Title: The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence #2)
Author: K. D. Edwards
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 384
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
The last member of a murdered House tries to protect his ward from forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own tortured past. The Tarot Sequence imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, governed by powerful Courts based on the traditional Tarot deck. Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Throne, is backed into a fight of high court magic and political appetites in a desperate bid to protect his ward, Max, from a forced marital alliance with the Hanged Man. Rune’s resistance will take him to the island’s dankest corners, including a red light district made of moored ghost ships; the residence of Lady Death; and the floor of the ruling Convocation, where a gathering of Arcana will change Rune’s life forever.
I had high expectations for this book, considering the tarot based world-building. But this is a second book in series and it would definitely have helped if I’d read the first one. As it was, I got lost in intricacies of the world and couldn’t summon up interest to follow the events. I didn’t find enough information on characters and I couldn’t connect. The action started immediately and it overshadowed Rune’s connections with other characters and his own personality.
The set up is very good and the plot builds to breathtaking crescendo with myriad political machinations, intrigue and magic thrown in for good measure. It’s very, very dark at times (I was reminded of Anita Blake and Anne Bishop books and frankly, I got squicked out a time or two). The hero makes mistakes and tries to hold on whatever he has inadvertently stumbling into bigger plots of others and gathering enemies, allies and powers. He is an heir to ruined court, and his past keeps coming back while he fights for his future. He doesn’t follow established norms of his society, which enables him to win more often than not. It’s very good put together plot, but I wasn’t able to overcome my initial dislike and I the romance plot was too understated for my taste.
It’s a good choice for those interested in urban fantasy with dark overtone (I’d sincerely suggest the series is read in order!) but I was totally freaked out and didn’t enjoy it.
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