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The Star-Touched Queen Hardcover – April 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Born with a horoscope that predicts a marriage of death and destruction, Maya is an outcast in her father's kingdom, Bharata. When Amar's political machinations go horribly wrong, Maya finds herself married to him and queen of Akaran-a mysterious place filled with secrets and magic. Amar offers Maya the chance to rule at his side and become more than Bharata ever would have allowed. All he asks in return is her patience and trust, which soon prove more than she can give. Her search for answers will lead her across worlds and through her own fragmented memories to discover surprising truths about her husband's kingdom and herself. Maya is refreshingly unapologetic about her ambitions and her desire for independence. Although her distrust and doubts lead to the main conflict of the story, she is quick to own those mistakes and works to correct them even when it might be to her detriment. Chokshi's debut fantasy is filled with vivid and unexpected imagery as Maya discovers the wonders and dangers found in her new home in the Otherworld. Well-researched figures from Hindu folklore and mythology, astonishing creatures, and expressive characters further complement the story. A setting drawn from ancient India, romance with feminist sensibilities, and a unique magic system reminiscent of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Little, Brown, 2011) make this a novel sure to appeal to fans of Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn (Putnam, 2015). VERDICT A stunning debut filled with lush writing, smart characters, and a mysterious plot that provides as many twists as it does swoons.-Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Praise for The Star-Touched Queen:
New York Times Bestseller
#9 on the Summer 2016 Kids' Indie Next List
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A Goodreads Best Book of the Month
“Chokshi's prose is captivating, and the pages come alive …. Maya is a strong heroine, and while there is romance, an emphasis on familial love adds another level of richness to a folkloric fantasy about sacrifice, self-discovery, and making your own destiny.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Richly imagined, deeply mythic, filled with lovely language… this is an author to watch” ― Kirkus Reviews
"Magic is woven into every word of the STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. Vibrantly imaginative and gracefully written, I was spellbound from the first line. A dazzling, sensuous feast of world-building, romance, and mythology." ―Sarah J. Maas, New York Times Bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series.
"Roshani Chokshi has crafted a bewitching tale with a setting so vivid and unique, I wished I could step right through the pages." ―Amy Ewing, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Jewel
"Chokshi's storytelling glimmers like magic on every page-a novel meant to be savored." ―Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix
"A luscious, bloodthirsty fairy tale with all the romance, magic, and gorgeous mythology I could ask for ―Tessa Gratton, author of Blood Magic and The United States of Asgard series
"Gorgeously poetic writing gives vibrant, sensuous life to the worlds of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN." ―Kate Elliott, of Court of Fives
Top customer reviews
While I really liked Maya’s character arc, it became a guessing game for a large portion of the novel, as I tried to figure out what its main conflict was. Bharata was on the brink of war when Maya left for Akaran and her disappearance becomes a catalyst, but as time plays tricks in this mysterious kingdom, we as readers are left in the dark, waiting for something significant to happen with the overall plot of the story. It isn’t until we are nearing the end of the novel that we learn of Bharata’s fate. While not a long novel, it did feel like I had to wait an awfully long time for the story to actually take off. I also had a hard time feeling invested in Amar’s character. Though Maya is spellbound by him and their relationship is meant to feel like destiny, there are certain elements at play that kept me from truly understanding his character and looking back, I still don’t feel like I got to know him as much as I did Maya. If more time had been devoted to his own character development, I think I would have liked reading about the evolution of their relationship more.
The kingdom of Akaran itself is a rich and enchanting setting. There are mysteries behind every door, entities lurking about that aren’t quite what they seem, and magic that is at once awe-inspiring as well as frightening. The Star-Touched Queen plays with the idea of fate versus free-will: are our choices ours or have they already been determined? Chokshi’s writing is otherworldly and at times I had to pause just so I could admire the way she uses language to paint such a lovely and vivid picture of this world. There’s such potential in her writing, I’m fairly confident the next book will be an improvement upon this one. There’s a specific minor character in this novel that I felt more drawn to than the protagonist. Her story seemed really interesting and compelling, despite knowing very little of her journey. If you’ve read the synopsis to the follow-up novel, A Crown of Wishes, you’ll know who I’m referring to. I wasn’t sure about this novel getting a sequel, but knowing who it will be focused on makes me pretty excited about it.
