The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Blurb: 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.

The way an author writes and decides to present a story is as important as the story he/she is telling. If your plot is enticing but you tend to tell it in a way that does not do the story justice the whole thing will fall flat. It is important for the prose and the plot to gel well. The problem with the star touched queen started with this essential aspect. When I began reading, within the first couple of fifty pages I was quite certain that this was going to be a five star read for me. The author wrote in a beautiful lyrical manner that was reminiscent of Laini Taylor’s writing but soon things started to go downhill. The lyricism got out of hand, it was still beautiful but also too frequent. Every other line was suffused with some metaphor or string of ornamental words that felt unnecessary, words that took something away from what was being told. It got real annoying real fast.

The plot wasn’t much of a novelty either but I could be opinionated to the extreme on that since I do take a huge issue with reincarnation as a whole. Something about the topic bugs me to no end. The bond between Amar and Maya could have been the saving grace of this book, their scenes together were charged, there was chemistry and potential…sadly, all of it was there one moment and gone the next. The addition of heavy undertones of Indian Mythology was fun to read though. It was something new. Having a book that reads like an epic fantasy and involves myths from your homeland can be interesting. I think it will be even more so for those who are not very well versed with Indian Mythology.

It isn’t that this book was bad, not at all. The author can surely write and spin a convincing tale. Her hand is adept at both fantasy and romance, she can gather nuances of world building even if she struggles with presenting them with clarity…with more and more publications I am sure she would be among the finest. Unfortunately, her debut venture fell flat for me. Even though the purple prose and the confusion with the world building (what with not understanding how the human realm and other world was demarcated or what was the layout of Akaran) killed the enjoyment for me I would still give this book three out five stars, mainly for the sporadic but brilliant scenes between Amar and Maya and something new in terms of the incorporation of Indian mythology.


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