This is one of those books that I couldn’t resist because of the cover. Look at it! 😍 Also I am a total sucker for tarot and arcana related things. 😀
Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment’s missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.
With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam’s relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune’s Court.
In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family’s death and the torments of his past?
“Don’t you do it, Rune,” Brand said without having to ask what I was thinking. “Don’t you fucking dare.”
“I’m just going to wait. Over there.”
“I’m fucking serious. Get the fuck out of there.”
“Right over there.” I pointed innocently.
“I will shoot you in the ass, the goddamn ass! I will shoot you in the ass, and you’ll be shitting through an inner tube for weeks!”
“I’ll be right back,” I said.
“In! The! Ass!”
Oh man, this book was an absolute delight. It had me laughing from page one. The banter between Brand and Rune was absolutely awesome. This was entirely my cup of tea, so obviously I cheered for these two from beginning to end.
This is the story of Rune Saint John, who is the last scion of the Court of the Sun. The Sun being one of the Arcana, or one of the houses of the Atlantean nobility. They live in New Atlantis (since humans wrecked the other one, yeah that one, we do that). New Atlantis is on the island of Nantucket, in Massachusetts. It’s built of old or abandoned buildings from every corner of the globe that have been magically displaced into the city.
The Court of the Sun was massacred when Rune was 15, and he and Brand, his Companion (like a bodyguard), were the only survivors. That makes Rune the top dog of the Sun Court. Lord Sun, more or less. But he hasn’t really taken over his father’s mantle yet. He hasn’t quite inherited all the powers that being The Sun gives him.
He and Brand are somewhat like mercenaries for hire as of late, and often do some… side work for Lord Tower, who more or less took care of them into adulthood. This time, they’ve been tasked with finding Addam, the son of Lady Justice, who has mysteriously gone missing. As Rune and Brand travel around New Atlantis asking questions among the Arcana, they find more and more shenanigans are going down. When they find Addam, shenanigans really ramp up. Deadly (and dead) shenanigans!
Okay, so when a book makes me laugh out loud more than once in chapter one, that’s usually a win for me. It also helps that there are like 70 hogillion f-bombs in it. I fucking love it. Not only do I love a good snarky and foul-mouthed character, I love a pair of characters that banter hard and often hilariously with each other. Brand and Rune take this a little further for me, because not only is their banter amazing but these two are fucking adorable together. Their relationship isn’t quite fraternal, and they’re not romantically involved, but they love the hell out of each other in every way that counts, and it’s amazing at every turn. They take care of each other, from being a bodyguard, to being a best friend, to beating up your childhood bullies, to having your back against a powerful and often uncompromising ally. It made me ‘aww’ out loud a couple of times.
This book is well written, and really well paced. I never got even a little bored with it. It’s often entertainingly hilarious, but it’s also serious at times as well. There were parts of it that got me right in the damn feels, and I nearly started a good ugly cry on my lunch break at work (it was a close thing). Rune’s past is full of trauma, with the night his family was murdered at the center of it, and could be triggering for some people (there is rape, and parts of it are described). It’s shocking, but didn’t feel like it was there just for shock value. It serves as motivation for a great many of Rune’s actions, both in this book and in the ones yet to come. I felt for Rune, so much. With misty-eyes and all. Perhaps it helped that it was told in the first person from Rune’s point of view, so we see it from the source.
There were also interesting characters on the side. Matthias (or Max) is a sudden and sort of accidental ward of Rune’s, from the court of The Lovers, who has a good deal of fae blood and some interesting powers. Addam’s brother Quinn is a seer, a rare one who can see probabilities. He speaks a bit in riddles, but is well-meaning. There’s also a powerful seer named Ciaran who is on their side… for the moment. Addam is probably my favorite secondary character though. There is a romance between Addam and Rune that develops over the course of the book, and the relationship between the two of them is 100% the most adorable thing ever. ❤
So, this book. It honestly might be everything I love in a book rolled into one delightful package. Urban Fantasy: check! Snarky, foul-mouthed characters that I want to win so fucking hard: check! Fucking adorable romance: check! Magic based in or around mythology: check! So it’s pretty safe to say that this one gets a full 5/5 stars. I need so much more of this series in my life. Hhhrrrngg. 😀