Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: St Martin's Griffin via NetGalley

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.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.
Review by Nara

The Star-Touched Queen was a beautifully written tale inspired by Indian (and possibly Greek?) mythology. Steeped in darkness and mystery, the book follows Maya, a princess whose horoscope foretells chaos and destruction.

The Star-Touched Queen had this gorgeous prose that definitely aided in painting the picture of a dark world where our main character needs to use her cunning and curiosity to survive. The build-up of the tale was quite well done overall, with the book reaching a fantastic conclusion where the loose ends are tied in a well rounded stand-alone. I must say, there were some sections of the book which dragged along, and there were quite a few points in the story where I was sighing in frustration with the choices that Maya makes. While the choices were frustrating, it was good to see that she wasn't completely perfect, and overall they made her a much more rounded character with her own complete developmental arc.

The romance and general story reminded me very much of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, probably because they both have some links to Greek mythology and because they both had a similar style of gorgeous writing. But where the love interest in that book was sly and witty, the love interest in The Star-Touched Queen is darker, more serious and more mysterious. I feel like I wasn't quite as connected to Amar as I was to Maya. His character wasn't quite as developed as I would have liked, I suppose because he is absent for many scenes in the novel.

I would definitely recommend that you give this book a go if you like books with slow, dark mysteries and stunningly beautiful writing. I look forward to seeing anything else that Chokshi writes.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5