The Hourglass Throne by KD Edwards

As Rune Saint John grapples with the challenges of assuming the Sun Throne, a powerful barrier appears around New Atlantis’s famed rejuvenation center. But who could have created such formidable magic . . . what do they want from the immortality clinic . . . and what remains of the dozens trapped inside?

Though Rune and his lifelong bodyguard Brand are tasked with investigating the mysterious barrier, Rune is also busy settling into his new life at court. Claiming his father’s throne has irrevocably thrown him into the precarious world of political deception, and he must secure relationships with newfound allies in time to keep his growing found family safe. His relationship with his lover, Addam Saint Nicholas, raises additional political complications they must navigate. But he and Brand soon discover that the power behind the barrier holds a much more insidious, far-reaching threat to his family, to his people, and to the world.

Now, the rulers of New Atlantis must confront an enemy both new and ancient as the flow of time itself is drawn into the conflict. And as Rune finds himself inexorably drawn back to the fall of his father’s court and his own torture at the hands of masked conspirators, the secrets that he has long guarded will be dragged into the light—changing the Sun Throne, and New Atlantis, forever.

*****

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Pyr. All thoughts are my own.

This review will contain spoilers for book 1, The Last Sun, and book 2, The Hanged Man. Check out my reviews here (book 1) and here ( book 2).

Review:

I was in a bit of a slump when I read this back in December, but damn did this book whisk me right back to read. The Hourglass Throne is a good 120k words and Edward’s prose just reads like water. There’s just so much to love with Hourglass Throne and I swear this series just gets better with every book.

We take a deeper dive into the world of the Arcana and court politics with The Hourglass Throne, directly addressing the events that led to the dissolution of the Hourglass Court way back when in Atlantis’ history. This time around, there’s so much involvement of the other courts and Arcana. Chief being Lord Tower and Lady Death of course, but we’re now also introduced to Lady Priestess and her entourage, as well as mentions of Lord Hermit and more. I love that now that Rune’s taken his father’s throne as Lord Sun, he’s truly being involved in all the behind-the-scenes of Atlantis.

Rune, Brand, and Addam of course all get their moments to shine, especially near the end in a scene with Rune and Addam, but I want to focus on the true star of book three and my fave, Lord Tower. I’ve simped over Tower in both of my previous reviews for his role as the overpowered mentor side character, but in Hourglass, Tower properly takes the stage as a main character! He gets so much screentime! Sooo much screentime! And he’s badass and amazing, with a gentle fatherly side, with every word. Tower fans will be very very satisfied.

Of course, that’s not to outshine our main trio of Rune, Brand, and Addam. The Tarot Sequence trilogy is not always sunshine and happiness. Edwards has skillfully tackled extremely dark themes throughout this series, and in Hourglass, we really start unraveling the events that occurred the night of the attack on the Sun Manor, in explicit detail. Rune is forced to re-live traumatic events and Edwards handles these events with the gravity and respect that it deserves.

My gripes with this book are minor and extremely personal. Firstly, Hourglass canonically takes place mid-Covid-19 pandemic, and regularly references the virus and the steps Atlantis took to mitigate it. While clever, I read this at the height of the Omicron outbreak and that wasn’t the most pleasant experience for obvious reasons. Secondly, there’s too many children! There’s like, five of them! And since none of them are directly plot-relevant unlike the previous books, it means that they largely get relegated to ‘Rune interacts with child A’ (paragraph), ‘Rune interacts with child B’ (paragraph), etc etc, every time he’s at the Sun Manor. Suddenly, they feel less like characters and more like doing video game dailies. Granted, I think I’m in the minority opinion here.

Overall, I rate this book a 4.5/5. Edwards writes in a way that just keeps you glued to the page and fans of the series (and Lord Tower) will be delighted with the latest addition.


r/Fantasy 2022-23 Bingo Squares:

  • Cool Weapon w/Magical Properties
  • Author Uses Initials
  • Published in 2022
  • Urban Fantasy (hard mode)
  • Time Fuckery (hard mode)
  • Features Mental Health (hard mode)
  • Indie Pub

Publication Date: 17 May 2022
Publisher: Pyr
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 379
Word Count: ~121,000
ISBN: 1645060551
Buy It Here: Amazon | Google Books | Barnes and Nobles | Goodreads

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