2019 Jul 12
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.
Roshani Chokshi has earned quite a name for herself, with each of the first novels in all her works being debuted on the New York Time Bestsellers list. She has a tendency to portray her stories with lyrical and elegant writing, bursting with imagery. The first in its series, The Star-Touched Queen is a beautifully written Indian-influenced YA Fantasy that wholly celebrates the vibrancy of Indian culture.
The novel itself is based around Maya, one of the daughters of a great Raja, who was born to a horoscope that predicted a cursed life. In a community where horoscopes are considered sacred, the people of the court both feared and hated her. While initially supposed to be used as a pawn in a marriage to a prince that would quell a war between two nations, a twist of events would have it that she married the mysterious and secretive Amar of Akaran. The novel much resembles that of a Greek re-telling of ‘Persephone and Hades’ intertwined with that of Indian mythology and culture.
This is a story of a girl who learns what she wants out of life and as a woman, what she is truly capable of. It is also a heavy romance and being filled to the brim with descriptive prose, this novel might not be for everyone. For those it does appeal to, it will surely drag them in and have them enthralled in this rich world.