The Seventh Sun (The Age of the Seventh Sun #1)
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.
And *whispers* it is not an Own Voices book.
As a history lover, particularly about my own culture (I am Mexican and I live in Mexico), The Seventh Sun just did not do my people's rich culture & history justice. In fact, this book tried to erase Mexicas. Won't even start on the plot itself (the trials were only TWO and super weak?) and it's the typical storyline with girl-on-girl hate and a perfect main character (Mayana) who is ALWAYS right and has a Christian mentality that doesn't fit at all the time and place of the book.
This is another *gentle* reminder that you CANNOT insert Christian morality/values into a book about ancient civilizations because that is the CONQUEROR'S POV (aka colonialists). This is not right, particularly when the main character is supposedly from those cultures. Again, it's a big NOPE.
And quick history lesson: this story says it is inspired by Aztec mythology, but that's actually wrong. MEXICA mythology inspired this book. It's actually a disservice to call Mexicas "Aztecs" since, in short words, Mexicas were Aztec descendants who were oppressed by them, which led them to abandon their oppressors and later on build their own empire (Tenochtitlán??).
But *sigh*, history loves to erase Mexicas and call them Aztecs. They are not interchangeable and it's sad how everyone keeps making this mistake.
Overall, The Seventh Sun is just hurtful and offensive, it just portrays these ancient civilizations at their worst, just to make way to a character that shows no love or respect to their ways, This is why Indigineous stories should be left alone if you are not part or descended from their community.