The Tarot Sequence is a series of Urban Fantasy books written by K. D. Edwards.
The series follow Rune Saint John, the last member of the Sun Throne, one of the Arcana families that rule over New Atlantis. In the setting, Atlantis one day had to move, appearing upon the normal world and stealing buildings to create its own society, rules by the Arcana, powerful Atlantians, each with their own courts and powers.
The Series is composed of the main books:
- The Last Sun (2018): After a raid to stop The Lovers and her inhumane experiments, Rune and Brand have to welcome the last member of the Lovers Family, Matthias Saint Valentine. Lord Tower asks them to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Addam Saint Nicholas, the second child of the Justice Family.
- The Hanged Man (2019)
- The Hourglass Throne (2021)
As well as a series of spin-offs
- The Sunken Mall (2020): A short story set between the first and second books
- Scenes from Quarantine (2020): A set of vignettes of the characters, set between the second and third books, releasing during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.
- Scenes from the Holidays (2021): A set of vignettes of the characters, set between the second and third books, started releasing during the holiday season of 2020.
- Affectionate Nickname: Matthias is very foreign to the concept of being treated well, only remembering once someone called him Max, which he asks for Rune and Brand to use.
- Animal Motif: Lady Justice has spiders. Her Atlantean Aspect is to emulate a spider, showing that her shadow has multiple legs when she is angry.
- Cast Full of Gay: The main of the books is pretty much entirely queer characters of various identities. Rune and Addam are the series' central couple, Brand is pansexual, Quinn is asexual, and nods to multiple characters being queer one way or another are made.
- Cool Big Bro: Addam to Quinn. Because Quinn is, in his own words, "the runt", he was always given much less attention and care than the others, but Addam had pretty much raised the boy, and is still very protective of him.
- Glamour: One of Lady Justice's children, Ella, is a young woman that is practically emaciated. Ella's aunt has to cast a glamour on her to make her look healthy when in front of visitors.
- Going Commando: Addam is shown to wear no underwear.
- Driving Question: Although not as obvious in the first book, it becomes clearer that the real question is "Who were the men that raped Rune when he was younger and why did they destroy the Sun Court?"
- Great Offscreen War: The Atlantean World War was a great war that happened in the backstory of the setting. The war caused the necessity to relocate Atlantis due to the ravage it did to the homeland.
- Impoverished Patrician: After the destruction of his house, Rune is pretty limited in funds, living off of working for Lord Tower together with Brand. He states multiple times how jealous he is of other courts that have access to a massive amount of sigils while he only has the handful that he managed to take out of the ruins of his old home.
- Improbable Weapon User: One of Rune's sigil is on a cock ring. Brand finds it hilarious, while Rune finds it embarrassing and tries to brush it off when Matthias notices he seems to be wearing one through his trunks. (He wears it strapped to his thigh by a string.)
- Mama Bear: Zigzagged with Lady Justice. She acts according to what she believe is the nature of Justice: she will not stop something to happen, but she will deal out the punishment. She does so with her children: she doesn't stop them from getting hurt, but is very vindictive towards those who have hurt them. At one point, Addam mentions that she wouldn't have looked for him, just avenged him.
- Mundane Utility: While sigils are rare and expensive, the magic that they can store can be as simple as something to make the user smell good or hide skin imperfections. Rune mentions how jealous he is of those that can just spend on frivolous sigils like those.
- Necromancy: One of the forms of magic that are frowned upon. Rune has to fight skeletons and zombies (called recarnates) during the first book.
- Non-Heteronormative Society: Atlantians are pretty open to same sex attraction, to the point that Geoffrey's parents aversion to him being attracted to men is noted by Rune to be extremely uncommon. Lord Tower's only problem with Rune being gay is the fact that it much limits his capacity to be married off for alliances, outside of that, Atlantias are seen freely engaging and accepting same-sex relations, with Lady Justice even having somewhat of a harem of both men and women.
