My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pacing: Slower Pacing
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: April 26th, 2016
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. – Synopsis by Goodreads
“I know your soul. Everything else is just an ornament.”
I have no idea how to even begin to review such as this one. It’s such a beautiful story and the writing is stunning. I know I’ll never be able to do this one justice but I’ll take a stab at it.
TBR and Beyond is doing a group read on The Star-Touched Queen duology and I couldn’t be happier about it. We are lucky enough to be having Roshani Chokshi visiting us for a live chat in January (I’m still fangirling about it) and the group is getting all ready for it. The Star-Touched Queen is my second book that I’ve read of Roshani’s and this one is based around Indian mythology and I believe is slightly inspired by the Greek mythology – Hades and Persephone. I am loving all these new mythologies we have been getting lately – I was starting to feel like we’d only ever see Greek, so I couldn’t have been more excited to read this book.
We start off with our main protagonist, Princess Maya stalking around the castle, eaves dropping in on political dealings with her father that she is not allowed to participate in herself. She’s been educating herself over the years, hoping for something better with her life than just being someone’s wife – she wants to rule like her father. Her father announces that she will be married to someone from another country that they are at war with to secure an alliance. The only catch, it’s a big scam and her father is actually asking that she kill herself that night and therefore starting an even bigger war. Yes, we’ve seen these tropes all before and I wasn’t really sure where it was all going to go, but it takes a very unexpected twist early on that threw me for a bit of a loop but I loved every minute of it. A stranger, Amar, rescues her and asks for her to come rule an unknown city called Akaran with him as his queen.
I don’t want to go into too great of detail on this story, so that you can watch it unfold for yourself but the romance between Maya and Amar is one of the most swoony, breath-taking romances. I could gush on and on about the love in this story and I’m not normally a romance person but you can’t help but be captivated by the words and actions of these characters.
The Star-Touched Queen is probably one of the most quotable stories I’ve eve read. Sometimes it almost feels like the story is one big quote after another. I know that can be a tricky thing and really verges on purple prose but I think Chokshi mostly manages to keep her beautiful lyrical writing while maintaining an interesting plot. There are a few times where the writing does get a bit distracting and that is why I took one star off, but overall I thought it lent to the story, not took away from it.
This story also focuses a lot on fate, family, sisterhood, and trust. The relationship between Maya and her younger sister is beautiful and felt very authentic. I love seeing strong sibling relationships in YA novels, because it isn’t as common as it should be.
Can we also talk about the AMAZING flesh eating horse? Probably my favorite part in this whole book is that sassy, crazy but loyal horse. The horse gave such a needed touch of humor to the story – I laughed out loud several times and I’m now determined to own a demon horse. I’m really not sure what that says about my character but anyone know where I can get such a thing?
Overall, this story is stunning but somewhat polarizing. It’s not the fastest-paced book and it’s certainly one that you need to take your time on and enjoy the writing. If you like a faster pace, then this probably is going to be a harder read for you. I personally loved it and can’t wait to read more of Roshani’s work.