SOURCE: Won (from Great Imagination's 'Story Sprite Challenge' Giveaway)
TITLE: The Star-Touched Queen
AUTHOR: Roshani Chokshi
SERIES: The Star-Touched Queen (#1)
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Griffin
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling, Romance
RATING: 5/5 Stars
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.
What I Liked:
- Chokshi's writing was just...wow. Yes, I know that metaphorical, flowery writing is not normally something I enjoy, but this was just beautiful. A literary feast for my eyes and imagination, that fired up at basically every word written on the page. Chokshi is a very visual writer and her descriptions of the Night Bazaar, gardens of crystal, scorching deserts and even the characters that Maya encounters were all so beautiful to read.
- The Mythology behind this book is absolutely stunning, and so rich! I've always been fond of Myths and their retellings, it was part of the reason that I was so excited for this book! There are some real connections to Indian folk tales and Hindu stories fund within these pages and I greatly appreciated the fact that I learnt a lot while reading too. This was definitely very well-researched and Chokshi drew from a lot of sources in order to come up with this corker of a book!
- The plot and characters were great! I won't pretend that they were the most developed, especially the characters. But there was no denying that each had it's own charm and I did like them all! Maya was a clever heroine, prone to mistakes but quick-thinking to get herself out of a tough situation. Amar was wildly romantic, and their relationship filled with chemistry which made me root for them a lot! Most of all, Kamala the flesh-eating demon horse was flipping hilarious and my favourite! I kind of now want her to be real and my friend, even if it did mean the constant threat of being eaten.
What I Disliked:
- The only thing that bothered me about this read was that there were a couple of plot devices that didn't seem to lead anywhere or serve a purpose. For example, the Tutor that Maya meets at the beginning of the book. Most of the time this wasn't a problem however and compared to how amazing the book was, it was nothing!
This was a fantastic read and a big contender for my favourite of the entire year, which is good because it was probably the book I was most excited to read in 2016! Fantastic visual imagery, gorgeous world-building, beautiful writing and an intriguing plot/characters. I loved the Fantasy and Mythology built in and this was a good retelling of some famous Hindu stories, as well as some that I hadn't heard of! Amazing!