K.D. Edwards, The Last Sun (Pyr 978-1-63388-423-6, $17.00, 363pp, tp) June 2018. Cover by Micah Epstein.
The last scion of a once-powerful house works as an investigator/agent in this entertaining first novel, a sort of urban fantasy set in a world that mixes modern technology (cell phones) with a strangely different culture. In this world, refuges from war-torn Atlantis used money and magic to turn Nantucket into New Atlantis, mostly one big crowded city full of abandoned buildings transported from around the human world and restored. The island is ruled by the Arcana, lords and ladies from the Tarot’s major arcana. (I don’t recall any explanation as to why the Atlanteans are named for Christian saints and tarot cards.) Rune Saint John is the last of the House of the Sun; he and his magically linked companion Brand had sneaked away just before an attack wiped out his family; Rune got protection from the Tower, a powerful Arcana, who trained him in investigation and security work, and now he and Brand primarily do missions for the Tower. Their latest jobs are a raid on the Lovers that nets Rune new magic and an unexpected complication in his life, then he’s sent to find a missing son of the powerful Lady Justice, a case full of interesting characters. The missing man is a “confirmed bachelor” – gay, as is Rune, which adds some diverting hints of romance; in addition, the search involves an amusing pair of seers, a couple of herostruck teens, and a lot of magical horrors, making it clear that someone really doesn’t want Rune investigating.
Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.
This review and more like it in the September 2018 issue of Locus.
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