Rating – 4 out of 5
In The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Maya, is a forgotten princess. Growing up in her father’s harem, she is often ignored or else reviled because her horoscope spells death and misfortune. When the kingdom needs her, Maya is called upon to marry which leads to an adventure where the fate of the world and underworld hang in the balance.
Why I liked The Star-Touched Queen
This book, like A Court of Thorns and Roses, has many elements of folklore and faerie tales. The story is epic and expansive. There are many twists and turns to this story, many of which I did not see coming. But they were also told in a disconcerting way that seems to be a sign of the genre. I had a hard time following the plot for most of the novel. Once I started thinking of the book less like a linear story and more like a fairy tale in the oral tradition the story opened up. Especially later in the book it helps to think of the story as if someone was telling it around a campfire. Much like a house with no furniture, it had all of the elements of a great plot but none of the substance I was craving.
That being said, I thought the story itself was inventive. Some of the tropes were the same to the mostly germanic faerie tales and greek mythology I grew up on, this had a distinctive Indian twist. The interplay between the over world, the under world and the world between was like nothing I had ever seen before. The story did not shy away from death, destruction and loss. It was refreshing to read something obviously steeped in the same type of lore that I heard as a child but was new to my cannon of stories. This book had a good plot, but be ready to put in the labor of making it complete in your head.
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