The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

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.

Book Overview:

Author: Roshani Chokshi | Series: The Star-Touched Queen | Format: Hardcover | Length: 342 pages | Publish Date: April 26, 2016 | Genre: YA Fantasy & Mythology | Literary Awards:  Andre Norton Award Nominee for Yount Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (2016), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Debut Goodreads Author (2016)| Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  | Recommend: Yes

Your subjects will not remember you. They will not remember the shade of your eyes, the colors you favored or the beauty of your wives. They will only remember your impression upon their hearts and whether you filled them with glee or grief. That is your immortality.

Cheers to my first review of the new year!

I started my journey with a book that was full of fantasy and mythology. Even better, it was filled with Indian mythology, a topic that isn’t always in the spotlight. I don’t understand why not, when there are so many deities and stories so rich with morals and wonder in the Indian culture, that it should be shared with as many people as possible. I have always felt like the Indian culture was amazing, and I wish that I could have learned more about it when I was growing up. It also was a good thing that this book was written by an Indian author, so the authenticity is better.

This book was about a young woman named Mayavati, a princess of the Bharata Kingdom, but was shunned by everyone and anyone that knew about her. Her only fault was that when she was born, the horoscope of her future deemed her cursed, with a marriage that promised death and destruction. Was it her fault that her horoscope was so intense? Not at all. But that didn’t stop her own family members – with the exception of one of her sisters Gauri and her father, the Raja – from ostracizing her in public and even going as far as trying to kill her. Everyone else in the kingdom was afraid to approach her, or even talk to her, and she started to use that to her advantage. She learned the art of war by eavesdropping on her father’s war meetings and learned as much as she could about the history of Bharata. Her father even told her that if she had been born a male, she would have made a great leader. Unfortunately, that all changed when her father tells her that she needs to get married, and even worse: she needs to kill herself before that can even happen.

I couldn’t believe, and I don’t think Maya could either.

Luckily, right before she takes the poison nectar that her father slips to her privately, one of her many suitors – a man named Amar – takes her away from the fighting that broke out and whisks her away from her entire world. Literally.

Is everything going to be perfect, now that she is the ruler of the Akaran Kingdom? Will she be a good Queen and ruler of this new realm? Is everything what it seems in a kingdom that is utterly silent? You know, besides this creepy voice giving her nightmares:

“I’ve never tasted dreams so sweetSuch pearly flesh and tender meatOh queen, if you only knewYou’d gladly rip your heart in two”

Because that’s totally normal, right?

I am so glad that this was the first book I finished this year. I absolutely fell in love with this world, and it really made me want to visit India and learn more about their myths and legends. I appreciated Maya and her determination to live and fight for the right to live, rather than accept her horoscope and be submissive to this culture. Of course, there were times where I was yelling at her not to trust certain people, or do certain things, but not every protagonist will be perfect. I personally like it better when they aren’t perfect, or it becomes way too unrealistic. I just really liked this book, and I can’t wait to read the second one!

Author Spotlight
Courtesy of Goodreads

Born: The United States
Genre: Fantasy
Influences: Catherynne Valente, Laini Taylor, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, Donna Tartt, Diana Wynne Jones
Goodreads Member Since: December 2013

Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and A CROWN OF WISHES. Her middle grade debut, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME, will release April 3, 2018 with Disney/Rick Riordan Presents. Her next young adult novel, THE GILDED WOLVES, is slated for Winter 2019. Chokshi’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She was a finalist in the 2016 Andre Norton Award and the Locus Top Ten for Best First Novel. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

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