the good in people.

And the way he was with Rune… swoon…. So so sweet and caring.

This book is action packed from start to finish and at first I wasn’t sure what to think about that. I think there was a bit too much going on in the first half. To me it felt like they were just running around, getting attacked left and right. I didn’t feel that connection to the story yet.

It definitely got better in the second half once it became clear what was actually happening.

One thing I loved from the start was the bond between Rune and Brand. I loved how they would simply die for each other if necessary. But it still never felt romantic, and I was so glad for that. I see that Rune can now easily be courted by Addam (his words! Swoon again!), while still being super close to Brand.

Starting the audio of the second book now.
Profile Image for Connor.
687 reviews1,656 followers
February 3, 2021
I may bump this up with more in depth reflection. This was sooo engaging and I really enjoyed it. I’ll have to think about it a bit more before I do a wrap up.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,488 reviews426 followers
December 17, 2019
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

There is so much in this book to gush about, and so much more to say about the characters, but this review has already gone on a bit long, so I’ll try to be succinct. The world building in this book is amazing. It reminds me a bit of the Chronicles of Amber by Zelazny; not so much the writing, though Edwards does have a nice clean, crisp writing style that I found easy and absorbing to read, but in the deft, deceptively easy way his world blends magic and modern technology. Flip phones and fire breathing dragons, briefcases and cars exist alongside goblins and faeries. People who use magic to whiten their teeth while riding in an elevator. And that’s only touching the surface. There is a lot of depth to this world, a lot of subtlety and care went into the Atlantean culture and their history, and it’s all parceled out in bite sized scenes so you never feel overwhelmed.

Read Elizabeth’s review in its entirety here.

Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,387 reviews122 followers
December 28, 2018
Stunning. Brilliant. Gorgeous prose. Beautifully drawn characters. Outstanding world building. Exquisitely imagined. I was nearly breathless as I finished. Probably this year's best read for me, along with Harper Fox's Brothers of the Wild North Sea.

Oh, more please!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,462 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.