Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi


Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
Pages: 352

Summary (from Goodreads):

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Inspired by Indian mythology.

Before reading The Star-Touched Queen, I never really understood what people meant when they said that a certain book is written beautifully. Nothing about the writing of those books had ever really stood out to me as anything super spectacular. BUT then I read this book and I completely understand what people are saying now! The way Chokshi strings words together is fantastic!

I know that this book is a retelling of Indian mythology, but, to me, it reads like I would expect a fairytale to! While I was reading it, I found it to have an almost dream-like quality that gave me a similar feeling to watching something like Alice in Wonderland. Everything just seems to have a magical quality to it.

The only complaint I have about this book is that, while the writing is wonderful, the flowery-ness of it was a little bit hard for me to follow in the beginning. When the story was still just getting rolling and not a lot was happening yet, I found myself rereading passages several times just to grasp what was being said.

Maya is a Princess of Bharata. She has always had a kind of freedom due to her horoscope. When she was born, the stars foretold a marriage to death and destruction and everyone either hates her for it or is afraid of her. When bad things happen, fingers usually point to Maya for the blame.

Maya seems to spend her free time avoiding the Harem wives, telling stories to her little half sister Gauri, scaring away tutors, and eavesdropping on her father's meetings.

She peeks in on one meeting to find people talking war strategies. And she doesn't like what she hears. Bharata is at war with the surrounding kingdoms. Her father's suggestion for peace is to marry her off to a prince or Raja of one of the warring countries. But that's not all her father will ask of her.

On the day of her wedding, chaos breaks loose and she chooses Amar, the Raja of Akaran, to be her husband and he takes her away from Bharata to his kingdom. On the journey to her new home, Maya sees things and places that she thought only existed in the fairytales she told to Gauri. The trip to Akaran takes her through the Night Bazaar and she can't believe that the place is really real and not just the stuff of stories.

Akaran is not what Maya expected. It's really bare and empty. The palace she now inhabits is full of secrets, tests, and lies. She will see and learn things that she never expected would be possible.

Maya is awesome. Gahhh... I just don't really know what to say beyond that. She's learned to be content by herself because who wants to marry a girl who's horoscope foretells a marriage to death and destruction? She has kind of embraced the horoscope and uses it to her advantage, usually to scare away new tutors so she can continue to do as she pleases. I just thought she was so smart and brave!

Amar is hard to figure out in the beginning. He pops up out of nowhere as a potential husband at Maya's wedding and saves her from a horrible fate. Then he introduces her to a world straight from her imagination and treats her as his equal to rule beside him. He isn't really straightforward about anything and seems to disappear a lot with no explanation. 

I didn't know what to think about him for a long time and therefore didn't know what to think of the romance for awhile! I did end up really liking it and this didn't affect my feelings about the book at all, it was just something that kept me on my toes while I was reading.

I found all the information about reincarnation to be really interesting. About what happens after death and what a person has to go through before being reincarnated based on their life choices! I thought the way that was written was so cool and I have never read anything quite like it! 

Overall, I don't think I did this book justice with my review. My brain was just a muddled mess the entire time I was writing this, but just know that I loved it! I would highly recommend you pick this one up on the 26th and see for yourself! If you like writing that is beyond lovely, reincarnation, and mythology, you will like this book too. 

2 comments:

  1. I don't think I have seen one bad review for this book. I should have requested an ARC! :)

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    1. Without a doubt, you should have! It is such an amazing book! I hope you pick this one up when it comes out! I can't wait to get the lovely hardcover I preordered. It's gonna look so pretty next to my ARC!! :')

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