The Star-Touched Queen – Review // A Gorgeous Indian Fantasy I Need My Own Copy Of

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Book 1 in The Star-Touched Queen duology
Genre: YA fantasy, mythology, romance
Pages: 342
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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plot: 20/20
characters: 20/20
setting: 20/20
relationships: 20/20
twists: 20/20
100/100

The Star-Touched Queen is a debut novel that was released in the early months of 2016, and I daresay one of the most widely beloved. Seeing as it’s nearly 2017, you could say I’m a bit late, but I read it nonetheless. Going in, I didn’t know much beyond that it was inspired by Indian folklore, and honestly I think that’s the best way to approach this novel. I was surprised by each chapter and instantly swept away by the lyrical, engaging story. โค

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Some say the story meanders, I say otherwise. It’s naturally a bit slower, yes, but if you were hooked from the first page like I was, it’s easy to look past. The beginning pulls you into this Indian fantasy kingdom and then away to a world between worlds, the middle lulls you into a false sense of security, and the end is a whirlwind. It’s truly addicting, and I’m sure I would’ve breezed through this in a day or two if I hadn’t been distracted by the holidays. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, a few surprising things happen in the first handful of chapters, and somewhere between the quarter and halfway point there’s a huge twist. I didn’t see it, or any of the other twists (though the rest are quite a bit later) coming. I wasn’t joking when I said it was a whirlwind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The writing is lyrical and absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know what else needs to be said about it, but I’ll say this. When I scrolled through community reviews on Goodreads, people writing negative reviews gave the book an extra half or whole star entirely because of the way it was written. Below are some of my favorite quotes. โค

โ€”

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

โ€œI 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.โ€

โ€œNo matter where we are, weโ€™ll always share the same sky. We can always find each other in the same constellation.โ€

โ€œHis smile banished my loneliness and limbed the hollows of my anema with starlight, pure and bright…his touch hummed in my bones like an aria — a song to my dance, a beginning of a promise.โ€

โ€”

I loved the tidbits of Indian mythology entwined within the story. I learned a lot while reading, as this was only my second book featuring Indian culture. The first was Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck, and though I did enjoy that one, this blew it out of the water. And while I’m fully aware this story is Indian, I was able to make some ties to the Persephone myth. If you know me at all, you know I love that, so of course I loved this too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I thought it was interesting that although they did believe in deities in this world, their fate was written by the stars, in the form of horoscopes. The brighter your horoscope, the brighter your future would be, and vice versa. The palpable fear and distrust of Maya due to her very dark horoscope made it all the more realistic and interesting.

On that note, the worlds of Bharata and the Otherworld, respectively, were amazing. They were beautifully sculpted and, in the case of the latter, very enigmatic. I loved learning the customs of one and secrets of the other, and that information was spread out in the story rather than dumped on the reader at one point or another. The Night Bazaar was absolutely gorgeous and whimsical, with fantasies becoming reality, and easily one of my favorite parts of the story. โค

I really admired Maya as a main character. She was strong-willed and compassionate, brave and clever. She had a feminist perspective, of sorts, and wanted to be a scholar more than a wife. She desired freedom and knowledge, and was smart enough to not trust blindly. Seeing as princesses typically grow up in very sheltered environments, I enjoyed her awareness and her determination to stay true to herself without dooming her people.

Amar was very straightforward with his emotions and had plenty of sweet, almost cheesy words up his sleeve, but I didn’t mind. I wouldn’t say I fell in love with him instantly, not like I did with Ignifex* from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, but he had my heart by the time the story came to a close. Otherwise, he was actually a very mysterious character, and almost suspicious when heย was first introduced. He wasn’t very good at showing it for the majority of the story, but he was kind and wanted the best for the people of his own kingdom.

* I’m comparing the two because they’re overwhelmingly similar, although not the exact same. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The romance in this book was legendary. There’s really no other way to say it. Because even though it took a bit of time to truly develop, itย was passionate and deeper than life, spanning across worlds and combating any opposing forces. I will admit, it does become fairly major in the second half, but I think romantically driven stories are great as long as they aren’t cheesy or predictable. This one was neither, so I was okay with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The story was wrapped up nicely, with a figurative bow on top. I was very satisfied with the ending, and wouldn’t have had it any other way. There is another book in the duology,ย but it’s a companion, not a direct sequel. Maya and Amar might be in it, but ultimately it will follow secondary characters from this novel on their own journey. Roshani herself told me there will be some novellas, though, so maybe I’ll get a bit more of these two soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

One last thing. Kamala was probably my favorite character, and she’s not a person. I won’t spoil it for you. I didn’t trust her at first, but eventually I realized she had good intentions and she was hilarious, so I had to love her. ๐Ÿ˜›

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*tries to think of something to put here*

*fails*

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The Star-Touched Queen was a gorgeous, whimsical whirlwind of a book. It’s a book I wish I read sooner, but simultaneously am glad I waited so there’s less time to wait for the sequel. I hope to finish one more book before 2017, but if I can’t then this is a perfect way to end my reading year. A new favorite for sure. โค

I would recommend this to you if you enjoyed Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, or are a fan of the Persephone myth or general folklore! But really, I recommend it to everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m off to start The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski and play cards with my family. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! โค

Until next time…

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