Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Series: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Maya has been scorned from birth because of her horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction. A princess in her father’s kingdom, she’s confined to the harem and wants nothing more than a scholarly life. Which she anticipates having, until her father unexpectedly arranges her marriage—one of political alliance to quell the current war.
But a marriage to Amar—Raja of Akaran—is nothing like Maya expected. She is a queen with a voice and power, and a wife with a husband full of compassion and desire. But things in Akaran aren’t as they appear, and Maya must unravel the mysteries.
Roshani Chokshi’s writing is rich, lyrical, and fantastical. I was totally enthralled. The style goes pretty hand in hand with the world she creates. I’ve never really read anything with an India-inspired setting, and Chokshi really invites the reader in with scents, textures, and lush sights. The setting does shift from the Indian-inspired kingdom of Bharata to the realm of Akaran. Akaran in itself is a whole different story. It is a land filled with unfathomable magic and mystery. The layout of Akaran’s castle was sometimes hard to picture, but I enjoyed my time there none the less.
I mean, how could you not expect a beautiful world with a cover like that? Honestly, the cover is gorgeous, and while the blurb totally interested me it was the cover that made this a must-buy. Plus, I’m going to get to see the author and hopefully have her sign my copy at the Boston Teen Author Festival coming up. I’m beyond excited.
I loved Maya as a character. She’s one of those fierce, independent, and loving female protagonists I just can’t get enough of. Maya hasn’t had it easy living in her father’s harem. Her mother died young, she’s cursed with a tragic horoscope, and the other women of the harem blame her for all their problems. Still, Maya endures and wishes one day to be free of them. It is her desire for freedom and power of her own that leads her to accept Amar’s proposal—and thankfully not some form of insta-love.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the qualities I love about her get her in a lot of trouble. She’s imperfect—making mistakes, withholding trust, and breaking out on her forehead—and that makes me relate to and love her even more.
I can describe Amar in three worlds—tall, dark, and mysterious. Okay, I don’t know about the tall part, but definitely dark and mysterious. And can I add dream-boat. Amar shows up just as Maya is about to choose her husband, and to be honest he seems kind of suspicious. And I think that mysterious and secretive attitude is his one fault, it really bothered me when he was keeping things from Maya even if it was for her own protection.
I’m going to try to give my opinion of the romance without giving anything away. I loved it. Amar was so swoon-worthy, he literally treats Maya like his queen. Like his lines are perfect, and it was so refreshing in comparison to the other Rajas who had multiple wives. Their relationship actually reminded me a lot of Khalid and Shanzi in The Wrath & the Dawn. It’s just an intense and pulling relationship riddled with secrets. My one issue—and the reason I deducted half a star—is that I wanted more development of their relationship in the middle of the book.
“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”
I knew going in that this book was based on Indian mythology and folklore, even so I didn’t anticipate the amount of magic and fantasy in this book. At times it can seem little unbelievable and overwhelming, but it’s a type of magic I’ve never read about it and loved the originality.
This novel was truly breathtaking, I couldn’t put it down. You can find it on Amazon and the author at roshanichokshi.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!