I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Gauri—the princess of Bharata—has been banished from her kingdom and taken prisoner by a neighboring land. Vikram—the cunning enemy prince—is unsatisfied with his status as a puppet. For both of them to get what their heart desires most they must team up and enter the Tournament of Wishes—a competition in a magical land that offers the winner any wish.
I just loved loved loved The Star-Touched Queen. So I was beyond excited when Roshani announced a companion novel. Like I said, it is a companion novel—that follows Maya’s sister—so you don’t have to have read the first book for this to make sense. But I do suggest it because The Star-Touched Queen is amazing.
The language in this book is vivid, lyrical, descriptive, and really just beautiful. Roshani is amazing when it comes to language.
Something that was really interesting in this book was the point of view changes. And I’m not just talking about between characters—although that does happen. It is just certain characters get their point of view told in first person and then others have it told in third person. Surprisingly, this was very fluid and non-interuptive for me.
That being said, I had a bit of trouble with the world—at least in the beginning. Maybe it’s because it has been a while since I read The Star-Touched Queen and I’m not well-versed in the mythology used in this text. I just didn’t really connect with anything besides the characters at first. I was a little blind and unbalanced.
Everything is heavily steeped in this form of magic: and again, while I didn’t really understand it all the magic had this great aspect that it couldn’t give without taking.
I did connect with the characters though . I really adored them both.
Gauri is this fierce and amazing warrior princess. Yes she wield knives and swords, but she knows that swords and knives aren’t her only weapon. Gauri relies on her beauty and identity as a female as well: applying clothes and makeup like armor. Having a book recognize the power behind all of that was just perfect.
“I donned my armor, lining my eyes with kohl until they were dark as death and patting crushed rose petals on my lips until they were scarlet as blood.”
Vikram is just as great. He is the prince of an opposing kingdom—often called the “fox prince” because of his wit and cunning mind. Vikram has this backstory as being an adopted prince—although only those in the palace know—and it is often used over him to lessen his power. I just loved that he isn’t the typical brawny prince. For Vikram his mind is his weapon.
His wits and her fire makes for some really quipy, sharp, and fun dialogue and moments. The interactions between these two characters really made the book for me. Their relationship is just so slow burn—they progress from just being with each other because they need to use each other to something to because they care about each other.
And then there is the whole tournament of wishes thing. I thought the idea and the mystery of this tournament was really interesting. Still, like the world I sometimes had a hard time grasping the format or objective because they rules and way it happened seemed so fluid . Like nothing was laid you and it seemed to not be the same for each person.
Roshani just really charges this whole experience though with intense longing. You can feel the desire and self-doubt in each sentence that is strung together. A Crown of Wishes can be found on Amazon and the author at roshanichokshi.com.