This year, one of my anticipated reads has to be The Jade Bones by Lani Taylor after being absolutely taken away in 2020 by the first book in the series The Seventh Sun. If there is something that absolutely captured my bookish heart in The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes, it was the amount of research and authenticity that was placed in the story. These elements were abundant within the first few chapters in the story through Forbes' colorful world-building and depiction of the traditions and rituals based upon the Mayans and Aztec history that have been recorded.
Ahkin and Mayana were phenomenal characters to voyage alongside with. Mayana — a young woman descended from the water goddess competing for his hand — in particular showed a great amount of character development as she went on a journey of the self to develop her power and question the supposed will of the gods who demand such a high price through blood rituals and sacrifices. On the other hand, Forbes began to build the foundations of Ahkin's leadership as the king to his people, and I certainly look forward to this continued development in the next installment in The Age of the Seventh Sun. Additionally, this is one OPT that I'll root for to the very end — even if it means bringing forth the apocalypse.
For in the land where the seventh sun rises, there is the powerful beating of the gods' blood in their veins. Through their divine power, those descended from their line can utilize various powers such as: bending water, harnessing fire, healing abilities … to even making the sun rise.
When Prince Ahkin's father suddenly passes, the duty over the fate of Chicome people, along with the responsibility to make the sun rise each day, are suddenly thrust into his hands. While still overcoming with his grief, he must also find a wife to rule by his side as the codex of their time states.
Six young women are summoned to the kingdom to compete for the new King Ahkin's hand. Each will have to perform at their best through various tasks and quests set before them, for only one can be his wife — the rest will be sacrifices to the gods to appease their dying sun to avoid the coming of the next apocalypse.
For readers who are seeking an original story that will grasp your imagination even further with each passing chapter, this is the next read for you!