Their blood is the power that protects their people.
Mayana, a demigod with the gift of water, is our compassionate and empathetic main character of The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes. I took to Mayana quickly because of those two qualities that are so apparent. Living in a society that doesn’t blink at sacrificing life for meals and festivals, she is continuously fighting an internal battle – to please the Gods’ sacred rituals, or remain true to her own ideals.
As the only daughter of their royal family, Mayana must court Prince Ahkin of Chicome. The Prince is responsible for raising the sun in the sky with his blood every morning. No big deal, right?
The chosen princess will live, the others will die.
It’s no surprise that the impending deaths of her fellow princesses weighs heavy on Mayana’s mind. Caught up in the charms of Prince Ahkin, Mayana battles with how to save the other women courting him. The codex requires their deaths to bless the Prince’s reign and honor the Gods.
I was immediately drawn to this story after reading the synopsis because of my true interest in Aztec history. History portrays them with large temples, animal and human sacrifices, and worship of the sun. The Aztec belief system has been painted cold and murderous. It’s a steep challenge for Lani Forbes to unwind our preconceived ideas about this culture. Forbes took an appropriate amount of creative license with the facts, added in some relatable perspectives, and out came an impressive story.