An Interview with Aiden Thomas, Author of The Sunbearer Trials

September 6, 2022 | 12:00 PM

An Interview with Aiden Thomas, Author of The Sunbearer Trials

By Team Fierce Reads
Aiden Thomas is BACK with another stunner. This Mexican-inspired fantasy is the magical action-packed novel of our dreams. The Sunbearer Trials is truly a treat of a novel that had us hooked from the very beginning, but if you need some extra incentive to pick this one up, be sure to check out this interview with the author! What makes Teo fierce? Teo isn’t fierce in the traditional sense of his world—he’s puny compared to the other kids, he doesn’t have any cool powers, he’s not strong or athletically talented. But he’s feisty and he’s scrappy! He stands up for what he thinks is right and he doesn’t back down. Throughout the book, his guardian figure, Huemac, calls him a Troublemaker. But by the end, Huemac tells Teo he is a “loud, impulsive, persistent seeker of justice.” And I think that sums it up pretty perfectly Teo’s journey in The Sunbearer Trials! If you could give Teo one piece of advice, what would it be? The Sunbearer Trials is set in a deeply flawed world that Teo fiercely loves, and he has a lot to learn about what’s going on around him by being immersed in it for the first time. It’s like waking up one morning and realizing everything wrong with the place you’ve grown up in and having to reconcile that with all the good parts that are still real. Teo’s doing his best on that journey and I’m real proud of him! What's the strangest thing you learned while researching The Sunbearer Trials? That avocados are poisonous to birds! You would think it wouldn’t matter much, but I actually had to totally restructure a scene because of it. If you'd met Teo as a teen, would you have been friends with him? Teo and I would have either been best friends or sworn enemies. I think we would’ve bonded over our general distaste for authority figures. But I was also a jock, and he kinda hates jocks on sight so it could have gotten weird, but his best friend is Niya! And who am I, if not a big goofy Himbo? What 3 words would you use to describe The Sunbearer Trials? QUEER, COMMUNITY, MEMES! ABOUT THE BOOK Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidioses compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes, in this electric new Mexican-inspired fantasy from Aiden Thomas, the New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys. “Only the most powerful and honorable semidioses get chosen. I’m just a Jade. I’m not a real hero.” As each new decade begins, the Sun’s power must be replenished so that Sol can keep traveling along the sky and keep the chaotic Obsidian gods at bay. Sol selects ten of the most worthy semidioses to compete in the Sunbearer Trials. The winner carries light and life to all the temples of Reino del Sol, but the loser has the greatest honor of all—they will be sacrificed to Sol, their body melted down to refuel the Sun Stones, protecting the world for another ten years. Teo, a seventeen-year-old Jade semidiós and the trans son of the goddess of birds, isn't worried about the Trials . . . at least, not for himself. His best friend, Niya is a Gold semidiós and a shoo-in for the Trials, and while he trusts her abilities, the odds of becoming the sacrifice is one-in-ten. But then, for the first time in over a century, the impossible happens. Sol chooses not one, but two Jade competitors. Teo, and Xio, the thirteen-year-old child of the god of bad luck. Now they must compete in five trials against Gold opponents who are more powerful and better trained. Worst of all, Teo’s annoyingly handsome ex-best friend and famous semidiós Hero, Aurelio is favored to win. Teo is determined to get himself and his friends through the trials unscathed—for fame, glory, and their own survival.

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