“The truth,” said Amar, taking a step closer to me, “is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way.”
― 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.
Eden: Roshani Chokshi is a hell of a story teller. It’s so unfortunate it’s taken me this long to read The Star-Touched Queen because it was definitely a story I needed in my life. What’s even more is I’m now anxiously awaiting A Crown of Wishes. 5 stars to my first read of 2017.
Caitlynn: I’m pretty sure this book has been on all of our shelves for forever and we are all obviously very upset to not have picked it up earlier. I’m in love with Chokshi’s writing and want to learn more about all of these characters. 5/5 stars!
Jenn: What took me so long to discover this book?!? Honestly this book was everything I love in books and more. Chockshi’s style of writing is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She is a natural storyweaver. I will continue to pick up any and every book she writes from this point forward. The way she painted this story was wonderfully organic. The writing just felt so natural. I adored this story. Overall, I gave it 5/5 stars.
Jenn: So, what did we think?
Eden: I gave it 5/5 stars. I really liked it.
Caitlynn: 5 stars.
J: I gave it 5 stars as well.
E: I really liked it. I really liked the pacing.
C: Me too.
J: I liked the progression through the narrative styles. Because, it felt like it moved through types of story tellings from history. So, the beginning felt very much like an oral narrative, then it moved into folklore, into a myth. I thought that was a really cool aspect of the book.
E: Yeah I agree with Jenn. I worried it was going to be like a 3 book thing where it would be Maya searching for Amar in the Otherworld. That was something I really didn’t want. When I realized that wasn’t going to be the case I was very happy with it.
J: Yeah, I’m excited for the companion novel.
J: I’m excited that it’s going to be focused on different characters within the same world.
E: I like that too. Although, I am sad that we aren’t going to have Maya and Amar.
J: I feel like they’re going to show back up. I don’t want a whole books of them again at this point in the story. I feel like there’s not enough of a story there at this point. So, I’m happy we get Gauri’s story.
C: I took pictures to remind me of what I wanted to bring up during the discussion. But, then I realized that all of my pictures were of Kamala the demon horse. They were just all lines she said to Maya.
E: I really liked Kamala. I thought she was a really cool character. Plus, she was a horse. That was my dream as a child to be best friends with a horse.
J: I also liked that the inside of his palace it felt wonderland-ish. All of the sounds and how it can play tricks on you reminded me of it. I thought it was an interesting aspect.
C: That’s what I thought too. I got a lot of Wonderland vibes from it altogether.
E: I got really frustrated with Maya at one point simply because at the beginning of the book she tells Amar that she can’t trust him because she doesn’t know him. Then he’s like “all I have are my words..” But, then we have when she encounters Nritti where she meets her and she immediately feels as though she has to help her. There’s no progression of “I don’t trust this person I don’t know them” to just trusting them off the bat.
J: But, to be fair with Nritti she was filling her with “memories.” Also, if you look at how they came to her it’s totally different. He came to her fully hooded she couldn’t even see his face. Nritti on the other hand appeared as though she was being fully open and giving her whole life story to her. I felt like that was more of her issue. He didn’t giver her any information about himself.
E: Girl just had to wait one more day.
J: Yes but if she would have it wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting of a book.
E: That’s true.
J: I liked that Roshani Chokshi kept reiterating the fact that they were equals. For example, when they’re standing and she says he doesn’t stand ahead of or behind her he stands beside her as an equal.
E: I liked that that was a big part of who the character was. Because, that was a big part of why she didn’t want to get married also. She thought when she got married she would become just a trophy for her husband to own to be put away in a harem to die.
J: I also like this line that he said to her when she asked why he brought her there. He says, “I want your perspective and honesty. I want to be humbled by you.” I thought that was a really good way to introduce them to each other. Because, a lot of times in YA, especially in YA fantasy, it’s so much “you have to save the world” or “I have to protect you from something!” I liked that it was more so that he wanted her mind.
E: Yeah, I liked that the point of their story was him trying to get the love of his life back. Then you have underlying causes. But, ultimately it was all about trying to get her back. I just felt like Roshani Chokshi just did an amazing job crafting these characters and telling this story.
C: I feel like recently we haven’t really gotten any male counterparts that have been trying as hard as he was. You could tell she was legitimately the love of his life.
J: It gave us a different kind of male figure because most of the time we get this guy that has swagger and snark. They won’t say what they mean and everything they say is filled with double entendres.
E: Or he said it because of this reason and he really didn’t mean it.
J: So, I liked that we got a guy that was honest as he could be. He had things he couldn’t tell her. But, he was as open and honest as he could possibly be. He said exactly what he meant and his intentions were clear. A lot of the times we get these characters that make their intentions clear so we are left with two characters that just dance around the issues with each other. I liked that they both knew where they stood here.
E: I think Jenn’s exactly right. That’s something I loved in this book.
C: I loved all of the progression of the other chracters too for example Gauri and Mother Dhina. I thought everybody progressed so well.
E: I also liked the other characters.
J: I just liked that this felt like a natural history.
E: I was never bored reading this book.
J: I am a little weary of reading the companion novel because I’m going to have to get used to viewing Ghauri as an adult since we saw her as a baby younger sister figure.
E: I liked that she has developed into a kind of badass warrior figure
J: It’s nice that she’s giving us different kinds of women that aren’t just stereotypes.
E: Roshani Chokshi’s writing reminded me a lot of Renee Ahdieh’s writing in The Wrath and the Dawn. It has kind of the same style of storytelling.
J: I think that it helps that it’s kind of folklore-y.
E: Definitely. Overall, closing thoughts?
J: I’m super excited to read more from Roshani Chokshi and that book cannot come out fast enough.
E: I’m a little disappointed to read something by Roshani Chokshi. But, I’m excited to read more from her.
C: I agree with everything you said. I liked the horse the most. All of my picture from the novel were of her dialogue. I loved her. So, I was obsessed with the dead horse the whole time so I didn’t focus on anything else the whole time.
Have you read The Star-Touched Queen? What were your thoughts about this novel?