Maya is a strong main character. She's flawed, but very likeable.
The Raja, Maya's father, was a...complicated man, but he had his redeeming qualities.
The characterization of the Harem women was so on point! I literally hated Mother Dhina; well, up until the end, which is when I began to love her!
Guari! She just seemed so adorable and I loved that she grew up to be so strong.
This book is extremely unique in it's world-building. There's succulent fruit that looks like jewels and a variety of other things.
Kamala was the BEST flesh eating demon horse ever! I loved her, she was soooo freaking likeable!
The idea of threads in a carpet representing individual people was new to me & a very cool idea.
The memory tree was a very cool idea!
Not to mention the cover, it's gorgeous!
Diverse characters rule in this book!
10 Things I Didn't Like About This Book:
Amar seemed paper thin to me. He's supposed to be the love of Maya's life, but he seems to lack passion.
The world-building, while interesting, was extremely confusing at time. I literally stopped reading this book at page 80, and then restarted just so I could get a better grasp of what I was reading.
I'm still not sure how three stars, real stars (you know, burning gas) can be used as a hair pin. 0_0
The romance between Amar & Maya seemed forced. There wasn't a gradual increase in their closeness; Amar just trusted her implicitly & she's like...okay, cool.
Gupta was paper thin, as well. It seemed he was only in the story to make it seem like it wasn't all about Maya and Amar (which it is).
This book reminded me of Cruel Beauty. I cannot stand Cruel Beauty.
The first half of this book is a hot mess when it comes to plot and writing. I literally found myself saying "huh?!" every few minutes. The metaphors are just...so bad.
The second half of this book is so different from the first that it was like reading a completely different book. I don't like when that happens.
Nritti was a bunk villain. I honestly didn't even know what the hell was going on when she first appeared in the story. Something about smoke and a voice like something...lol.
The tutor. I don't know what the hell the scene with the tutor was supposed to do, but all it did was confuse me.
Is it a Series or Stand-Alone?
Series, a duology! The next book, A Crown of Wishes, releases 3/28/2017.
If it's a Series, Am I Reading the Next Book?
The next book is about Guari, so I may buy it, but I don't think I'll rush to read it.
Books It Reminds Me Of:
The writing kind of reminds me of two books: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge and The Program by Suzanne Young.
Much like Cruel Beauty, the Star-Touched Queen is largely focused in a magical castle/palace/home with areas off-limits to the main character; this book also has a rambling plot of Maya wandering around the palace like Cruel Beauty.
Much like the Program, Maya experiences traumatizing things, but then suddenly forgets them. For instance, she forgets what the false tutor told her before she vanquished him. This is so annoying.
Buy the Wrath & the Dawn instead.
Maya's character intrigued me and I was able to relate to her through her loving protection of Gauri, her half-sister and her incredibly witty friendship with Kamala. However, she still lacked some quirks (this has become a real pet peeve of mine). She was incredibly plot driven, but I don't know her favorite color, or those little details that happen when you really know someone.
I disliked Amar, all Amar and Amar love. Amar doesn't really have a personality, except he is powerful and loves Maya. Additionally, they don't talk about anything. Maybe he knows everything, but they do not have any conversations of shared interests, or even real communication. There are no conversations where they unravel each other's histories or even look at their flaws.
With the wonderful writing and characters that I actually did enjoy, there were always moments where it snagged. HOWEVER, I am still left with an overall enjoyable experience and look forward to the sequel A LOT. Especially since I know who is the MC.
Most recent customer reviews
You guys don’t understand how much I wanted to love this one.Read more