The Seventh Sun – Lani Forbes – The Age of the Seventh Sun #1 – Blackstone Publishing – Published 18 February 2020
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.
The Seventh Sun is a hard-to-put-down fantasy with Aztec, Maya and Egyptian influences. A fight for the prince’s hand, magic that controls elements and animals, and blood protection that seems to be weakening, will one girl’s voice against the rules and traditions that dictate her world be enough to spark change?
When Prince Ahkin’s father, the Emperor of the Chicome people, dies suddenly, and his mother follows the emperor into the underworld, Ahkin must begin his reign. His first step will be choosing a bride to stand beside him. Mayana is a the daughter of Lord Atl, and when the emperor dies, she is chosen to compete for the honour of becoming the empress. But the girls not chosen will be sacrificed for the good of the empire. Ahkin and Mayana share a connection straight away, but Mayana hasn’t told Ahkin of her doubts about the sacrifices and it might change the way he views her.
This reminded me of Colleen Houck’s Tiger’s Curse. There are not many fantasy novels with South American mythology influences, so this is an important addition to YA fantasy collections. I don’t have much knowledge of this culture and history outside of the movie The Road To Eldorado and a semester’s worth of study in high school, so I can’t comment on it’s accuracy. It is a fantasy novel, though, not a historical title, so it is a world inspired by the history and not dictated by it.
The romance between Mayana and Ahkin is pretty instant. Mayana makes a big impression and they are quick to jump to a physically connection from there. It is necessary for the plot to move quickly, and while they do caution themselves against the speed of it, it is insta-love – love it or hate it.
This is a quickly moving story and I found myself swept away in the story. The ending came as a bit of a surprise, there is a twist reveal and it certainly didn’t wrap up in the way I expected. Instead, I was left eagerly anticipating the next book which promises to be even more of an adventure.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Aztec mythology, Maya mythology, Egyptian mythology, romance, sacrifices, animals, powers, rituals, royalty, ruling, friendship, death.
Reading age guide: Ages 12/13 and up.
Advisory: Violence, blood letting, sacrifices, animal sacrifices, references to human sacrifice, ritual suicide and murder. Sexual references.
Published: 18 February 2020 by Blackstone Publishing
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 355 pages.