I’d love to start sharing some favorites and recommendations with you! And, there’s no better place to start than my friend Lani’s forthcoming book, Seventh Sun.
Lani generously provided me an advance reading copy of her book, and I devoured it. In this, the first installment of what I understand will be a trilogy, she introduces us a world that is both ancient and refreshingly new.
Here is the official description of the book:
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 blood-red comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.
Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disasterfrom Amazon.com
Something I appreciated so much about Lani’s characters, is their dynamic relationships with the Chichome faith: how some characters seem to blindly follow, how others secretly struggle, and others seem to only regard their religion as a means to gain power. The struggles these characters undergo is incredibly timely — and I appreciate the margin provided by the difference in religion between the world of Lani’s characters, and my own spiritual convictions. That distance gives the reader the opportunity to allow the characters to interact with spiritual realities of their world on it’s own terms. By reading what Mayana, Ahkin, and others wrestle through, we are invited to ask similar questions of our own beliefs. Sure, we’re not dealing with a world of human sacrifice, but there are significant parallels to be found, if we dare look.
Plus, Seventh Sun is a dang fun read–so I wholeheartedly recommend it for YA readers and adults. I’m only mad that since I got to read it so early, I’ll have to wait even longer for the next installment.
For additional information, see Lani’s website here. Leading up to the official release date, I believe she (or her publisher) is offering some chances to win the book as well. Be sure to follow Lani on all the socials, if you want to know more: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.