Published: April 26th, 2016
by: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Mythology
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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.
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The Star-Touched Queen is the type of story that one reads for the great writing and imagery. I found myself loving those aspects more than I’d like to admit; this being a fantasy setting and all. It took me a minute to finish reading this, simply because I found it to be too much at times. This story reminds me a lot of the Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty Universe, with a touch of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses. I found the romance interesting, as there was a touch of mystery around it all. The insta-love feel to it wasn’t that much of an issue for me, because I wanted to get to the bottom of just who Amar is and the past love that they share. It helped that Maya is a very likable heroine, as I found myself sympathizing with her throughout the book. She’s treated much like a leper, but I loved that she found strength when she was being overlooked in her court. As Maya and Amar are clearly meant to be, it was really fun getting to know more of their story.
The combination of Greek and Indian mythology really made this story come alive in the second half. Have I read this before? That’s what I kept asking myself. Chokshi really nails the writing here. It’s simply beautiful in every way. The similarities to Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone are there, but it took me no time to figure out what was actually happening. And that’s where I feel that, in spite of the beautiful prose, I wanted to be shown something a little different from other retellings that I’ve read. I really wanted to 5 star this one, but there wasn’t quite enough surprise for me to really give them.
Amar is a really lovely guy. How can you not love a hero who is so sweet and honorable. He’s not what I expected at first meet. I was thinking betrayal in the future, but this turns out to be very fairy tale like. I was hoping for some action, but I’m more than happy that it turned out so differently. Maya grew as a character and found more than the life she’d been living. Her horoscope defined her for so long that I’m impressed that she didn’t turn out to be malevolent. Overall, if the first half of this book was as strong as the second, I would have loved it and probably read it in one sitting. Still, it’s a very beautiful story and I recommend it to readers who love anything relating to Classical and Hindu mythology, with a touch of fairy tale-like romance thrown in.
About The Author
ROSHANI CHOKSHI comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling. More information on the author can be found atwww.roshanichokshi.com.