Fantasy,  Review,  YA

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: March 28th 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Read Date: December 27th 2018
Genre: High Fantasy / YA / Romance
Pages: 367
Stars: 5/5

She is the princess of Bharata–captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

It seems like a foolproof plan–until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength and wits at every turn. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Adventure, passion, and vibrant storytelling, A Crown of Wishes is a story you won’t soon forget!

A crown of Wishes, sequel of The star touched Queen was beautiful mesmerizing tale of Gauri and Vikarm. It revolved around Gauri and Vikram- their struggle in their kingdom, deepest desire, fear, and love story- and The Tournament of Wishes. It was set some time later the story of first book, telling what happened in Gauri’s life after she left to rescue her soldiers from enemy kingdom and what happened to Vikram ones his fate was decided by Dharmaraj.

Gauri was strong character, different from all YA fantasy I ever read . She was prepared for all the battles life thrown in her path, she wore her kohl and cosmetics as armor, but nothing prepared her to fight the magic she denied to believe in. She was smart, fierce, strong willed, hard core princess but beneath that hard shell was a soft golden heart that beat for her kingdom Bharat, her loved ones and people of Bharat. Her situation in Bharat was complex and struggling. Playing games with her brother was hard, it was like winning one step by taking two steps back. It made me admire her for relentlessness and pity her for worst luck at the same time. She was true Jewel of the book.

Vikram called the fox prince of Ujjain. He was not good with swords but was sly, clever, amazing with word and riddles. What he lacked in physical strength he made up with clever mind. He was witty and lively character. He was not most handsome and swoon worthy prince but his words and actions made him most adorable. And that garden of Gauri’s dream he created at the end! He just stole my heart for that. His fight for making others see his potential was fruitful in the end. I loved everything about him.

Aasha had poisonous touch but was sweet and innocent girl. Her curiosity, desire to have human feeling, and helping others made her strong character and contestant in tournament of wishes.

If author has not marked impression by first book ‘The Star-touched Queen’ then she definitely will in this book. This book was far better and more impressive than the first one. Flowery poetical writing, imaginative world, creative characters and action packed adventure was perfectly balanced and written flawlessly. One liners and quotes, dialogues were mind-blowing. Wearing cosmetic as weapon! And that descriptive purpose of applying kohl, powder and lipstick was just wow.

The story was first person narrative from Gauri and Vikram’s perspective. It started with Gauri’s death sentence day in enemy’s kingdom, how her own kingdom betrayed her, thrown her to enemy’s prison cell and how Vikram got the magical invitation for tournament that could grant a wish.

Desire to get the throne of their own kingdom and freedom to rule fairly brought these two together. Warfare, battle skill of Gauri and scholarly cunning mind of Vikram started the magical adventure that took them through the streets of the otherworld to enchanting palace of Lord of Wealth. Clever prince and fierce princess created irresistible tale.

Story was divided in three parts. Part one was about getting invitation to tournament of wishes, intro of characters, and reaching to Lord Kubera’s palace. Part two was the game and three was the results of game. The game was heart of the book. Enchanting palace, mesmerizing details of its garden, halls and otherworldly people, story telling birds were imaginative and magical to read. Solving the riddles of Lord Kubera, getting keys to immortality, fighting Vishkanyas, serpent king and the nameless was thrilling. I was surprised by a small part of story based on old and famous Vikram and Vetala tales. Like pishacha in first book Vetala gave refreshing touch to story.

I liked Gauri’s strong bond towards her best friend Nalini, her love for throne and people of Bharat, her hatred for her lying manipulative brother and king of Bharat and some cherished memories of Maya. Vikram’s bond with his father was unique, I equally liked Vikram’s story- his hatred toward corrupt council, his desire to rule fairly to his people and designing new structure in his kingdom. It all intrigued me see how far they will go to win the game and what they will do with their wishes. Feast of fear was horrible and it showed what they have gone through and how they gained power over their deepest fear.

Relationship between Gauri and Vikram was bittersweet. Enemy-turned-lover worked perfectly in this book. I enjoyed conversation between them. In most of the stories prince saves the princess but here it was opposite. Gauri saved Vikram so many times in the book and yet there was no ego hurt or arrogance in both character. This made book different from other in this genre. Tournament of wishes gave both characters freedom and taught many other things. Working together in game brought out best in them. They surely will be on top of OTP list.

Climax was surprising. I didn’t expect all that happened to Vikram and Gauri. Aasha was also surprising element. End was beautiful. Those last few chapters were sweet.

Overall, it was full package of mystery, adventure, action, tales, myth, and romance that I recommend to all YA fantasy lover.

Author: Roshani Chokshi

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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