Twenty Years have passed since Atlantis fell. Now New Atlantis rises, built from the remains of humanity; abandoned and forsaken homes and buildings scavenged through spell craft and used to establish a city of magic, decadence, and power.
Our hero is Rune Saint John, detective, assassin, Scion, and last living member of the House of the Sun. With his human bodyguard, Brand, at his side, he is called on to unravel the cause of a horrible presence in the city, and the disappearance of his mysterious benefactors godson.
“My name is Rune Saint John. I am, before anything else, a survivor:”
Rune Saint John is a complicated man, one with many ghosts (literal and metaphorical) in his past. He lives a simple life, when he’s not solving crimes for resident business mogul and uber powerful mage man The Tower. He’s got his human Companion, Brand, his housekeeper, Queenie, and bills that he has (so far) been able to pay on time.
What he doesn’t have? Blood relatives. Any. Well, left alive, that is.
First off? A little explanation so I can wade into this review without confusing you. New Atlantis was established by the Atlanteans (I know, surprise, surprise), a long lived race who are divided into Houses based on the Major Arcana of the tarot. There is the head of the house, who has become an Aspect of that card and wields immense power. Their children are called Scions and also tend to be powerful (though it can vary).
So, our Rune is last of the House of Sun, and for complicated reasons that aren’t fully explained, he chooses to live away from the decadence and power of the nobility and instead lives in a small house with only Brand and Queenie for company.
But all that’s about to change after a job taking down the corrupt House of Lovers and investigating the disappearance of The Tower’s godson. Rune’s life just got way more complicated, in more ways then one.
Because now he’s saddled with the last living member of the Lovers house, a moody seventeen year old with a serious crush on Rune. And that godson case? Turns out it’s a lot more complicated then a rich son taking off for the tropics and forgetting to tell anyone. Then there’s the problem of someone absolutely trying to kill Rune…
All coherency and traditional review styles aside, this book was so much fun to read. A summer blockbuster of a story with a boatload of gay and bisexual guys who are just so supportive and cool with one another that I had to take a handful of moments throughout the narrative to be surprised. Surprised they were taking the time to explain things to one another, surprised they were being supportive and understanding, surprised of the lack of jealousy. Pretty much all those book tropes that should have been there, weren’t, and it was amazing.
Then there was the pacing, which was fast and well plotted enough that I ended up finishing the story in a few hours, instead of a few days. Every time I’d think, “One more chapter” and lo, I found the next chapter too exciting to not read.
The Last Sun is filled with great characters populating a world rife with possibilities. The world building is fascinating, the magic system unique, and the characters endearing. I’m very curious to see how the story continues and whether Rune will ever get around to kissing Brand again. Addam’s all well and good, but Brand is 100% solid gold.
One warning I will give is for the past trauma that Rune relieves in certain scenes. I don’t usually read narratives that involve rape, and I’ll admit, some of the descriptions were fairly graphic, but I do think that Rune’s perspective was handled as well as to be expected.
All in all, however, it was a completely enjoyable M/M Urban Fantasy. Exciting, fast paced, and even a little spooky at times, I’m really looking forward to continuing this series with The Hanged Man.