Friday, May 20, 2016

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi {review}

The Star-Touched Queen
by  Roshani Chokshi
♦publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
♦release date: April 26th, 2016
♦hardcover, 342 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦stand-alone (with forthcoming companion)
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: The Star-Touched Queen is a gorgeous story of love and power, deception and forgiveness. It’s artfully written in beautiful prose full of lush description and metaphor.  It felt like a blend of Alice in Wonderland (with its bizarre creatures and dream-like atmosphere) and the Persephone myth, both deliciously steeped in the colors and flavors and vibrancy of India.

Maya is a fantastic character, both headstrong and heart-led. She is in a constant struggle to overcome being outcast because of her dreadful horoscope, something those around her put a lot of stock in.  Her destiny is inescapably linked with death, so of course, no one wants to be too near her, except her little half- sister, Gauri. This one relationship shapes Maya’s determination throughout the story, and I loved that. 

I found the love story to be a heady mix of sultry romance and danger. From the get-go, you can feel something dark about Amar but he’s so kind and adoring, anyone can easily see how he would be irresistible to Maya, especially after years of everyone rejecting her.  But that same thing also gives room for doubt to easily grow, especially when someone from Maya's past steps in.   

There was only one small turn in the story where I found my attention waning a bit, a part where Maya’s fortune changes and the plot tangents off so she can do a little soul searching,  but it was still interesting---new characters introduced, new revelations discovered. And in the end, I found my way back to being engaged in her story.  The Star-Touched Queen is a beautiful, creative, and enchanting fantasy. Can't wait for more stories in this world. 


Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she's learning a new kind of storytelling. The Star-Touched Queen is her first novel.

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Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon


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