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 .
The climax of the first trilogy in the nine-book Tarot Sequence, The Hourglass Throne delivers epic urban fantasy that blends humor, fast-paced action, and political intrigue.
So this is the third book in this series, and as the blurb says the last book of the first trilogy. I loved it and want to warn the readers this will be mostly a gushing review. I cannot help if these series so far made me a very happy reader. Also a warning, I have not read any of the ficlets that author put up as a free fiction for the fans in between the second and third book. It was mostly by choice – I did not expect the strongest effort in those stories and did not want to spoil my impression from the main books in the series as something as close to a perfect story (for me!) as it can come. However if I missed some important plot point because of, that I wanted readers to know.
Last warning of this kind – the blurb does mention Rune’s trauma and it was discussed in the previous books, however in this book we learn a little more about what happened when the Sun court fell and why it happened and Rune is forced to relive some of his memories in the course of the book so beware if it upset you in the past.
I loved that the book starts in the middle of action – Rune and Brand are asked to investigate the barrier that has appeared in front of the rejuvenation clinic, but the author somehow found a space to insert some catching up readers on some events of the past books. For me it was not too much, not pages and pages of recap, just about enough.
And the action then starts moving from there, because of course the barrier covers up something very sinister and the main villain of this book makes an appearance. I suppose I should say *allegedly the main villain of this book*, because we know that there is at least one more person standing behind the terrible events of the past and possibly the events of this book too. Who this person is readers don’t know yet, but their voice makes a small appearance in the book 🙂
Rune dealing with his new life as Lord Sun responsible for his court was a joy to read about. I mean the theme of found family started in book one with Max and Quinn and continued in the second book with Corbie and Anna and Corinne appearing and taking their places as part of the family, but I thought that it was getting even better here with kids growing up and being impatient to have more responsibilities and adults wanting them to be kids for a little longer. And Rune is just a good person in my opinion wanting to be a responsible head of his new court and care for his people. Whatever mistakes he made and will make, I think he is trying and often succeeding in behaving as a decent human being.
And let’s not forget that this is the book where powerful magical beings are often at odds with each other and when they fight, there is so much awesome magic and I am the type of reader who loves reading about all kinds of magic, especially when the The writer tries to make sure the magic has some consistency in how it works in the world he created and the use of magic without sigils also has consequences for the users and boy we see it even more in this book when Arcana use their Arcana magicure magic ( and what is it exactly I can’t tell you, because it is on the need to know basis only :))
Secondary characters are being fleshed out even more. I love them all, but I want to state again just how much I love Lady Death.
“Zurah Saint Joseph was more than just an Arcana and sigil user. She’d devoted her entire life to the discipline of Frost magic. Without sigils, she could still manifest magic. And when aided with sigils, her innate Frost abilities were a fearsome weapon. She pressed her hands along the stretch of wall outside the building’s null zone. The ground began to rumble, softly—growing louder and louder until the rock began to grow to its breaking point. Ice began to scale the stone, cracking and showering the ground in flakes. There was a thunderous noise—a deep, vibrating CRACK. The wall blew outward. Starlight and cool air rushed in.”
It had been established in the previous book just how strong of a magic user she is, but we are getting to know her in even more depth in this book and she is probably my favorite character now after the Rune and Brand and Addam.
Secrets, there are so many secrets and so many characters seem to be keeping them. Some are indeed revealed, but some are only hinted at and I cannot wait to learn more about some things that happened.
I really appreciate that the author does not do cliffhangers in these stories so far.