The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is an absolutely beautiful fantasy that feels like a fairytale retelling, but pulls in Indian mythology and culture (and might be a retelling of a myth from Indian mythology? Let me know!). I went in expecting a romantic fantasy, but what I got was a heroine who refused to trust the handsome man who just rescued her under suspicious circumstances, a vivid world full of creepy monsters, and a freaking hilarious demon horse. I can’t wait to see what Chokshi writes next! If you’re excited about this book, check out my Kickstarter for a hardcover copy, two gorgeous items themed after it, and a recommendation list for what to read next!
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Star-Touched Queen from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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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.
- I cannot emphasize enough how enthralled I was with the Indian mythology that is the root of this book. I’ve literally never read a fantasy that features this set of myths so strongly and I love it. I love exploring new worlds and magic, so mythologies that are new to me are everything I want in a book ;-).
- The writing is really the star (haha pun) of The Star-Touched Queen. It is extremely vivid and filled with just the right number of descriptions to bring the details to life without bogging you down. I never ever highlight sentences (in my Kindle, not a physical book!), and I found myself highlighting more and more because I didn’t want to forget them.
- It takes a while to meet her, but there is a certain demon horse that quickly became my favorite character. She is absolutely hilarious, with insights such as “It is nice to be nice … And it is also nice to eat people.” (Quote from the eARC.)
- A lot of the conflict in this book is focused on family bonds, since as Maya’s dedication to her sister and her complex feelings about her father. I love sisterly bonds, so the scenes with Maya caring for her little sister were perhaps my favorite.
- It’s a standalone! I sort of wish it was a series, but it works very well all on its own and I hope it stays that way. So if you don’t want to get dragged into another long fantasy series, but still want to snuggle in to discover a new world, this is a great choice.
- My one quibble with this book is that there are two parts and they very much feel like separate books. The second book has quite a different feel to it than the first and they really have separate plots as well, though related. I enjoyed both, but it seemed an odd transition.
The Star-Touched Queen is a great example of YA fantasy doing it right. The world and magic are fresh, the writing is captivating, and the heroine is strong in a number of ways. If you’re worried about it being too romance-heavy, I’d advise you to still give it a try; there is definitely a romantic plot, but there is so much more going on as well. And remember that if you are planning to pick up this book, you could get it through my Kickstarter along with items themed after the book and custom recommendations for what to read next :D.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
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