- Old Flame: Geoffrey Saint Talbot, implied to be Rune's First Love. Geoffrey breaking up with him was the nail in the coffin for a young Rune to finally realize his life as he knew it was over. Over the course of the first book, their relationship goes to cold and a sad memory to Rune to one that is outright antagonistic, as Rune realizes that Geoffrey took a much bigger part than he admits in poisoning Christian.
- Precocious Crush: Matthias to Rune. He even pretends to Addam that they're already dating to keep Addam away.
- Rape as Backstory: Rune had been raped by the nine people who raided the Sun Throne. This later happened again, when one of Lord Tower's sons, Dalton, attempted to raped him when he was under his father's care.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The last name of the Arcanum families are all names of saints. The Sun family (Rune and Brand) have the last name Saint John note ; The Justice Family has the last name Saint Nicholas; The Lovers Family has the last name Saint Valentine; and so on.
- Rescue Romance: Addam and Rune. Addam becomes infatuated with Rune right after he is rescued by him and makes quite a few advances on him, making his interest very blatant. Addam is later convinced Rune is his soulmate.
- Seers: Seers are one of the kinds of magic available to Atlanteans, though it seems to be something people have a gift for. Ciaran is one, but Quinn is a much rarer version of this, as he is capable of seeing multiple possible futures.
- Super Mode: The Aspects of Atlanteans give them immense power for a period of time, as well as physically changing their appearance. Rune's Aspect gives him fiery eyes and veins and makes him much more powerful.
- Connected All Along: Ashton turned out to be one of the masked men that assaulted Rune when he was younger. He uses that to trigger Rune during their final confrontation.
- Driven to Suicide: In the first book, Quinn warns Rune that he has visions where in every timeline that Addam dies, Quinn will die by suicide, either hanging himself or slitting his wrists on the bathtub.
- Driving Question: In The Last Sun, it starts with "What happened to Addam?", though once he gets found halfway through the book "Who kidnapped him?" becomes the major question (together with the fact that the person would have summoned Rurik, and their identity could help the heroes to eliminate him).
- Eating the Eye Candy: After rescuing Addam, Rune ogles him when he is changing his clothes, which he does pretty shamelessly in front of Rune anyway.
- Everybody Did It: Downplayed. Ella, Michael, Ashton, and Geoffrey were the main suspects on who summoned Rurik and kidnapped Addam. While Ashton was the ringleader, everyone was more or less involved with it. Michael seduced Ella into becoming a part of their group, Ashton poisoned Christian and kidnapped Addam to give Ella more power among the Justice court. Both Geoffrey and Michael were already roped up and participants in Ashton's plans, and Ella joined willingly afterwards.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Max gets stabbed protecting Rune from that fate.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Discussed. Because Rurik talks, acts, and casts magic like a human, Rune finds himself referring to Rurik as a "he". Lord Tower corrects him that, as an undead, Rune should be using "it" and not be fooled by his eloquence as Rurik is still a monster.
- Mind Rape: A pretty literal example. In the Westlands, Rurik forces Rune to relieve terrible experiences of his past, culminating in him reliving his rape at the hands of The Hound.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Addam is immediately embarrassed and regretful to the point of tearing up of his forward advances towards Rune once he realized that the latter had been sexually assaulted.
- Omniscient Morality License: Quinn. He sends Max to the Westlands with Brand with the intention that Max would sacrifice himself trying to save Rune and would get stabbed in his place. He justifies that Max had a good chance of surviving, but without Rune, then the whole thing is ruined.
- Sequel Hook: The ending shows three leftover plot threads for the sequels to pick up: 1) Max is promised to be wed to The Hanged Man, which still wants to have him, to Rune and Brand's distaste. 2) Rune is revealed to have spent the last 20 years investigating the 9 men that assaulted him when he was younger, finally having figured out one of them (Ashton). 3) The Hermit appears to Rune, warning him he is part of a prophecy and that it will come the day Rune seeks him out and that on that day, he will tell him everything.
- Thanks for the Mammaries: Ashton cops a feel of Rune's chest when he slides his card on the latter's breast pocket.