The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on April 26, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling, Mythology
Pages: 352 Format: ARC Source: Won
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
I received this ARC for winning a giveaway from Brittany’s Book Rambles. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Roshani Chokshi’s debut novel The Star-Touched Queen was a masterpiece of visual storytelling. A gripping mix of myths set in a mystical world with heart wrenching moments that will bring tears to your eyes and tug at your soul. An outcast in her father’s palace, Maya is haunted by a horoscope and fears for her future until Amar arrives and offers an escape. Ever since I had heard the summary of this book I knew I would fall deeply enthralled for it and that was exactly what happened!
Reasons Why I Loved The Star-Touched Queen
- Some of the most beautifully written narrative that I’ve read. Amazing visuals, luscious details. I’ve included some of my favorite passages below. No spoilers, I promise.
- A Persephone and Hades retelling mixed with Indian folklore. I love mythology and their story always seems passed over for the other gods and goddesses. Plus the use of folklore from India was a fresh take. I’ve rarely seen it used in literature.
- The places in this story held such an otherworldly quality to them. From the Night Bazaar and its many unique creatures to Ankaran’s maze of hallways and doors. It left me spellbound by the scenery.
- Kudos for these characters! Maya aches for freedom and she jumps at the chance for it and Amar with all of his mystery and secrets was definitely worthy of attention. I mean who wouldn’t fall for a guy who hides his face.
- Let’s not forget Kamala, the flesh eating horse that joins Maya on her journey. She brings such blunt honesty and yet a touch of humor.
- The emotion that Chokshi elicits from joy to pain to understanding to forgiveness is impressive. It’s all intricately layered and there is just the right amount of romance to capture the heart.
Overall The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi was an amazing story from start to finish. Maya’s journey is full of twists and turns plus her and Amar’s story is filled with such intense emotion that compels the reader to dive deeper into the narrative. Chokshi winds words together is such eloquent prose that I will be investing in any of her future projects. Everyone needs to pick this book up and dive into this rich world full of awe and wonder.
- I yearned to draw breath beneath a split-sky leaking with magic. And not just live within one of the other realms’ strange kingdoms, but rule it.
- When I looked up, I could imagine – for a moment – what the sky hid from everyone else. I could see where the winds yawned with silver lips and curled themselves to sleep. I could glimpse the moon folding herself into crescents and half-smiles. When I looked up, I could imagine an existence as vast as the sky. Just as infinite. Just as unknown.
- I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.
- I reached out to hold a daydream. They looked like they were spun from glass and yet their touch was silk-soft. As they drifted between my fingers, I felt them – a nap in the sleepy sunshine of a winter afternoon, a reverie where a sea alight with flowers and bright candles washed over my ankles.
- Niches filled with statues of gods and goddesses with plangent eyes and backs arced in a forgotten reel of a half-dance leaned out into the halls. Light refracted off crystal platters piled with blooms the bright color of new blood, and flickering diyas cast smoke against the mirrors, leaving the halls a snarl of mist and petals. I touched the sharp corners. I liked the feeling of stone beneath my fingers, of something that pushed back to remind me of my own solidity.
Are you planning to read The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi? Already have? Have you read any Persephone and Hades retellings before? Any recommendations for literature with Indian folklore? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!