The Star-Touched Queen: 1 Hardcover – 26 April 2016
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Praise for The Star-Touched Queen:
New York Times Bestseller
#9 on the Summer 2016 Kids' Indie Next List
A Goodreads Best Book of the Month
“Chokshi's prose is captivating, and the pages come alive …. Maya is a strong heroine, and while there is romance, an emphasis on familial love adds another level of richness to a folkloric fantasy about sacrifice, self-discovery, and making your own destiny.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Richly imagined, deeply mythic, filled with lovely language… this is an author to watch” ― Kirkus Reviews
"Magic is woven into every word of the STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. Vibrantly imaginative and gracefully written, I was spellbound from the first line. A dazzling, sensuous feast of world-building, romance, and mythology." ―Sarah J. Maas, New York Times Bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series.
"Roshani Chokshi has crafted a bewitching tale with a setting so vivid and unique, I wished I could step right through the pages." ―Amy Ewing, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Jewel
"Chokshi's storytelling glimmers like magic on every page-a novel meant to be savored." ―Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix
"A luscious, bloodthirsty fairy tale with all the romance, magic, and gorgeous mythology I could ask for ―Tessa Gratton, author of Blood Magic and The United States of Asgard series
"Gorgeously poetic writing gives vibrant, sensuous life to the worlds of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN." ―Kate Elliott, of Court of Fives
About the Author
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- Item Weight : 499 g
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250085470
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250085474
- Dimensions : 16.36 x 3.23 x 24.33 cm
- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin (26 April 2016)
- Language: : English
- Reading level : 13 and up
- Best Sellers Rank: #346,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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Maya – it took some time for me getting to know her. She was a kind of character whom you won’t like instantly, ask patience, and will grow on you by the end of the book. Yeah, she was complex, but I like her will to live to escape from the evil harem wives and gilded cages of her father’s kingdom that wanted her dead. She was smart, had conscience and political mind. Her ability to play with riddle was most amusing. I was glad she got a chance to run away but her nativity led her to believe lies and deception and had to go through the guilt trip. Her development was slow but the way she handled everything in second part was brilliant. I loved the way she learned from her mistakes and clung to hope. She was true hero of the book.
Amar – As soon as he came into story, I loved him. Everything about him was enticing. His kingdom, his secretes, his love and trust.. Oh, I so badly wished to grab that hood and uncover his face and look at those warm yet powerful eyes just like Maya. He was heart throbbing king who will drag the reader into his mesmerizing words. I admired him for his ways of showing his love for Maya. Who doesn’t like when a boy twist stars together and says, ‘A constellations to wear in your hair’!
Ever heard someone say they liked pishacha, a flesh eating demon? Well, I did in this book. Kamala was creepy and disgusting pishacha in form of horse, a dead without soul, but she made book even more interesting. She was funny, made me smile and I liked the way she helped Maya in second part.
what I liked-
The book was first person narrative with beautiful flowery descriptive writing, mesmerizing first lines, and gripping end paragraph of each chapters. The beginning of the book was tense gave the overview of kingdom of Bharat, Maya’s father- the Raja, cunning harem wives and Maya’s curse and her worst horoscope. It intrigued me to know more about Maya’s story- where her horoscope would lead, if she would be saved from hellish treatment of harem wives and whether her horoscope would come true or was that just rumors.
As the story progressed it took the readers from the garden and sanctum of Bharat to the lands of Otherworld and enchanting palace of Akaran with thousands door and full of secrets. I was eager to find out who Amar was, what he was hiding, what the voices in the hall were and what its intentions was. All these mysteries were enchanting enough to entangle me with the story. I loved the book more and more as the secrets were unraveled.
World building, tales and mysteries were the heart of the book. Akaran, kingdom between human world and Otherworld, a difficult task of balancing the borders of otherworld and human world, of deciding fate of people, that chapter describing the throne room and tapestry of fate was mind-blowing and that’s just the small part there was more. I even loved the story of antagonist and how antagonist turned from good to bad and mother Dhina’s repentance. . Everything was perfectly balanced and beautifully written.
Book gave a different perspective on fate, death, darkness and deeper insight on love- importance of patience, trust and being equal in relationship. It was about believing in love, power within yourself, hope, and finding love again.
Climax and end was exciting and I loved the way things settled at the end. I can’t wait to read next book in series.
Overall, it was magical, enchanting, beautiful tale with descriptive flowery writing and unique world building. I recommend it to YA fantasy lover.
Being an Indian I loved the way she played with Indian mythology and sculptured it into a new story,slash, dimension. Airavat, Bharata...etc were portraying a whole new role that was amusing to read and imagine.
