Nostagic in tone and epic in scope,The Sunbearer Trials is not to be missed.

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lookingglassgirl Avatar


Thomas has taken the nostalgic framework of the high stakes competition story and freshened it with approachable representations and a whole lot of heart.

At the begging of each decade The Sunbearer Trials are held, a competition to replenish the suns power and to keep evils at bay. For Centuries the competitors have been selected from the Golds, an elitist group that trains and prepares for the trials from youth. So when Teo, a seventeen year old Jade gets selected along with some friends, the stakes couldn't be higher. Will they be able to work together and win a competition that is heavily stacked against them? You will be rooting for the underdogs here until the very last page.

Since The Sunbearer trials are reminiscent of some beloved childhood stories I found myself in a constant game of comparison. I am pleased to say that in most ways this story lived up and built on the formulaic stories of my youth! The trans, nonbinary and Latinx representation was woven in the story in such an authentic and heartfelt way and each character was layered and complex. The competition aspect was engaging and epic and in in the lull between each trial I could feel genuine anticipation building for the next! Overall this is a wonderful nostalgic read that you'll be better for reading.

I only dock one star because I felt there were some moments and concepts that felt plucked from present day and in those moments I felt pulled out of this fantastical world.