Goodreads: The Star-Touched Queen
Series: The Star- Touched Queen #1
Published: April 26, 2016
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.
Note: There are no major spoilers in this review, However, I do hint at the general plot structure, so if you like reading books completely blind, you might not want to read the review.
Written in compellingly beautiful prose, The Star-Touched Queen brings readers to a world where fates are written in the stars and hints of magic drift throughout the human world. Protagonist Maya has never liked what the stars say about her, however, until a mysterious suitor teaches her to reinterpret their prophecy, rather than attempt to rebel against it. Together the two have to trust it is their fate to belong to each other. The Star-Touched Queen is fantasy romance nearly at its finest.
Although the story draws on Indian folklore, the book actually reminded me of other YA books that draw inspiration from European fairy tales. The general plot structure actually has similarities with the “Beauty and the Beast” story arc, and the opening chapters with Maya as a new lady in a new palace reminded me a lot of A Court of Thorns and Roses. There are also moments that made me think of Cruel Beauty, and occasionally Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Chokshi explains on a Goodreads which tales she drew inspiration from, and I am admittedly not familiar with them. However, to me the book read as structured like a standard YA book, and it was the atmosphere and the details that truly made the novel stand out.
Because the book is heavily romance, it relies on a tried and true YA plot structure that adds some “drama” to the love story. I am not a fan of this particular cliched story line, but otherwise the romance is strong. Love interest Amar has a number of deliciously swoonworthy lines, which admittedly I find difficult to believe any real person would say with any seriousness. Amar gets an exemption, however, for being a character in a fantasy novel and for not being a teenager. (We’re in paranormal romance territory here, so think along the lines of Edward and Bella. Edward isn’t exactly a teen.) I really was rooting for Amar and Maya as a couple and enjoyed reading (and sighing) about their relationship.
Though I would argue the focus is on eros, the story also delves into other types of relationships, giving it some depth: parent/child relationships, sister bonds, and friendships. Maya seems to like thinking of herself as a strong, independent young woman (nothing wrong with that), but it is nice to also see her learn to love and rely on others. I would love to see some more of these relationships highlighted in the sequel, though it seems to be more of a companion novel about one of the sisters.
The Star-Touched Queen is a charmingly beautiful story that will appeal to readers of romance and lovers of fairy tales. Though the exact tales that inspired the author might not be familiar to everyone, the themes of true love, finding yourself, and learning how to make the right decisions will be.
15 thoughts on “The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi”
This looks like something I might want to read, probably just for the Indian connect though as I don’t generally read romances. Helpful review! 🙂
Thank you! I did enjoy the Indian inspiration though, as I said, the whole structure actually reminded me a lot of Beauty and the Beast!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I did check out the Goodreads page you mentioned. I seem to be familiar with everything the author references. A lot of people have praised the writing, so I probably will get to it soon. It’s on my TBR list now. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
What a lovely, well-written, analytical review! Really loved reading it – especially with your comment on how it focuses on eros – that was really analytical, and I loved it! I’ve always seen this book around, but honestly, have never really been motivated to read it. Still, you’re making me want to read it!! Thanks, Briana! 🙂
Thanks! It wasn’t really high on my list either, but I ran across it at the library and vaguely thought I’d seen some good reviews. I’m glad I gave it a chance!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I enjoyed this book. I listened on audiobook, but I think I want to read it myself one day, because audiobook just couldn’t capture the romance as well for me. I know that it’s supposed to be a romance, but for me the focus was more the fantastical world and the mythology. So maybe I’d see more of the romance reading it? Who knows! Either way, glad you enjoyed it!
Interesting! I thought the romance came across more than the worldbuilding. Maybe I should give the audiobook a try and see if it chances my perspective!
Wonderful review! You bring up some great points. This has been on TBR forever 🙂
Thanks! I wasn’t planning particularly on reading it, but I saw it at the library and ended up really enjoying it!
I really loved the writing style, world and mythology that was in this book! I was not a fan of the romance though, haha. The writing style definitely helped me get through it though. Great review!
I can see how the romance could be hit or miss. It’s a bit heavy on the “It’s meant to be!” and “You’ll see you love me!” and sometimes I have to be in the right mood for that.
Really glad to hear you enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen, Briana. I read it last month and enjoyed the imaginative settings and gorgeous writing. I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy-romance, but this turned out to be a compelling exception.
Same! I often like more emphasis on the fantasy than on the romance, but this one really worked for me.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This book sounds and looks magical and I’m madly in love with cover! This is a must-read for me!
I hope you enjoy it!