Hellllloooo blogging world! I want to share another review of the most recent book I read. I hope you like the review and I’d really love discussing books with you guys. Don’t be shy to comment anything 😉
Author: Roshani Chockshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 342 pages
My Rating: 8/10
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.
“My kingdom needs a queen,’’ he said. ‘‘It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you.’’
Oh. My. Bananas. This book made me go nuts! A Star-Touched Queen is a hybrid of Greek Mythology and Indian folklore which all by itself makes it an extremely unique story. This book was a mosaic of tasty descriptions, exotic cultures, and lots and lots of stars! Let me just say that I’m completely obsessed with stars! Anything related to stars I’m immediately in love with.
I began this book totally oblivious to everything. I didn’t even read the synopsis since they can ruin the perfect reading experience. I was constantly curious of what was to happen next and therefore, I ended up sacrificing my sleep time to finish this book, no regrets from me though. When I read books I like to choose a couple of quotes to add in my review but, this book had so many amazing beautiful quotes that I might as well have highlighted the whole book to show how many I loved!
The story is about Maya who’s a princess in the Harem of her kingdom. She is feared by most as her horoscope deems she’s cursed to be partnered with death. Maya feels like she’s caged between the walls of the Harem. Her dad-the Raja- decides to marry her off to some rebel kingdom to bring peace. Maya ends up marrying Amar-the ruler of Akaran- who promises her to rule by his side as an equal. Maya finds herself slowly falling in love with Amar yet she feels suspicious by the lack of information and can’t trust him fully. Akaran is also playing its own tricks on Maya and making her more paranoid and edgy. Then Maya gets these horrible visions of her husband and realizes that he isn’t who he says he is and decides to destroy him and all his memories. The second half of the book is about how Maya realizes that what she assumed about her husband and did was terribly wrong then proceeds to fix everything.
The exquisite language used was beyond mesmerising! The words were lyrical and flowery with a LOT of beautiful tropes! If you remove the plot and characters from the book this writing could be used as a romantic poem! I loved the insane metaphors that described every detail. The writing will let your imagination run wild! I am a person who gets really emotional over words so this book had me feeling a lot at the same time. Throughout the entire book I kept thinking about how I wish I could write like that one day. Roshani’s lyrical wording is my favourite thing about this book and I’d love to read something like that again!
Reincarnation plays a small role in the story. I love stories were someone gets reincarnated and the other person has to go looking for them all over the world. I find the prospect of reincarnation fascinating and enjoyed reading about in this book, although I would’ve preferred if it was given in more details.
“It’s bad to be a dragon.”
“Says who? Nothing wrong with a little bit of viciousness. Would you rather be a dove or a dragon?”
I felt like the book needed more characters that were involved in the plot and the talking demon horse, Kamala, was a lovely addition to the book! Kamala provided comic relief and threatened to eat people a lot, who wouldn’t like her? Kamala also managed to sprout a couple of deep wise quotes and pieces of advice here and there to help Maya. Kamala made me laugh or crack a smile and that’s why I adore that talking demon horse!
“I know emptiness. I know the taste of blood against my teeth. I know what it is to fill your belly with iron. I know hunger. I know pain. I know memories that won’t stay. I know the ghost of life and the perfume of souls.”
“It is nice to be nice,” said Kamala with a sage nod. “And it is also nice to eat people.”
The equality between Maya and Amar was something I appreciated in the book. They live in a world where all the girls were looked down upon and were merely regarded as wives who took care of all the children but in Naraka, Amar promises to treat Maya like an actual equal person and he was prepared to listen to her view on the matters of his kingdom. Forget about the somewhat cheesy romance, Amar was offering Maya more than she could’ve gotten from anyone else and I think that’s all that really mattered in the end to start their relationship.
I liked how the whole point of the story was about how Maya judged Amar wrong and how everything looked so different once she saw it from a different perspective. It made me realize how sometimes people don’t have all the information about someone but still act rash and judge them terribly. It can cause a lot of damage and hurt a lot of people.
The romance was very hard to get into! I was frankly alarmed by how Amar was so very open and ready to do everything for Maya just like that! I mean, I’d be creeped out by this man who’s just willing to give me the moon as a throne… I don’t usually mind insta love if it’s believable, but I didn’t like having the main plot focused on the love. I found all the endless flirting tedious especially at the beginning! I know there was the whole past life and falling in love in another life to explain all the romance but it didn’t feel complete. Also, Amar says that he’s horrible at flattery and flirting then he spends the rest of the book nonstop flirting and flattering like an expert!
“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.”
“I want to measure eternity with your laughter.”
(Please note that this quote kills me! I’d love to use it in real life as a joke to someone ;D)
The world building could’ve been so much more expanded than it was! I understand it’s only one book but I still feel like there were sooooo many worlds and places that could’ve been mentioned briefly to give us an idea about the whole world. There’s Naraka and the Night Bazaar and then there’s Bharat and the rest of the normal world. How does that work? I need more information!!!
There was a lack of explanations for so many foreign words! I am not Indian and have no information about Indian mythology or any special cultural things but I would’ve loved to learn about them. I wouldn’t have minded having a glossary with all those foreign magical creatures and what they were, was I supposed to know what any of that meant beforehand??? I still don’t get most of the magic that goes on in Naraka, how does the Tapestry actually work, are the doors and mirrors supposed to be portals to other places and how does being Queen give magical powers?
In conclusion, A Star-touched Queen was a great book that deserves all the praise it has gotten. The story was unique enough that the cheesy romance didn’t irk me as much! I’d love to own a physical copy of this book too because that cover is definitely what love looks like! I wish to get a chance to read more by Roshani because as I said before: MAGNIFICENT WRITING!
Did you read this book? What are your opinions? Lets discuss!