So um. A thing happened several months ago.
Well, okay, a bunch of things happened. And they’re all interconnected and relevant to THE thing I want to talk about, so let’s just go through them in chronological order. Imagine the countdown from Hamilton‘s “Ten Duel Commandments.”
☀️ Number one! ☀️
I got to read one of my top two most anticipated books of the year–AKA K.D. Edwards’ The Hanged Man (yes, The Hanged Man that I’ve been blathering about on Twitter and doing promo for)–and I wrote a review for it on Goodreads.
☀️ Number two! ☀️
My brain tried to coerce me. “Listen. I know have your hands full with a day job and volunteer work and art studies and a blog and, like, social obligations–whatever those are–but don’t you think doing a release promo for this book would be fun? And sexy?”
And friends, I’m a sucker. I fell for it.
☀️ Number three! ☀️
I was asked if I wanted to be featured on the book as a blurb, and once I gathered my jaw off the floor, I immediately said yes. Elation was closely followed by “Oh shit, I only spent 20 minutes writing that review.” But my thought was that it was going to be inside the book, within the first few pages, and squashed between a handful of blurbs from other bloggers. So no biggie if it’s not super polished, right?
☀️ Number four! ☀️
I got an email with the final proof of the cover.
Scott Reintgen! T. Frohock! And… *squints* this other person?
Ahem. Yes! Hi! Hello!
Imposter Syndrome, meet the pointy end of my sword. (Named “This is so beyond what I was expecting that my brain didn’t even have a chance to freak out”)
The Tarot Sequence series has been a source of incredible opportunities and friendships, and the fact that my first blurb opportunity was for this book says something loud and precious. And I’ll be holding onto it for a while.
Also, did you know publishers allowed swearing on their full-release covers?? Because I didn’t, and this was a VERY cool way of finding out.
Author: K.D. Edwards
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, LitRPG (lite)
Subject(s)/Theme(s): LGBTQ+ (everyone), Found Family
Release Date: December 17th, 2019
Page Count: 386 (paperback)
(*There’s a lot of bias with this rating. Like, a LOT. It’s a beautifully muddied water of personal relationships and life events…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.)
CW: talk and implications of sexual abuse, rape, and pedophilia
Hey, K.D? Sequel Syndrome just called. It wants you to send some pillows and blankets to the titanium coffin you just buried it in.
Clearly The Hanged Man is the product of a mortal man making deals with a high demon, because it has no business–none whatsoever–being this damn good. Disgusting, paradoxical levels of good.
I mean, we’ve seen New Atlantis before, we know these characters, so the honeymoon glow should have worn off at least a little, because that’s how sequels tend to go. The world shouldn’t feel just as heartpounding and unexpected as the first time I read The Last Sun–like the jolt of a first kiss experienced over and over again. There is ZERO logic to that.
And yet. And yet.
This book takes everything you loved about The Last Sun and takes it up a level. And another. And another. And then just when you think, “Well, that has to be the peak,” it smiles and takes you up into another building stacked on top of this one. Because the last 1/3 of the book? Fucking brace yourselves. It is an unending, head-spinning series of revelations and backs against the wall and consequent choices–choices that left me yelling and shaking with adrenaline–and Atlantean magic pushed beyond limits to mesmerizing results. It’s characters navigating their vulnerabilities and fears with one another, and I lost track of the number of times I cried.
Brand said, fiercely, in a breaking voice. “You’re my boy. You can do anything. Anything.”
Things get darker (more so than I’d expected). Stakes are much higher. The banter and the jokes are even better. And the worldbuilding is off the charts. We also get to see Rune and Brand interacting with small children, to hilarious and surprisingly good results, and that’s something I can’t get enough of.
Oh, and for those who felt that TLS was a bit of a white sausage fest (and I say that with affection)–rest assured! Several new major characters make their appearance in this book, many of them female and/or POC, and they’re all written with exquisite care.
This beautiful messy family just got a lot bigger and I cannot wait for everyone to experience it.