Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Title: A Crown of Wishes
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: St Martin's Griffin via NetGalley

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
Review by Nara

A Crown of Wishes is a companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen that can be read independently of the first novel in the series. While it can be read independently, I would actually also recommend reading the other novel (either before or after) simply because it's an excellent novel that shouldn't be missed. The writing is so stunning, as you might already know if you've read The Star-Touched Queen. There's such a magical feel to the prose, which very much suits the world in which the book is set.

The banter between the two protagonists is hilarious, and there were so many quotable interactions that I'm sure will pop up on Goodreads quotes. I really appreciated how the romance developed slowly between the two of them, mostly stemming from seeing glimpses of each other's hidden aspects throughout the novel, either from just being around each other or from magic.

I really liked Aasha, a secondary character whose point of view we saw in a couple of chapters. While I won't say too much about her storyline as it could get slightly spoilery, I would definitely have liked to have seen more from her. The host of other secondary characters were also very intriguing, from Kubera, the Lord of Wealth who runs the Tournament of Wishes, to the Serpent King, to many, many other characters based on Indian mythology.

The ending was quite satisfying, tying off all those loose threads in the plot. I'm quite impressed with how conclusive Chokshi's novels are, there's hardly anything to criticise about how they end, except maybe the fact that they actually do end (I could definitely keep reading her beautiful prose). We also got some cameos from book one, which was a nice touch.

All in all, A Crown of Wishes is an excellent follow up to Chokshi's first novel. I would certainly read more books in this universe or any others she may write; her writing is simply gorgeous.

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