Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publication Date: April 26th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
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Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
I don’t actually read much fantasy novels because I visually enjoy the genre more than reading it but this book was such a delight to read. At first glance, I never thought that I would pick this book up because it feels a bit overwhelming. I have zero idea on Indian mythology but I have read from somewhere that this novel parallels Hades and Persephone so I gave this book a shot. Not to mention, my personal idea to widen the range of the books that I read.
The first thing that had me going with the book is the writing style. Chokshi’s writing is lyrical and poetic that it made the whole experience magical and surreal. Another thing I loved in this book is the chemistry, sizzling if I may say so, between Maya and Amar. I could honestly feel their emotions radiate from my reader and they never fail to make me smile. Their banter is one of the things to look forward to because it’s sweet yet snarky.
“When I looked up, I could imagine an existence as vast as the sky. Just as infinite. Just as unknown.”
Maya’s journey is not that different from other heroines I have read before but I did feel that there is a certain strength in her personality, something that makes her unique. Her journey is more of a personal discovery and facing reality amidst the presence of magic and power.
Amar’s character development fell short but it had a great potential. He just seems a little flat for me, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of him. I’m just glad there’s going to be a next book! Same goes for Gupta and Kamala.
“Weakness is a luxury you can no longer afford.”
Overall, the book is written beautifully. It’s vibrant, enchanting, and poetic. I had a great time learning about Indian mythology. This book is perfect for fans of high-fantasy.