Written by: Roshani Chokshi
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 342, hardcover
Series: Standalone, but with a companion novel coming.
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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.
Okay so The Star-Touched Queen. I blasted through this one and finished it on this crazy high of just loving and adoring it and wanting everyone to read it. Then came time and patience, and the ability to go back over the book. I’m not sure what it is exactly that changed my mind from loving this book to saying that it’s pretty great but not as amazing as I thought it was.
Is it because I’ve read a lot of books between reading this one and then sitting down to write the review? Is it because I wasn’t ever entirely sold on the second half of the book and since reading it that has gone down even more? Is it because I’ve talked to people who didn’t like the book and have realized some flaws in it?
The answer to all of these questions is: Probably.
But let’s see if we can actually dig into this book and figure things out.
The second half of the book always felt jarringly different. I understood that our main character went through a life altering experience, that she completely changed. But for some reason, as the reader, I didn’t feel the same change. I understood I was supposed to feel the change, and I went with it. I let Maya lead the way and read the story. But the emotional connection I’d felt to the first half of the book was rather damaged. I didn’t completely believe all of it.
I also think that I had a bit of a preconceived notion going into the book that this was going to be a Hades/Persephone story. Which it kinda was, kinda wasn’t. I think I was expecting a little bit more of a rebelling than what I got.
I really did love the twists and turns that the plot itself took. I think that the storytelling was really unique, and I think that’s what sold me on the book in the first place. I love books of dual lives, but I wish that there had been more here. Hence the disconnect to the second half of the book.
The characters of this book were absolutely fantastic. I loved each and every one of them, from brooding, hurt Amar to our dear killer horse. They all really came alive for me, I really felt like I got to know them, and it connected me to the story. It led me to love them and root for them. But then, alas I wasn’t able to follow these dear characters through more growth and…yeah.
The prose. Holy moly. I am a sucker for amazing prose. Give me a well crafted book and you will have a very happy, happy Sondra. This book has those amazing words in spades and I just cannot get enough of them.
At the end of the day, The Star-Touched Queen was a good book. I enjoyed it, and I’m happy to have it on my shelves. Perhaps I need to reread it, go over that middle section again when I’m not going crazy for the answers just out of reach. Maybe I’ll connect with the characters and love the book far more than I did.