The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

The last member of a murdered House tries to protect his ward from forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own 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 h...

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Title:The Hanged Man
Author:K.D. Edwards
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Hanged Man Reviews

  • Tammy

    Oh K.D. All the feels with that ending!! You guys, this book was SO. GOOD. I can hardly wait for everyone to read it! I need the next book, like right now😁 Full review to come!

  • Siavahda

    I devoured this book in under a day.

    Do you know how long it’s been since that happened to me? I’ve been struggling to concentrate on any book at all, never mind actually finishing one; that’s why my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads contains 49 books – I keep starting things and being unable to finish. It’s not a problem with the books, but with me, and I could talk a bit about why but that’s really not the important thing here.

    The important thing is that

    I devoured this book in under a day.

    Do you know how long it’s been since that happened to me? I’ve been struggling to concentrate on any book at all, never mind actually finishing one; that’s why my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads contains 49 books – I keep starting things and being unable to finish. It’s not a problem with the books, but with me, and I could talk a bit about why but that’s really not the important thing here.

    The important thing is that

    . After spending the entire year struggling to finish things, I was finally handed a book that gave me no choice in the matter.

    I was

    , I was

    to the pages, I was

    .

    This book, you guys. This book just set the new standard for fantasy fiction, and the bar is now set so high you can’t see it from the ground.

    I genuinely don’t know where to start.

    The Arcana who rule New Atlantis are, in-world, the inspiration for the Major Arcana of the human tarot; we meet Lord Tower and glimpse Ladies Lovers and Justice in Last Sun, and Rune himself – the main character and first-person narrator of the series – is the heir of the fallen Sun Throne. His father was murdered and his court destroyed while Rune was a teenager, and his social standing is therefore a little complicated; on the one hand, he’s technically-sort-of Lord Sun, as the last remaining member of his House. On the other hand, he hasn’t claimed his father’s seat on the Arcana council, and doesn’t have a court of his own – to say nothing of the magical, political, and financial power wielded by the sitting Arcana Lords and Ladies. Although he does call on his rank in a conversation with Lady Justice in Last Sun – and she acknowledges it, calling him ‘brother’ in a gesture of intense and courteous respect – for the most part, he’s treated as a Scion – the son of one of the Arcana Houses – but not one of the Arcana outright, by most of the Atlanteans he interacts with.

    Last Sun is aptly named, because despite reading as a full (and excellent) book on its own, when set alongside Hanged Man, it suddenly looks much more like an introduction – almost a prologue. Last Sun introduced us to the eponymous character, the last surviving member of House Sun, Rune. It showed us who and what he is, taught us about his abilities and the world he lives in – it set the stage, if you like.

    Hanged Man? Hanged Man is the story really and truly starting. Actually, no, I’d prefer to use another term: Edwards doesn’t start Rune’s story here.

    He freaking

    it.

  • T. Frohock

    This is simply the most magical combination of engaging characters, a tight plot, humor, and court intrigue that I've read in a long time. The Hanged Man had all of my favorite things and I simply could not put it down.

    It's urban fantasy with an entirely new twist on the courts within the Tarot and re-imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, but it pops along like a spy novel.

    For people with series fears: I have not read the first book in the series,

    ,

    This is simply the most magical combination of engaging characters, a tight plot, humor, and court intrigue that I've read in a long time. The Hanged Man had all of my favorite things and I simply could not put it down.

    It's urban fantasy with an entirely new twist on the courts within the Tarot and re-imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, but it pops along like a spy novel.

    For people with series fears: I have not read the first book in the series,

    , and I had no trouble keeping up with either the story or the characters. The Hanged Man works beautifully as a standalone.

    However, I'm definitely going back to read

    now. Rune and Brand will stay in your heart long after you put the book down, and Edwards keeps a firm hand on his story.

    Highly recommended.

  • Kristen

    Full review is

    So, let me preface this review with: this is, within a day, easily my favorite book of the year. Out of 150 (so far). I mean… no offense, other books, but you really can’t beat Rune and Brand. Or Rune and Addam. Or… well, you get the idea.

    This is the continuing story of Rune Saint John, the last scion of the ruined Sun Throne. Rune is Atlantean (yep, that Atlantis). With their home destroyed in a war with humans, Atlanteans now call New Atlantis ho

    Full review is

    So, let me preface this review with: this is, within a day, easily my favorite book of the year. Out of 150 (so far). I mean… no offense, other books, but you really can’t beat Rune and Brand. Or Rune and Addam. Or… well, you get the idea.

    This is the continuing story of Rune Saint John, the last scion of the ruined Sun Throne. Rune is Atlantean (yep, that Atlantis). With their home destroyed in a war with humans, Atlanteans now call New Atlantis home. New Atlantis is located on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts, under accords with the American government. They have magically displaced abandoned buildings and sunken ships and such from around the world, and created their own land, ruled over by the Arcana: powerful and nearly god-like Atlanteans with a host of magical powers and a shitton of money. At least… most of the Arcana are super rich and powerful. There are exceptions. The court of the Lovers was brought down for corruption, the court of the Emperor died in the war that destroyed Atlantis, and the Sun court hasn’t recovered from a brutal and mysterious assault on them years before. Rune and his Companion Brand are the last of their house, unable to even enter the Sun Estate without a host of angry undead creatures attacking. So, they do what they can with what they have… which is admittedly not a lot.

