The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fourteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
El Reino del Sol is a shining isle of light in the looming threat of the evil obsidian gods. In order to protect this haven, ten semidioses are selected to compete in The Sunbearer Trials. The winner will replenish Sol’s light to the cities within the kingdom, but the loser has the greatest honor of all—to be sacrificed to Sol himself and continue their light for generations to come.
Seventeen-year-old Teo has always been dubious of this centuries-old tradition. As a Jade semidios, he is looked down upon: for his status as the son of a lesser dios, for a lack of powers and formal training, and for the very nature of not being a lustrous Gold semidios. In terms of the Trials, he’s not very concerned for his own safety, comfortably assuming that, as always, no Jade semidioses will be selected to compete.
But this year, Sol chooses him.
And suddenly the nature of this tradition comes into deeper focus. Teo is not only trying to keep himself alive, but also his friends. He hasn’t been trained for this and he’s never been ready to accept everything his society is throwing at him—and certainly doesn’t plan on starting now.
The Sunbearer Trials is an amazing read, with fantastic world-building dripped in Mexican culture and a well-developed, relatable cast of characters. It dares to challenge societal norms and redefines what bravery is: daring to stay true to what’s right and what you believe in against all odds.