Back in April, I posted that this book was one of my most anticipated releases. Thankfully, I live in a city with a fantastic library so I was able to check it out a week ago. I didn’t read it as quickly as I would have liked due to work being crazy busy and just some personal stuff going on but I finished it yesterday and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you! 🙂
As always, I write spoiler-free reviews! (Or at least try to. XD )
Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Rouhani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: April 26, 2016
Length: 342 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (taken from Goodreads) “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. “
My rating: 3.5 stars
Okay, so let’s talk about that cover. It’s gorgeous. A bit reminiscent of The Queen of the Tearling but super gorgeous nonetheless. I love the gold. ❤
Now on to the actual book: I will say that overall I was pleased. I enjoyed the story, the world-building, the pure magic with which Chokshi infused into the novel, weaving mythology and historical fiction together. I felt as if I was walking through Alice in Wonderland or the Chronicles of Narnia due to the way Maya is transported from her constricted life to that of a life with Amar.
My main problem with this book were the characters. They felt so…one-sided, especially Amar. I wasn’t able to connect with them so I felt out of place. I wanted something deeper; I wanted the author to explore the depths of Maya’s past, not just her past lives. And sometimes even that was difficult to understand due to the complexity. Time had passed yet time had not… Amar felt distant and there was an almost “insta-love” attraction between them that I didn’t understand until I kept reading. The connection between these two characters is deep and timeless. That I loved.
I loved Kamala too. Definitely the comic relief of the novel.
If you’re looking for a great fantasy read, filled with magic and mythology, this is a read for you. And of course, if you have enjoyed the Middle Eastern trend in YA, you’ll enjoy this too! I see that this is a standalone but I’m hoping the author explores the story more and I’m excited to see what she’ll come out with next. 🙂