    Rune’s ward, Matthias ‘Max’ Saint Valentine was entered into a marriage contract with the Hanged Man by his grandmother Lady Lovers before the ruin of her court. Now that he is a ward of the Sun Throne, and under their protection, it’s up to Rune and Brand to stop the Hanged Man from coming to collect on that contract. And the Hanged Man really, really wants to come and collect on that debt. It’ll take every magical shenanigan Rune knows, every combat skill Brand has, and a lotta bit of help from their friends to stop him.

    This book was phenomenally written, and it gave me the entire gamut of emotions throughout its course. This is one of those books where I come for the characters but stay for the action. I love the characters in this series. Brand and Rune have one of the best relationships ever. Brand is Rune’s Companion, which is somewhat like a bodyguard, but one that has been bonded to you since infancy. So, they are more than best friends and more than brothers. They rarely fight in earnest, but it occasionally happens. I was in tears for the two of them more than once, and yet laughing for most of the book. The Banter between them is the stuff of legends. In fact, I think I came to the realization at some point during this book that Brandon Saint John may well be my favorite literary character ever. Everyone needs a Brand. The fucking snark that comes out of this guy’s mouth, my dudes. I have like 1/4 of the dialogue in this book highlighted because it’s Brand being a hilarious asshole, and I was here for it, and will continue to be here for it.

    My other favorite relationship is that of Rune and his boyfriend Addam. Being the son of Lady Justice, and a scion of another court, it is not always politically favorable for Addam to get involved in Rune’s shenanigans, especially if it involves pissing off another court. Addam and his brother Quinn are friends of Rune, Max, and Brand though, and they don’t let something like house politics stop them from helping their friends. Especially Quinn, who is both Max’s best friend, and a prophet, constantly seeing the future in probabilities. Addam does spend a lot of time worrying over Quinn, but he is also there for Rune when he needs him, even as Rune feels guilty for getting them roped into his trouble. He is a very patient lover too, as Rune is understandably triggered at times by physical intimacy. Addam never complains, he never pushes, and he always understands, and he lets Rune go at his own pace. I was in tears for them too. Most adorable couple ever. Relationship goals.

    The masculinity in Rune’s circle is more non-toxic than Elmer’s glue, which is admittedly rather unexpected in fantasy in general in my experience, and I honestly find it heartwarming AF. Rune can literally set things on fire (including himself). He can incinerate a horde of zombies if motivated enough. Brand is trained in like 108 different martial arts and usually has at least 10 weapons hidden upon his person. They still hugged it out and talked about their feelings, because that is what needed to happen. It’s what they do.

    This series is not scared to take your emotions and kick them in the fucking face. K.D. Edwards presents a world much like ours, where horrible things happen. There are characters who suffer rape, child abuse, torture, and other awful, awful things. As much as I will squee about how adorable this series is, it is set in a world in which very bad things happen to good people. That said, this is also a book in which there is love, and support, and hope for the future. That’s why it makes me smile as much as it makes me cry. It presents me with characters so endearing that I can’t help but want the very best for them, gives them backstories or puts them in situations that smush the fuck out of my emotions, and then rounds it all out by having other characters be there for them; ready and willing to love and support them, snark and all.

    If I could give this book all of the stars in the night sky, I would do it. That’s how special it was to me.

  • Sharade

    Binge reading is dangerous, people.

    My review will be coming soon, but if you enjoyed The Last Sun, you'll love The Hanged Man. If you haven't read The Last Sun, WTF, do it now.

  • Kathy

    Clearly

    is the product of a mortal man making deals with a high demon, because it has no business--

    --being this damn good. Disgusting, paradoxical levels of good.

    I mean, we've seen this world 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 jusbusiness--none

    Clearly

    is the product of a mortal man making deals with a high demon, because it has no business--

    --being this damn good. Disgusting, paradoxical levels of good.

    I mean, we've seen this world 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 fresh and heartpounding and unexpected as the first time I read

    --like the jolt of a first kiss experienced over and over again. There is ZERO logic to that.

    And yet.

    And another. And another. And then just when you think, "Well, that

    to be the peak," it smiles and takes you up into another building stacked on top of this one.

    It is an unending, head-spinning series of action and revelations and backs against the wall and consequent choices--choices that left me internally screaming 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.

    Things get darker (more so than I'd expected). Stakes are much higher. The banter and the jokes are even better. 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--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

    wait for everyone to experience it.

    A more detailed (and effusive) review to come later, but in the meantime: GO. PREORDER.

  • Ticha_11

    The book has been pushed back AGAIN. In total it has been pushed back almost a year! When I'll start it I probably forgot all that happened in the 1st one -.-

  • Ravyn

    I hate it when release date changes. (Originally 1/22/19, now appears to be September.)

    :(

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