The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi


3.57  ·  Rating details ·  13,401 Ratings  ·  3,323 Reviews
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi download it here for free full
The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi
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.

“I know your soul. Everything else is just an ornament.”

“I love you," he murmured into my hair. "You are my night and stars, the fate I would fix myself to in any life.”

“I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.”  
 


Reviews


Although I had never envisioned marriage, I had thought of love. Not the furtive love I heard muffled in the corners or rooms of some of the harem wives. What I wanted was a connection, a shared heartbeat that kept rhythm across oceans and worlds. I didn't want the prince from the folktales or some milk-skinned, honey-eyed youth who said his greetings and proclaimed his love in the same breath. I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible.
Oh. My. God. I'm speechless with glee and my head is spinning from this fantastical, lovely, exquisitely built tale. The story can best be described as Greek mythology in a mythical Indian setting. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

Seriously, both of those elements promise to be magical, and trust me when I say you will not be disappointed by the way they are represented in this book. I have always been fascinated by the image of the Indian royal court and the harem. Call me a romantic, if you will, but I love the colors, I love the harems, I love the power play and the backstabbing. I love the richness, and vibrancy of it. It's something that has always fueled my imagination, and this book delivered on every front.

Seventeen-year old Princess Mayavati lives in the royal courts. Though she is a princess, a charmed life it is most defintely not. The belief upon horoscopes prevail, and upon her birth, Maya was predicted to have a cursed life. As such, she may be a princess, but she lives her life as one ostracized.

It's not all bad, because nobody pays attention to her, Maya gets the run of the court. She reads. She spies on her father. That independence soon comes to a close when Maya gets the shock of her life; she is to be betrothed to the a foreign prince to avert war between their nations.

Life is over as she knows it. Instead of freedom, Maya will now live a life in a gilded cage to a stranger. But her wedding is a bit...unexpected.

    A soldier's hand grasped for me, but Amar pulled me away. Arrows zoomed past, but each time one came near, he would whirl me out of the way. He moved fluidly, dodging javelins, always a few steps behind me, a living shield.

Oh snap! Not your traditional wedding, that's for sure.

Against all hope, Maya finds happiness. She finds love. She finds a partner. But what fun is it if the story just ended there? There's magic and mystery and hidden rooms, and then there's the mystery of her groom itself. The groom that's just too good to be true, and perhaps is.

    That night, I dreamed of locked doors and baying hounds, rooms that were night-dark and a beast-king that smiled and laughed around a mouthful of broken stars to sing one phrase over and over: I know the monster in your bed. 
Maya is such a wonderful character. She may have suffered from her loneliness, but she never becomes a martyr. She has strength that comes from such loneliness. And unlike other characters in other books who frustrates by building an impenetrable wall of bitchiness around their heart, Maya is open to what her heart desires. One criticism may be that she is too easily susceptible to romance, but I compare it to a man dying of thirst, confronted with a bounty of water.

The world building is incredible. From the mythology within her world...

    In all the tomes and folklores I had read from the archives, there was no limit to the worlds around us. Somewhere unseen were demonic realms filled with laughing asuras and blackedned suns. There were austere kingdoms on the peaks of mountains where phoenixes serenaded the moon and the halls of the gods glinted with lightning. And there was our own, human world, mortal, with only the comfort of stories to keep away the chill of death."
And the romance! THE ROMANCE! IT'S HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC.

    "What do you want from me?

    He stopped, the smile was gone from his lips.

    "I want your perspective and honesty," he said, before adding in a softer voice, "I want to be humbled by you. My kingdom needs a queen. It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you."

IT'S WILDLY, MADLY ROMANTIC AND GUESS WHAT? I DON'T GIVE A SHIT. It was beautiful and glorious and my heart sings with joy.
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All fantasy readers, are you ready to meet your favourite 2016 publication?

That’s right, it’s that good.

The first thing you’ll notice when you start reading this gem is the elegant writing. If it doesn’t sweep you off your feet, color me dumbstruck. I can’t imagine someone being immune to it. An angel must have written this story.

‘‘My kingdom needs a queen,’’ he said. ‘‘It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you.’’

As I was reading the story, a thought kept popping up my mind: how the hell did Maya survive this long, even with those guards? Everyone simultaneously hates and fears her. Even her own father wants her dead. In a time when horoscopes act as gods and determine if a person is trustworthy or not and the kind of future that awaits them, your destiny better be bright.

Maya has the darkest horoscope of them all.

The Raja of Bharata, her father, decides to marry her off, in order to gain an ally for when the upcoming war bursts to life. So she gives up the sliver of freedom she still had and marries. But not to anyone—to the King of the Otherworld. She quickly learns, though, that there is more to Amar than charming promises.

I admired her strength and how feministic her values are the most. She wants more from life than to just be wife; she yearns for education, freedom and she doesn’t blindly trust men. And let’s not forget the fact that she plays the role of the saviour. Amar, too, is very intent on equality and treating Maya with all the respect she deserves.

