Literary Community Mourns the Loss of Young Adult Author Lani Forbes
Ashland, Oregon, February 4, 2022—Young adult author Lani Forbes, whose critically acclaimed Age of the Seventh Sun series won multiple Realm Awards, died on February 3, 2022, in Boise, Idaho, after a nine-month battle with neuroendocrine cancer. She was 35.
Lani Forbes was the daughter of a librarian and a surfer, which explained her passionate love of the ocean and books. Forbes was born May 6, 1987, in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up in California, and attended high school at Huntington Beach High School. In 2009, Forbes received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hope International University. She then received her teaching credentials from Cal State University. After 10 years of teaching, Forbes went on to become a trauma counselor, serving women who had been abused by their spouses through addiction.
Her young adult book series, the Age of the Seventh Sun, premiered in 2020 with the release of The Seventh Sun, followed by The Jade Bones in 2021 and The Obsidian Butterfly in 2022. The Seventh Sun was a finalist for the Realm Awards Book of the Year and won Best Debut, Best Young Adult, and Best Epic Fantasy. Forbes’s passion was showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience.
Josh Stanton, president & CEO of Blackstone Publishing, said, “We are devastated by Lani’s passing, and we deeply mourn the loss of this exceptionally talented young writer, who gave so much to her readers. We are committed to keeping Lani’s incredible legacy alive. Her powerful, captivating young adult novels will live on to be enjoyed and beloved by readers for generations to come.”
Despite her diagnosis, Forbes continued to write—and encourage others to create—through hard times. In a November 2021 essay from Publishers Weekly, Forbes said, “The reality is, we cannot control what happens to us in life. Sometimes things happen that seem incredibly unfair. But no matter what happens to us, no matter what is taken from us or forced upon us, the one thing we always have power over is how we choose to respond. We get to choose how we will handle those crises. We can choose cowardice, we can choose to give up, stop trying, to give into despair. Or, we can choose joy, perseverance, and yes, even happiness despite our circumstances.”
Forbes’s conclusion to her Age of the Seventh Sun series, The Obsidian Butterfly, publishes on February 15, 2022. Blackstone Publishing has also recently acquired a new YA project from Forbes, which will be published posthumously.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit Forbes’s family and help cover medical expenses. Donations can be made at GoFund.Me/308e6b84
Forbes is survived by her husband, Kevin Forbes, and her three children.
Contact: Samantha Benson, [email protected]
The Seventh Sun (The Age of the Seventh Sun, #1)
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.
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 disaster.
The Jade Bones (The Age of the Seventh Sun #2)
Cast into the underworld after an act of shattering betrayal, Mayana and Ahkin must overcome unimaginable odds if they are to return home and reclaim the throne of the Chicome. A river of blood and demons disguised as children are only two of the challenges standing in their way. Fortunately, they are not unequipped. Mayana’s royal blood controls the power of water, and Prince Ahkin wields the power of the sun itself. Ometeotl, the Mother goddess, provides them with other gifts—and an ominous warning that one of them may not survive. But can the goddess be trusted?
Back in the lands above, Mayana’s best friend, Yemania, has survived the empress selection ritual—but her next challenge may be more than she can bear. The new empress of the Chicome Empire demands she become High Healer. Yemania has no interest in serving in the palace; she wants to use her healing ability to help the common people. More than that, her heart is no longer her own. She has met an enchanting stranger—Ochix, one of the feared Miquitz people who are ancient enemies of the Chicome.
As Mayana and Ahkin move ever closer to confronting the lords of the dead, Yemania and Ochix must hide their forbidden romance or face the wrath of both their empires. Meanwhile, the new empress has made a dangerous alliance that might destroy everything they hold dear.
Four young people risk their lives to save the world from a looming apocalypse in this captivating sequel to The Seventh Sun. Based on ancient Mesoamerican legends and mythology, The Jade Bones is a compelling and romantic adventure that builds to a heart-stopping climax.
The Obsidian Butterfly (The Age of the Seventh Sun #3)
Releases February 15, 2022
To the Chicome people, an eclipse is a time of terror. When darkness falls, the barrier separating the heavens and the earth becomes unstable. Then come the ravening Tzitzimime–the star demons who thirst for human blood. Mayana and Ahkin know the full extent of the coming danger, but they must gather support or the Chicome Empire is doomed.
As the eclipse nears, many maneuver for power in this deadly game of worlds ending.
Metzi, Ahkin’s treacherous sister, has seized control of the empire with the aid of the malevolent goddess known as the Obsidian Butterfly. But Metzi has no idea what the goddess has in store…
Yemania and Ochix face the wrath of both their peoples. Their forbidden liaison may draw ancient enemies together… or rip the young lovers apart forever.
And the princesses who battled fiercely for Ahkin’s heart in The Seventh Sun meet again–but this time, they must join forces in order to survive.
As for Ahkin and Mayana, the entire empire seems to want to keep them apart. Can their love endure the end of the world?