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Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Hardcover: 342 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release date: April 26th, 2016

Series:  The Star-Touched Queen #1


Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

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 had been wanting to read this for a while, especially as it is more diverse YA fantasy. Plus what a gorgeous cover!

I was able to listen to part of this on audiobook which was super helpful as it really brought to life the accents and the pronunciations of the Indian names which I found really beautiful and fun to memorize. For example, "Bharata" is quickened and sounds more like "Bahrta" and "Mayavati" is more like "My-ah-vath-ee". The narrators were wonderful and really brought the story to life. However, I found this book to have a lot of description and that detracted from the story. There was much use of imagery and while that was beautiful, it was almost overkill. It had so much description that it was hard to picture so many details or to allow the reader to have their own idea of the picture, especially since I was only listening to the audiobook.

Also, I kept getting sucked out of the story by how fated Amar and Maya's love was supposed to be. First, you look at him like he's saved her, awesome...but then...he seems to be more than he is and he's hiding a lot of secrets. Yet, they are supposed to be so deeply in love like epic stories of Paris and Helena of Troy. Having never been much of one to believe in love at first sight even in normal YA, this takes everything to an entire next level as Maya and Amar's love is supposed to span time (if you've watched the tv show Legends of Tomorrow, this reminds me of Kendra and Carter).  However, since Maya is virtually told nothing and mentally spinning in circles (or literally, since she is completely lost in Akaran a lot), this results in some frustration for the reader. So much of the time the reader only knows what Maya knows and since Maya is trying to figure things out...I felt as if I did too! That was super irritating.

My favorite part came when Maya met Kamala, the demon horse, towards 3/4 of the way through the book. Kamala was the first character to have a real voice and personality. With Kamala and the unpredictability of Maya being out of Akaran, the plot picked up and, while things were still confusing, at least it was interesting rather than being trope or sickeningly sweet unbelievable romance. There will still be teen readers who will like this, absolutely, and those readers who like Cassandra Clare's books might be drawn to try this novel.

The next novel Crown of Wishes focuses on Maya's little sister Gauri, who Maya was forced to leave behind in her escape from Bharata. I'm not sure I will be reading that one, honestly. Have any of you read it? What did you think?

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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