‘‘My star-touched queen,’’ he said softly, as if he was remembering something long ago. ‘‘I would break the world to give you what you want.’’

I truly wish this was a series... When I turned the last page, I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to the characters I grew, in only a few days, so attached to and therefore went back to reading my favourite passages to pluck beautiful quotes here and there. However, the author lovely concludes the story. You won’t be disappointed in that department.

I’m impressed at how automatically I liked the love interest. I didn’t even review his qualities or looked for flaws—it just happened, and quickly, too. Maybe you’ll find him a little too ‘‘intense,’’ but if the romance in Cruel Beauty worked out for you, I don’t see why you wouldn’t adore the relationship between Maya and Amar. You just have to know that Amar is a sweet talker, but he’s always genuine—or is he?

The world-building is a bit less developed than I thought it would be when I heard of the whole never-seen-before concept of horoscopes mirroring a person’s fate. Why? Very few settings and a lack of meaningful interactions with diverse secondary characters. Except, I took in consideration that this is a standalone and that it’s hard to well include both of those elements in a one-book story. On the plus side, you’ll find that the original plot, three-dimensional characters and gripping dialogs shine.

‘‘You know nothing about me.’’
‘‘I know your soul. Everything else is an ornament.’’

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5 STARS ALL THE STARS. Oh my goodness this absolutely just became one of my all-time favorite books!

Never have I ever been so wrong about a book (or so thrilled to be wrong). I first reviewed this book on May 4... right after ACOMAF. I was obviously in a major book hangover and don't think I had a lot of patience for literally anything. I ended up calling this a DNF after a short time with the intent to come back to it later because the writing was so gorgeous and I KNEW I would normally love this. I'm so glad I waited until I could give this my full attention, but I'm also super sad I didn't read this sooner!!

First of all, Roshani Chokshi can seriously write. Every sentence was a straight up piece of art. I kept staring at the pages like TELL ME HOW TO WRITE LIKE THIS. I was completely entranced the whole way through and loved every single scene SO much... it just kept getting better and better. The entire story was beyond gorgeous and magical and just aaaaahh I am totally failing to put my love for this into words.
I'm not sure if it's meant to have hints of the original Beauty & the Beast and the Hades/Persephone myth, but it feels like that to me. I remember reading some description from the publisher that said it had hints of Greek and Indian mythology. So maybe check this out if you like those stories or Alice in Wonderland and The Wrath and the Dawn? But it's really something completely original on its own!!!

I feel like trying to explain the plot ruins the magic of how everything unfolds, so I'll just say that it's totally not instalove in the end. Nor is the romance the main focus. It's just a really sweet, powerful story and I thought Maya was one of the strongest MCs I've seen in a long time. And the demon horse Kamala was hilarious... I usually get annoyed by talking animals but pretty sure Kamala was my favorite character in the end.

I didn't realize that I've been sort of reading on autopilot lately, but this story is so gloriously imaginative that I got SO into it. I don't know if some of the scenes were supposed to be as deep as I made them by reading various world religions and myths into everything, but I had fun so whatever.

I'm really looking forward to the next book about Gauri now! And absolutely anything else Roshani Chokshi writes.

Ok I know this whole review has really said nothing specific about the book and I'm so sorry I can't stop gushing about my love for it enough to actually shut up and say something useful.
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Inspired by Indian folklore and Greek mythology, The Star-Touched Queen is a beautifully written, captivating story luscious in detail and suffused with vivid imagery.

Cursed with a horoscope upon birth that promises a marriage of death and destruction, seventeen-year old princess Maya is feared by the people in her fathers kingdom. Made to feel outcast and inadequate, Maya embarks on a journey to unravel her true identity. As she embarks on this quest she is met with lies, deceptions, betrayals and finally, the revelation of she really is and what role she plays in this world.

To say that I loved this book, is an understatement. Words can not describe how much I absolutely adored this story. The character development was phenomenal. I truly felt a connection with these characters on many levels. Maya, our main character, who even though she is feared and pushed aside by the rest of the wives and her sisters, she does not let their harsh words and cruel whispers dissuade her from seeking happiness.

In fact, she prefers to be left alone. To let no one in. Except one person, Gauri, her younger sister. Maya would do anything for Gauri. The love she has for her younger sister is a strong and passionate thing. At night, to chase away the bad dreams, she tells her stories of other worlds and its strange mythical creatures.

The Romance was magical. The love story was enchanting and captivating, bringing tears of joy to my eyes. Romance is a strong element in The Star-Touched Queen. Also, get this: NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Refreshing, right?!?! The writing was graciously beautiful and mesmerizing. It made the romance in the story a hundred times more beautiful. The writing was also not only marvelous, but breathtaking. Every word was pure gold. In its own way, it was magical. A piece of art.

The world building was spectacular. Roshani Chokshi has created a world so complex and intricate, it blew me away. Never have I envisioned anything with such great detail.

