Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ARC Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publication: St. Martin's Griffin (April 26, 2016)

Description: 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.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

My Thoughts: Maya has grown up in her father's harem as a forgotten princess. Her mother died when she was born and, since her horoscope was very grim, it is believed that she is cursed. Her only supporter in the harem is her younger half-sister Gauri. She is used to scaring away tutors and climbing into the rafters to hear her father as he meets with councilors and envoys. She knows that her country is at war - a war they are losing.

Her father proposes that Maya be offered as a bride to the leaders of the warring countries. Maya is very surprised as she thought her curse might allow her to stay at home and spend her life reading and studying. She is heartbroken to find that her father has a devious plan that requires her to commit suicide rather than choose one of her suitors.

She is saved on the verge of suicide by a suitor she doesn't remember being introduced to. Amar of Akara proposes that he take her away and marry her. She agrees and her adventures begin. She finds herself visiting the otherworld, living in a very strange castle, and coming to love her husband despite not really being able to trust him.

The secrets he is keeping almost manage to destroy their relationship. Her journey to trust makes up most of this story which is lushly told, filled with creatures from Indian mythology, and packed with heart-wrenching decisions. Maya is an intrepid heroine who has to make some very hard decisions. Fans of fantasy will greatly enjoy getting to meet Maya and Amar.

Favorite Quote:
"I am Maya and Yamuna and Yamini. I am a frightened girl, a roaring river and night incarnate," I said. My voice strong and clear. Around me, the tapestry shrank back, like a scolded animal. "I have been a forgotten princess, a stubborn queen and a false sadhvi. And I will not be tethered."
I got this ARC from Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

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