Now, as for the plot, it was good but could've been better if structured properly. I found the insta romance and the willing and unwillingness of Maya towards Amar a little fast paced as she was so easily wooed. Even though she had her own reasons to not trust him but they were often shadowed by fast pace of the book.
Other than that this book is a good read for one who wants to expand their knowledge and read something like a re-telling.
Top reviews from other countries
Princess Mayavati has a bad horoscope, her future marriage is destined to be disturbed, partnered with death and all sorts of doom and gloom, and this bad vibe means a great deal to her people and her father the Raja. No pressure. Unfortunately their opinions of her are so low due to their superstitions, and their Kingdom is under lots of pressure to hold the fort, so the only way the Raja can solve this problem is to marry her off to an ally right? Well, that's what I thought too. Predictable YA. But you're wrong, he'd rather get her to drink some poison and kill her off. Fathers!
Somehow Mayavati finds herself in the Night Bazaar, a place full of otherworldly creatures and stalls filled with mysterious items; she is heading to Akaran with the Raja, Amar. She is to be his new Queen of this underworld. Amar is largely quite mysterious which was fantastic for me - I love to be given tiny bits of information about a character, ever lost in trying to figure them out, rather than having the characters immediately swoon over each other, lock eyes and have some cringe-worthy insta-love. Chokshi absolutely nails the relationships she develops in this book to make them believable, but also to make you want more - a rarity in YA fiction where romance is involved.
There are so many different threads to this story. Akaran and the duties required of it's rulers (Now Amar and Mayavati) are mysterious, unusual and highly creative - the descriptions of controlling someones fate are especially beautiful. The creatures within are unique, fun to read about and highly imaginative. Unfortunately, that's kind of the problem with this book (but really quite a small one, given how clever it is); the writing is so beautiful and the descriptions of what Mayavati can see and is surrounded by are woven so intricately and expressively that you actually lose track of what is really going on - the descriptions are almost too colourful, too distracting, that the plot suffers for it.
Despite this, if you're willing to get sucked it in to a truly well-developed Night Bazaar with unpredictable characters and some highly original ideas then you absolutely should read this; its lovely to read and imagine all of the culture, smells and rich descriptions. But keep in mind you might lose your head in Akaran; it likes to play tricks on you.
Really torn between 3 and 4 stars for this one as I loved it but there were also a few problems.
The world building and magical element were good, but it was very confusing at times.
I loved all the characters and their development, especially Kamala and Amer.
The plot was also a bit slow at times and forgettable.
I doubt I will pick up the 2nd book but overall it was a unique story and based on one of my favourite Greek myths, Hades and Persephone, while also incorporating Indian mythology.
If you liked this book I would also recommend: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis.
I don't know where to start! So I'll just start everywhere and this review will be all over.
I LOVED Amar. I loved his pretty words and I loved his encouragements of Maya, to be HER and not to think the way she thought he wanted her to, but to think her OWN way. He even said at one point he was fine with WHATEVER decision she made, but she had to THINK. It's obvious he's very in love with her and it kinda gives some of the game away - but then it's meant to.
So, understandably, I was LIVID with Maya for the way she reacted when she found out who he was. Especially with their belief system! On a side note, these people had a lot of issues with people dying despite their believing in reincarnation... (this could be a major plot hole OR just simple evidence of the stupidity of humans. Honestly, I'm taking it as the second, because there really are some silly people out there and I can totally see someone reacting this way.)
Where was I?
Oh yes, LIVID I tell you! Luckily she sorts herself out and gets on with it and I commend her on that, but I'm still not a fan. Ok, you can argue it all started with miscommunication , but ugh! I'm so close to saying Amar needs a new match. But, I guess some people might think her reaction fair.
It's very hard to try putting what I want to say into words, basically it can be summed up in two sentences, but this is a (hopefully) spoiler free review! So I'm trying to beat around the bush. (SO sorry if I failed!)
Apart from that I enjoyed this world and it's characters. Some of it was predictable, the way legends and myths can sometimes be, but at the same time there were some well hidden things that rounded out the whole thing nicely. If you're a fan of elegant writing and vivid imagery this is a book for you. Personally I'm a fan of flowery, shiny lines that take some re-reading to understand. The more you read them the deeper they are. LOVE it.
And there's a knitting elephant.
Though I have to say I AM very confused. I was seriously hating on Maya for a bit there and yet I've given this book 4 Voodoos! (Pretty sure it's not all for Amar). I'm also pretty impressed I kept going after I swore a blue streak at Maya and I think that that says a lot about this story and how it's written. Maya did grow into herself and I think that, if Amar can forgive her for stumbling a bit, we probably should too.
I'd love to know if this was based on a spesific myth/legend, so I may drop the author a question on goodreads. I'm also highly curious who the next book will be about. There's one main loose end that I can see, so hopefully it'll be over that!