To top it all, there is a demon horse, Kamala. She is fierce, has a dark sense of humor, and sass for days. Or more like eternity. As a demon horse she loves to eat people. She always wants to eat someone. She jokes constantly and throws sass in every direction. She could eat me and I would put up no fight, I would just thank her. Kamala is my precious diamond. My spirit animal.

And then there's that one-bites on tongue to keep from using an insulting name-person we hate. She infuriated me so much. Like girl I've got some words for you. But anyway, moving on now because spoilers. Just know I really wanted to put in axe in her face.
Full of revelations and a stunning conclusion, The Star-Touched Queen is a remarkable and imaginative story with Indian and Greek mythology woven into every last word.

Mark your calendars because The Star-Touched Queen hits shelves April 26th! And trust me, you won't want to miss out on this one.
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This book was SO BEAUTIFUL. THE WRITING. THE STORY. THE LOVE. I CRY.

Part 1 is SUPER confusing and jumps all over the place. Through it all I still loved the main character, Maya, but it was hard to really love the story and get into it, though I was seriously moved by some of the passages. Everything just seemed to be moving too quickly to make sense.
But part 2. PART 2. This is really where this book hits its stride. It's over halfway through but man does it make the first part worth it. Things can still feel a little random but it's SO GOOOOOD. SO GOOD.
Overall I really liked this book. Beginning was extremely confusing but it got better at the end. The writing was GORGEOUS. The plot seemed jumpy and choppy until the book hit its second part and then it all made sense and came full circle.
BLESS THIS BOOK.
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I cannot believe I was so hesitant to read this before. The Star-touched Queen is surprisingly one of the best novels I have read this year. The author also happens to be part Filipino, so I'm feeling quite proud at the moment. Tee-hee.

My actual rating for this book is 4.5. Before I picked it up, I actually expected to give it 3 stars. Silly me. I've read reviews which complained about the too flowery writing and sloppy world-building, but I found myself unable to fully understand such harsh criticism. Truth be told, the only problem I encountered was the incomplete/inadequate glossary; there were some italicized, Indian terms that were quite a hassle to look up on Google.

In contrast to other readers, I loved the author's writing style. Sarah J. Maas wasn't exaggerating when she blurbed, "I was spellbound from the first line." In totality, the writing was flowery in a way that stimulated my imagination. Some metaphors were over the top, but most of the descriptions were beautiful in that they gave so much life, color, and depth to the story. If you love Marie Rutkoski's play on words, then you will definitely be a fan of Roshani Chokshi's.

As for the world-building, I found it whimsical and refreshing. Initially, it was quite confusing, but everything clicked for me when I remembered how the novel was marketed as a loose retelling of Hades and Persephone. Ultimately, both the writing style and world-building just require a little patience. They might befuddle you at first, but you'll learn to enjoy them eventually.

The Star-touched Queen featured a cast of diverse and intriguing characters. Maya had a wonderful character arc. All of the hatred and deception she experienced transformed her into a formidable heroine. I only disliked her for her tendency to be gullible. Seriously, the dilemmas in the story could have been avoided if she learned to hone her critical thinking skills.

Amar, her love interest, inevitable reminded me of ACOTAR's Rhysand (everybody's favorite male character in YA). It was funny how he kept on pining for Maya's trust while keeping so many secrets from her. In the end, the reason for his furtive demeanor was justified. It even made him more likable. I'll probably remember him best for his Feminist and evocative vocabulary. ^^

Personally, I think that at its core, this book is not a love story. Instead, it is a magical story of an ostracized girl's transition into empowered womanhood. I believe that you'll find so much more than a slow burning romance. Otherwise, I would have given this book a lower rating.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Star-touched Queen, and I am very excited to read its supposedly amazing sequel (companion novel). As a fellow Filipino, I sincerely applaud the author for making a difference in the predominantly Western domain of YA literature.
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ART. ART. ART. ART. MAGICAL ART.
This book is LITERALLY MAGICAL, GLITTERY, WONDERLAND ART.
Like I can't even describe how beautiful this book is. I could have taken out all the dialogue and just read the descriptions of the lands and places they were visiting, the things they saw and the impossible becoming possible and I still would have been glued to the book. Like is there fan art of this book? I want to see this thing COME TO LIFE.

Like seriously when she goes down into The Otherworld I'm just like on that trip with her. Like she was basically Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland but instead make it something of mythology and even more magical and crazy and beautiful and holy cow, can I read that for the first time again?
Ugh, I can't talk good well right now. Here's the scoop: seventeen year old Princess Maya is feared by everyone that she ever comes in contact with. Why? Because her horoscope spins a tale of her marrying death and bring destruction. To save her kingdom, she has to pick a husband.. little did she know that was the beginning of her journey of discovering the beauty in her horoscope, but the horror of it too.

I have heard it said that this is a retelling of Hades and Persephone, which I could totally get on board with. Just sprinkle in a little Wonderland and pure, unyielding magic and this book is what you'll get.

Seriously Roshani Chokshi writes so beautifully. She really brought this book to life.
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25203675-the-star-touched-queen

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