author: Roshani Chokshi
genre: young adult, fantasy
publish: April 26, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 4 / 5 stars
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.
Roshani Chokshi's writing is spellbinding!
Ever since I first saw the Star-Touched Queen I made it a mental note to have a copy of it because: (1) OMG LOOK AT THE BEAUTIFUL COVER!!, (2) Indian Folklore! I remember dealing with the Ramayana and Mahabharata in school but other than that, nada! but still, whenever I find a new-to-me kind of thing, I had to have it!, and (3) early reviews be like: OMG THIS IS SO AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL!, MUST READ, blahblahblah. you know how easy I am.
"My kingdom needs a queen," he said. "It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you." -p68
When I read the first chapters of the Star-Touched Queen, I was immediately captivated by Roshani's writing. Seriously people. I tabbed so many pages just because of the words! GAH!
Honestly though, I was not immediately caught up in the world. But this is basically my fault. I'm not the biggest fantasy reader and have ZERO sense of imagination. I suck at visualizing worlds and remember terms. Why I still read fantasy is beyond me. lol. After a few more chapters, I was able to get into the story. What I mean by a few chapters is when Amar took Maya away and brought her to a kingdom far beyond Bharata.
Setting aside my zero sense of imagination, the Star-Touched Queen still intrigued me. There were voices that speak to Maya. She got married and moved with Amar to Akaran. But the walls give her an unusual feeling and I'm like: ummm dark powers lurking in the kingdom? Then half way through we meet this girl who claims to be a close friend of Maya in another life. And things just started getting confusing for Maya when this girl tells her all sorts of things about Akaran and Amar.
"Doesn't death make room for life? Autumn trees die to make room for new shoots. And destruction is part of that cycle. After all, a devastating forest fire lets the ground start anew." -p135
Because you know, we need some conflict here right? I mean the blurb made it sound so grand like there'll be a huge war happening right about now. But then the root of the problem really comes from the romance side of the story. And now you can all complain: ugh, seriously? But then I'll tell you: seriously. BUT DON'T LEAVE ME JUST YET!! The romance is too sweet and swoon-y to pass. really.
I honestly did not expect myself to actually like and ship Maya and Amar. Romance isn't my strong side and many times I hate it when the romance swallows up the story. But as I read the Star-Touched Queen, I find Amar completely swoon-worthy!
I stopped him. "I will not let us be beings of regret. I know my past. What I want is my future. -p333
Maya is a heroine I immediately liked -- she's strong, she doesn't push herself to people, the world is against her, she's brave. Yet, of course, when faced with great decisions Maya makes mistakes. don't we all? not all the time, of course. DUH! She faces everything with bravery despite their difficultly. Her adventure at the second part of the book really shows how she faced the world when she has nothing.
Also, there's Kamala, the sassy horse!! I mean she likes eating people or souls or something... eh.. but she's so nice and funny and full of wisdom (?). I LOVE HER! And there's Gauri who'll have her tale on the next book, A Crown of Wishes!! -- eeeppp!! I'm super excited for that!!
OVERALL, the Star-Touched Queen is a beautiful novel of love and trusting the strength within you. It has a swoon-worthy romance, a strong heroine, a sassy horse, a great adventure, and, of course, beautiful enthralling writing!!