Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Firstly, thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: November 19 - 27 2016
Date Released: December 1st 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

"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."


Wow what a beautiful book! I’ve never read anything like The Star-Touched Queen before and now I want more. As YA fantasy goes, this sits up there on the scale with The Wrath and the Dawn and Cruel Beauty. It had the quality of an epic story where worlds are hanging precariously in the balance which I’m fascinated with.

The story opens with our protagonist Maya (Mayavati) a princess of the kingdom of Bharata who is shunned by all for her cursed horoscope. The stars dictate that her life and marriage are plagued by death and despite being a princess, the court shies away from her. She gets treated horribly by the harem wives, is basically bullied, mentally and physically abused. I mean I’d be bitter too if I was Maya. I think through everything she’s tried to grin and bear it. My favourite protagonists are those who are all about the doing. And that’s what Maya does. Words mean nothing to her, it’s all in the actions. Make a mistake? Go out and fix it. And if you want something done, go and do it yourself. I admired her loyalty and compassion. Maya’s just the kind of heroine one needs and wants to read from in these types of books.

There’s the mysterious Amar, supposedly a king, who comes and sweeps Maya off her feet and at first I was like OMG IS THIS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. And then I was like I WANT AN AMAR FOR MYSELF. Where do I get one? He is so sweet and holy gosh the stuff he says might seem far-fetched from a common dude’s mouth but from him it’s beautiful with a touch of edginess (like this sharpness that he possesses). He has secrets though. To trust or not to trust? That is the question. But like he shows her skies split into night and day, he gives Maya a room full of stars where she can hold the galaxy in her hands. LIKE WOOOOW?

Hnnnnnng the romance. MY FEELS. I SHIP THIS. I ship it so hard all I want is my ship to sail on into the beautiful sunset. Alas if only it was that easy. There’s storms to weather and whirlpools that get in the way (figurative speaking… somewhat). The romance is sweet, but edged with something harsher because Maya and Amar aren’t soft. No, they’re both edged in blades, Maya because of her upbringing, Amar because… reasons?! The romance tugged at my heart strings and made me swoon. Will they ever get together? Who knows (I do, but you won't unless you read the book).

The plot was very interesting and I know nothing about Indian folklore so I’m not sure if this is a re-telling and if what happened is expected. I don’t care. I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of intrigue, secrets hidden behind every door and lots of questions about who to trust. There’s this whole world-ending aspect which made it feel so epic and wonderful.

What I loved about TSTQ was that it mentioned concepts and they weren’t just myths, Chokshi made them possible in the story. Reincarnation, horoscopes, magic, demons - they had a part to play in the story. This really enhanced the world-building which omg was sooooo fantastical. The world was a phenomena in itself. From split skies to palace halls with doors leading to other worlds, to rooms that contain whole galaxies and pools that lead to another life, I was stunned at how much could happen in one book.

All this was accentuated by Chokshi’s stunningly gorgeous prose. No I am not exaggerating. I’ve never read a style like that. Admittedly, a little OTT sometimes but eloquent and luxurious nonetheless. All the senses explode with her descriptions and it’s like seeing, tasting, hearing and feeling the world in a different way. There’s almost a synasthaesia-esque aspect to the way things are portrayed. Different and takes a while to adjust but once I did, I sort of wanted to drench myself in the words.

You know when you read a book and you’re left with this feeling of wonder at how big the world is (even if it’s not real) and you feel small but complete because such epic could happen in a book? It leaves a mark. The book becomes memorable and every time I think of TSTQ I’m just like ‘wow, this is why I love fantasy’.


  1. OKAY I'VE DECIDED I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE. Because Indian folklore and romance and YOU COMPARED IT TO THE WRATH AND THE DAWN. So. *adds to cart*

  2. I adore this book! I read it last month and OH MY GOSH IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! I cannot wait for the next book, A Crown Of Wishes!

    xx Anisha (