The Sunbearer Trials is based on Mexican mythology, set in a world in which every ten years, a competition is held. There are reasons but the important thing for the main character Teo, the son of the goddess of the birds, is that the winner gets to bring light to the land, and the loser is sacrificed. While this doesn’t directly affect Teo, it affects his best friend. However, when the time comes for the selection, he gets chosen.
I think my favorite part about this book was the imagery, as well as the symbolism. It had an amazing character arc, and many more. The main character is trans, but he has wings, and the color of those wings (an indicator of gender among birds) don’t match his gender. His wings are more brown, rather than the blue-green they should be. Watching him deal with it is a really excellent allegory for what it’s like in the real world, and I loved it. It also kept me entertained the entire time, and the ending was really fun. There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like, it’s a solid 4.5 stars, it just wasn’t perfect. Some books can’t be. One more thing I loved was the relationships that developed had a natural progression, they didn’t feel forced. The history between not-so-friends was also shown well without giving too much exposition.
I recommend this book, though it is for younger audiences. It remains a good book, and a good representation of a life that is often looked over.