The Star-Touched Queen

25203675by Roshani Chokshi
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel: April 26, 2016

This story grabbed me from the start—the cover—the Hades/Persephone retelling in a nonwestern setting. Then the gorgeous writing pulled me in and I experienced this wonderful dream of a book! The descriptions are lush, the images exude color and life, and the mystery surrounding Maya is addictive.

Maya’s horoscope declares her marriage will bring death and destruction, and she’s grown up in the harem as an outcast because of it. Then her father does the unthinkable—he arranges a marriage for her as a political scheme to strengthen the country. Maya finds herself thrown in with the king of Akaran, a kingdom she’s never heard of, which lies between the Otherworld and the human world. Every utterly strange thing you can imagine follows as Maya learns about the kingdom Amar wants her to rule with him. That she seems destined to rule with him. Almost as if in a past life, she did.

I was impressed because I typically don’t like stories that can’t reveal the major plot or conflict within the first 100 pages. This one keeps you in the dark close to half of the book, and I didn’t mind at all! I was so engrossed with the writing and the strange clues Maya was uncovering. This isn’t a book for just any fantasy lover—the style almost blends magical realism with fantasy, and it feels like a dream.  As in, an actual weird dream where you wake up wondering what the hell just happened. Rather like Alice in Wonderland. But if you enjoy the first fifty pages, you’ll love the rest. Also, Kamala. You must acquaint yourself with Kamala.

Also keep in mind that this seems like a fairy tale. Fairy tales don’t give you a lot of in-depth character development or world-building. I happen to love fairy tales, so this didn’t bother me.  If you go into it with the right expectations, I think this is an excellent book, and I can’t wait for the companion novel next year!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Star-Touched Queen is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!


Similar reads:

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – Shazi volunteers to be the killer king’s next queen after her best friend is the last in a string of girls to be a bride one day and a corpse the next. Shazi plans to be the last—she’s going to kill the king. A beautiful retelling of The 1001 Nights. See my review here.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Karou wants to know who and what she is, and she gets her wish when a group of murderous angels destroys her chimaera friends and comes after her. This is a wonderful trilogy involving an ageless war between chimaera and seraphim, and star-crossed lovers convinced they can end it and build a new world. See my review here.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – I savored this story about teen siblings Hazel and Ben who live in a town called Fairfold, whose main economy is tourists coming to see the fae that rule the forest around it. When the fae break their contract with the townsfolk, Hazel steps in to be the knight she always dreamed of becoming. See my review here.
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke – A strange short story about a hero, a villain, and a liar set in a small mountain town. Told through 3 points of view, you see if you can figure out who is telling the truth. See my review here.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Blue Sargent is the un-psychic daughter of psychics in rural Virginia who gets drawn in to a quest with four prep school boys to find a buried Welsh king in the mountains to claim a wish. Creepy magic, weird twists, amazing friendships, fast cars—one of my favorite series. See my review here.
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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda panda 👑
    Jul 19, 2016 @ 22:07:03

    Such a beautiful cover! ❤️
    And I’ve seen this book everywhere! I’m glad you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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