The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani Chokshi
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Read Date: December 8th 2018
Genre: Fantasy / Retelling / YA / Romance
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.
The star Touched Queen was mythical fantasy romance, an Indian retelling of Hades and Persephone, a story of Maya and Amar full of mysteries, love and betrayal, death and reincarnation, (and as blurb says) fate and fortune, passion and power.
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.
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.
What do you think about the book?
Have you read this book already or any book by this author before?
Have you read any retelling of Hades and Persephone? Which do you recommend?
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