Review Rewind: The Last Sun by KD Edwards #ScionsofAtlantis #TeamTower

The Last sunToday’s post is a blast from the past.  I’m taking part in an event focused on the release of The Hanged Man by KD Edwards and as part of that I thought it would be a good idea to dig out my review for the first book in the series (The Last Sun – which is fantastic – if you want the TL:DR version).  So, without further ado here is my original post, slightly revamped, still gushing rather a lot, for which I have no regrets, and shamelessly and unapologetically typing to tempt you to pick up this series before the 2nd book is released.  You know you want to.

The Last Sun was a blast of a novel, refreshingly different and downright more reading fun than I had any expectations of when I picked it up.  For a debut novel, wow, I confess myself truly impressed.

I would start out the review by saying this book will probably steam roller you – obviously this is intended as a positive!  It’s crammed to the rafters with action and it’s written very much with the expectation that readers will hit the ground running.  There’s no hand-holding, the world building develops as the story unfolds and the action is intense, so be prepared to just dive on board and hold on tight.  This book is like the white water rapids of urban fantasy.

The story begins in an almost James Bond/Mission Impossible style fashion with a dramatic opening in which we encounter Rune Saint John as he takes part in his latest derring-do.  It’s a great way to start a story and certainly serves to hook you from the get go as well as introduce you to two of the main characters.  Rune and Brand.  It’s pretty easy from hereon-in to conclude that Rune and Brand are available for hire – they quite often work for a powerful character known as The Tower.  I guess they’re mercenaries of a sort and their latest job involves a mystery surrounding a missing person from one of the more influential families.

The world building is, to be honest, a little on the light side, but being the first in series this is something that will undoubtedly develop in future instalments and in fact it’s one of the things I really enjoy about urban fantasy series – the way each successive book adds layers until you’re so deeply wrapped up in the characters and the world that each new instalment is like revisiting a favourite friend.

The setting is New Atlantis – A city on an island – built after the destruction of Atlantis itself.  Here all sorts of supernatural types live alongside each other.  The noble families seem to be named for the Major Arcana of a tarot deck – Sun, Tower, Hermit, Judgement, etc.  Magic is wielded through the use of items, powered by sigils that can be ‘charged’ and worn – for example rings.  It’s a really interesting magical system although I don’t feel I’ve got a good enough handle to discuss it in depth just yet – again, this is something I anticipate learning a lot more about in future books.

To be honest what really sold this story to me was the characters.  There is Rune.  His past is dark and dreadful and you will hear more of his suffering as the story progresses.  It helps to get a handle on what he’s been through and also gives added impetus as to why Brand, who is a companion and bodyguard who shares a special bond, is so protective of him.  The relationship between Rune and Brand goes back many years, and Brand can be almost a little too overprotective at times.  The surrounding cast is made up of a young man named Max – who Rune has unwittingly taken as a ward and Addam – but I won’t elaborate because this will possibly lead to spoilers.  I just loved the characters in this story and really can’t wait to pick up The Hanged Man to see what the author has in store for them next.

The writing is very well balanced with snarky banter and slow reveals helping to lift the story and prevent it becoming too bogged down with action.  In fact I think my only real quibble here was perhaps that there is a little too much action and it becomes almost overwhelming to the point that I wanted to yell at the author to give these characters a break!  But, this wasn’t a deal breaker and I can completely understand the author’s desire to make this into a whirling dervish of a story. – something he really succeeded at with a fair amount of style and panache.  This is a highly creative world packed with imagination, strange creatures, ghosts, zombies, dark magic and more.

Without doubt I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to delve into this world again.  I hope to learn more of the mysteries behind the downfall of Rune’s family, the political background of which has been hinted at within this first instalment.

I have no hesitation in recommending The Last Sun.  A fascinating world full of intrigue and machinations, a wonderful cast of characters that are just easy to become attached to.  A thrilling plot that takes a dark turn and just a wonderful start to a very promising series.  I can’t wait for more.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.