The Star-Touched Queen
by 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.
I have spent quite some time trying to find a way to properly phrase this book review. I mean, I finished the book sometime last year, but despite how much I loved it – or maybe because of how much I loved it – I haven’t been able to adequately put together my thoughts and feelings.
It is very rare for me to find myself at a loss of words. Everything I come up with seems to fall short of encapsulating just how much I enjoyed the world that was built and created. But I am going to try.
There is this familiarity to the worlds of the novel that I absolutely adored. Like stepping into the myths I used to read growing up, the stories I grew up listening to from the elders in my family – I would love the story even if I didn’t fully understand the Indian-ness of it all, I think, but the fact that I do, the fact that there are so many things that make me pause and blink slightly because the Indian adults still say things like that, think like that, just adds a whole other dimension to my enjoyment of the novel.
It’s really rare to read a book that infuses Indian culture and mythology with the more common YA ideas. That it is also written by an author who is (part) Indian, and who understands the reasons behind why the characters would react the way they do makes it a more authentic read.
The relationships between the characters are crafted well, and the developments of individual characters are handled pretty realistically. I cannot wait for the next book.