**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title The Seventh Sun
Author Lani Forbes
Release Date February 18, 2020
Description from Amazon
Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he’s now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin’s efforts, the sun is fading–and the end of the world may be at hand.
For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor’s death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.
Only one girl can become Ahkin’s bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.
I saw this book on GoodReads a while back while browsing 2020 YA releases and it sounded so cool. I studied a lot of Meso-American history throughout my many years studying Spanish and American history and I have always loved it. (I was also always terrible at pronouncing the names.) I applied for this book a few weeks ago and was surprised to see that it was just sitting in my NetGalley queue the other day. (I think I accidentally turned off my email alerts for new books.) Despite the fact that I have several other titles already in my queue, I had to start this one right away.
Some Things I Liked
- History and culture. I love that this is a fictionalized version of Meso-American history. I haven’t read too much about it in fantasy books. I loved this unique take on the gods, rituals, and culture of a people that I have studied a decent amount about from a historical point of view.
- Animals. I loved that one of the main characters was driven by her love of animals throughout the story. I feel like YA and fantasy books often forget about animals. Someone is riding a horse in one scene, and then it’s just gone, forgotten about and never to return to the story. This book was so thoughtful about the role of animals and I loved the way everything came full circle in the end.
- Banter and sass. This story had all of the wit and phenomenal conversations that I would expect from one of my recency romance / murder mysteries. I loved the banter between Ahkin and Mayana and even Mayana’s exchanges with Yemenia were fun. Mayana was a witty and fun character to read about and I can’t wait to see more of her story.
This book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. But, despite what I usually say about hating cliffhangers, I like the direction this took. The first arc of the story is over and we’re starting something new. I liked the openness of the ending in that we can now still have two storylines. I am interested to see new characters introduced on one front and to see the way the remaining characters interact in the other.
I really enjoyed this book. I read it relatively quickly (in under a week) and would definitely both purchase a finished copy for myself and recommend it to a friend. This is a series I’d stick with and I think there is a ton of potential here.
Lastly, I just need to point out that I am all about those Dante’s Inferno vibes. I can’t wait to see where that storyline goes.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Gods of Jade and Sorrow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – while the time settings are different between these books, both stories focus on Meso-American culture and are about the struggles between gods and mortals.
- The Selection by Kiera Cass – one of the main elements of this book is that Prince Ahkin has to choose an empress from one of six eligible princesses. If that part of the story appealed to you, definitely check out The Selection series by Kiera Cass.
- Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa – if you liked the secrets that Mayana kept and the journey to save the world from demons elements of The Seventh Sun check out this series by Julie Kagawa. Book three is coming out in March 2020.