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There have been 6 apocalypses, 6 suns that have died and were brought back alive by sacrifice of the gods. The seventh sun has been in the sky for hundreds of years, but the days grow shorter... But that might be the least of prince Ahkin’s worries, as his father has suddenly passed away and his mother joined him, and he is crowned emperor. And the emperor must have a wife... 6 princesses, all descendants of one specific god, are summoned, and one will become the empress, the other six will be sacrificed in a ritual to bless the marriage.

I have to say, I know this book deals with sacrifice as it’s based on the Mayan/South American culture, and I wasn’t keen on that aspect. The book starts rather unpleasant with the death of the emperor, but mostly the ritual that his wife must join him and commit suicide, and it was described quite graphic, and tbh I wanted to put the book down at that point because it was horrific, and as it was a bit brushed over I assumed it was gonna get worse. But as it was an ARC, I read on and I do not regret that.

I absolutely love that this is such a different culture! It’s a fresh breath of air and the legend and worldbuilding spoke to me. The magic system is very intruiging, as you need to shed blood to be able to perform magic, and it can only be done when you’re a descendant of a god (there’s light, water, fire, wind, animals and plants). The religion is also very elaborate and full of rules that help give people stability (but at what cost?). The golden city is described so inspired I really wanted to see it for real... AND THAT PLOTTWIST. I definitely didn’t see it coming.

It also was quite an addictive read, partly because it’s such a different setting, partly because of the writing style that you just keep turning pages. I even tried to read during cooking, which is not recommended. There is so much going on, so much tension and interesting side characters and impeding doom... and I really felt for all the 6 princesses. It’s kinda the Bachelor in Hunger Games style, all knew only the victor would live. They all had different coping mechanisms, and it was heartbreaking, yet I would have liked to see it being explored more. When you know you’ll live two weeks tops of course you want to win, but I think there would be more bonding and less cattiness tbh. And resentment to the prince, I know I would silently hate him surely, at least at the beginning, but Mayana, the MC, takes one look at him and is swooned despite her 5/6th chance of a death sentence going on.

That is one of the bigger issues I have with this book: instalove. Sure, there isn’t room for more development because of the time frame, but even so they fell in love in a day. I wished we’d had more conversations, and I did like when everyone around them eyerolled at their instalove, as I eyerolled along. But it’s a really sweet romance. And Ahkin is a catch, he’s introverted and intelligent, but his introspective character is amazing and when he opens up he becomes a whole other person instead the person he’s supposed to be - which I loved to see. He’s trying so hard to do the right thing but it doesn’t always work that way.

The other issue I have is of course the sacrifices. I am with Mayana on this one, because it made me nauseous. So many animal sacrifices, it was too much for me, especially one special case that left me crying.

Ok, back to what I love. Mayana. She’s an empath and she feels so many things, and I loved being inside her head. She has love for anyone, and proofs that you don’t need to be a fighter to be a badass woman (though she definitely can be that too, if need arises, she’s a hufflepuff at heart). It’s always great to read about a strong woman with clear convictions that go against society, and still stands strong and hands out kindness to everyone, that’s the kind of strength I like and am drawn to.

The antagonist was not really an antagonist to me as she tries to save her own skin desperately, though she does have a mean streak. I’m not a fan of the catfight trope (for lack of a better word), and I think the antagonist was described too many times as having animalistic traits, it was a bit too much. Plus animals are cute.

Sooo this review is a bit of a roller coaster. There were some issues for me, but overall I really, really enjoyed this fast and addictive read. If I need to compare it, I think this is a bit like the Selection, but with higher stakes and more feels. And an ending that’ll make you wish for book 2 immediately..

I received a free e-copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Reacties op: Original fantasy

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The Seventh Sun - Lani Forbes
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