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.
Description taken from Goodreads.
If you want a clean, diverse version of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I would recommend The Star-Touched Queen to you. The story certainly has its faults, but all around, it’s beautifully written and has a sweet romance.
The best way to approach this one is to think of it as a Hades and Persephone retelling. (The author indirectly clarified that it’s not actually a retelling of the Greek myth, but for the sake of ease of comparison). Here’s what I mean by that:
Maya’s forced to stick around a guy that she isn’t in love with but ended up marrying because of the situation. I thought Chokshi did a great job of setting up the situation in a way that was believable.
I thought that Chokshi developed the romance as well as she could. Some people claim that this one is instalove, but I’d have to disagree. If you read the story to the end, it makes sense why Amar is the way that he is. Maya does fall for him somewhat quickly, but their banter’s fun to read from the beginning, and they have good chemistry.
There’s not much of a plot. Unlike the novels of Marissa Meyer and Rick Riordan, this story feels like a legend/myth/tale that was forced into the shape and size of a novel. There’s not a whole lot that can be done to draw out a 5 word story into a 500 word one, and that’s how this reads at certain parts of the book.
Admittedly, not all the time, and I was more entertained by The Star Touched Queen than I have been by most books lately, but still the truth.
The Star-Touched Queen is pretty romance-centered. At its heart, the Hades and Persephone myth is about love, and this story is the same way.
All of this is not to say that I disliked the book. Like I mentioned, the book worked out for me much more than I expected. I loved the connection between Amar and Maya. I thought that the integration and twists that come with this being about Indian myths were clever and interesting to read about, and I loved getting to know the world that Chokshi put together. That doesn’t even account for how beautiful the writing is within this story. Yes, it’s flowery, but it works. The metaphors flow, and the story manages to come together in ways that you wouldn’t expect.
However, as much as I enjoyed the book overall, it wasn’t without it’s faults. Tying together the third point with the first one, the lack of a plot plus a romance-centered story isn’t how I usually love my fantasy, and if I were to read this review, I probably wouldn’t have picked up The Star-Touched Queen.
It’s tough to make a call on this one because I don’t love it in the literary sense, but it worked for me in the sense of just reading for fun. Keep in mind that this was more true toward the beginning–I ended up skimming sections toward the end–but all around, I would recommend this one. There are ways that I hope Chokshi grows as a writer, but I’m glad I picked this one up and I’m interested to see how the companion novel goes.
Thanks for the recommendation from Kaitlin @ Mismatched Reader, and happy 2017, everyone! Here’s to a great year in books ^-^