The Star-Touched Queen
🌟🌟🌟🌟 4 stars
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.
To be honest, I wasn’t blown away by the cover as most people were. What I love about it though is the substance. Even though I wasn’t initially keen on reading it, in the end I felt relieved that I decided to pick it up and read it because Rokshani has this beautiful way of writing that will make readers fall in love with her words.
Maya’s story is one tangled web of lies, deceit, cursed horoscopes, magical experiences, and otherworldly romance. Born with a cursed horoscope, Maya was pushed back into isolation that she someday wanted to get out of. Her wishes come true in the form of Amar – an unknown king who whisks her away into his unknown kingdom. Eventually, Maya falls in love with her husband but could not bring herself to trust him enough when he himself was holding back a lot of secrets. Thus, Maya takes it upon herself to search for answers, not knowing that her curiosity might lead an old enemy to her doors.
In all honesty, The Star-Touched Queen took some effort reading. I had to go over again some scenes that I didn’t understand before moving further. So if you happen to pick up this book, I suggest trying to slow down your reading pace in order to avoid confusion. I was also a little bit annoyed by the foreign terms, having belatedly realized that there’s a glossary waiting at the end of the book. I just had to use common sense and logic to comprehend what those certain terms meant.
However, nothing would erase the fact that TSTQ is still amazing. The narration is so mesmerizing I got sucked in so deep, feeling totally like I’m on fairytale land. I love Chokshi’s use of Asian folklore and not just Western ones which have already been retold more than enough times. This one was more refreshing, and attracts a lot of attention because of the “foreign vibe”. I love that the author didn’t portray just the lighter side of the fantasy world she created but also managed to display the dark horrors of it.
One of my favourite characters/creatures here was Kamala – a flesh-eating demon horse with a quirky humor and attitude that immediately endeared me to her. Kamala was one of the reasons that prevented this novel from getting dull. And because she got a lot of laughs out of me, I’m never going to forget her. She really made a difference to this novel – her first appearance alone shifted the entire mood of the story before it could get too depressing for my taste. I’m definitely hoping she’ll make an appearance in A Crown of Wishes too.
The romance was a little too sketchy for me. Don’t get me wrong – I love Amar. But I wasn’t entirely invested in his relationship with Maya. There was just something lacking there – I can’t pinpoint out what it is exactly, if it’s the depth or the lack of buildup, but whatever it is, it made it difficult for me to understand their connection. It also felt kind of rushed. Nevertheless, Amar is one male lead that will really make you swoon. His lines are fantastic. Cheesy – but in the right way. And then in the novel he says he isn’t good enough with words? I absolutely beg to argue otherwise.
Additionally, I love how the Hades-Persephone and Eros-Psyche concept was used here. It was nicely executed.
With its swoon-worthy romance, mesmerizing narration, enticing magical world, epic adventures, and an interesting plot, The Star-Touched Queen is one of the most beautiful novels you will ever read.
💐 MY FAVORITE QUOTES 💐
“Show me a dream unrealized. Don’t show me unchangeable paths.”
“I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.”
“No matter where we are, we’ll always share the same sky. We can always find each other in the same constellation.”
“The truth, is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way.”
“I see only night and smoke, dreams and glass, embers and wings. And I would not have you any other way.”
“If you do not doubt, you do not see.”
“It’s only those that deserve nothing that want everything.”