The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
In this stunning retelling of Persephone and Hades, Maya has to unravel secrets twisted in myth and face enemies that thrive in nightmares.
Publisher’s Description: Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
What drew me to this book wasn’t the hype, though the fact that several of my favorite authors blurbed the back cover certainly contributed to my need to buy it. I’m actually a huge fan of the author, Roshani Chokshi, and her agent, Thao Le, both of whom I follow on Twitter. Since I’d been receiving a lot of tweets about the release of Star-Touched Queen and its romantic tale of Indian mythology, I picked it up pretty eagerly.
It has phenomenal writing, each line dripping with beautiful metaphors and descriptive language. There’s quite a few memorable quotes, like this one: “No matter where we are, we’ll always share the same sky. We can always find each other in the same constellation.”
I really liked the supernatural touches in each. This is a book that kind of has no limits on what kind of magics it can conjure. There’s Greek mythology mixed in with Indian folklore, astrological beliefs and ancient wishes. There’s a flesh-eating demon that comes in later who says a lot of funny things, albeit sometimes creepy (as most of them have to do with her eating something). I actually enjoyed her sarcasm a lot and she was one of my favorite characters.
I also loved the description of the magic and the setting. Akaran is the realm of the dead but it is also home to many things, including a hundred or so worlds that you have access to through mirrors. There are a lot of interesting creatures besides the flesh-eating demon and each seems more sinister than the next.
The one thing I didn’t really enjoy as much was the romance. Sure, it was literally forced, as Amar took Maya away from her home and to his kingdom as his queen. Still, they have a connection beyond that I suppose, but it still seemed too forced. But I didn’t catch just what really kept them together. Their former lives before in which they loved? I guess this current and present love is what confused me the most. I’m aware that Maya didn’t remember her former life and therefore, their romance. But in the present story, Maya doesn’t trust Amar and his secrets and yet she loves him, even though even near the end she still doesn’t have all the answers from him. I think it was too much for me because I don’t believe in love without that trust.
But either way, I mean, I give it a four and I think a lot of other people would enjoy it as much as I did.
Luna Lovebooks says…
Likes: The writing is spectacular. While the overall story is intriguing, it was the beautiful descriptions and lyrical settings that kept me going. There are plenty of metaphors and memorable quotes.
Mythology is a passion of mine. I must admit I have not read many Indian myths, but this novel had me wanting to pick up more books on the subject. It is steeped in mythology, astrology, reincarnation and mystics.
Many may roll their eyes at the undying love between Maya and Amar, but I found it beautiful as well. Some see it as instant love, but it is quite literally an eternal love. Due to the reincarnation process Maya must awaken who she really is and rediscover the feelings that are there. In a way it is also a novel about finding your true self as well.
I honestly can’t think of a thing in which I didn’t like about this novel! It is beautiful and in my opinion well written. This author will be added to my list of favorites. I have to give The Star-Touched Queen 5 constellations.
If you like this book…
If you like Persephone & Hades retellings, you’d love Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test series or Brodi Ashton’s Everneath trilogy. If you like going through time for love that spans lifetimes and history, I’d suggest the third book in the Fallen series, Passion. If you like beautiful writing, check out another angels and demons trilogy, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor.