This is a spoiler free review!
The Star-Touched Queen
Written by Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Mythology/Retelling
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository
Recommended Age: 13 and up!
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 did not expect much from this book at all as I hadn’t really read that many reviews on this book or heard that much about it. But after I’ve read it and comprehended everything that’s happened, I realized that it was a lot better than I thought it would be. This was also a Hades and Persephone retelling and it was gorgeous and brilliantly executed.
The cover is gorgeous. I love how how the stars are at the bottom half and it is almost like she is coming up out of the stars. I also really like how she is holding a lantern and heading towards a palace. This is honestly one of my favorite covers of all time.
The world building was done so brilliantly. The mythology within her world are so wonderfully described and we really get to know what the world looks like and is like. At first, the world building was a tad confusing but I quickly came to understand it.
"In all the tomes and folklore 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 blackened 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."
Then there are the characters.
Maya has a horiscope that predicts death. She suffered through loneliness because all the people she lived with believed she was going to bring about terrible things but she gains strength from her loneliness. Maya is open to what her heart really desires. She has such a big heart really and is such a strong character. And she did most of the saving. Not the other way around. She was cunning and witty and was able to pull apart deception that was set before her.
Amar was really really sweet. You could really tell that he cared about Maya. He wasn't an assehole and wasn't sexist. He treated Maya like an equal and that is what made him truly beautiful. He shot up to one of my favorite male love interests pretty quickly. I was swooning half the book.
Kamala was hilarious. She was a demon horse who helped Maya and had such sass. She loved to eat people because she was a demon horse and she constantly jokes about it. I really enjoyed reading about her.
The plot was really very amazing and quite unexpected. There were twists and turns at every page and you do not know what the villain is going to do next. Oh and the villain was so well done because you never know what she is going to do or what she is doing or why.
There, my queen,” he said. “A constellation to wear in your hair.”“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”
Tons of people thought that this romance was insta-lovey but I don't think it is like that at all. Amar's eternal love for Maya was so beautiful and seemed so real that it was almost hard to believe that I was reading a book. They were definitely a match made in heaven or hell or wherever they happen to be. [That was literally the only confusing thing about it]
Oh and did I mention that this is a Hades and Persephone retelling that was so well done that it was almost better than the original.
The writing was so beautiful and mesmerizing and it made the romance and everything in it so much more beautiful and real. The writing was also breathtaking. It was really magical. A true masterpiece.
I highly enjoyed this book. If you like mythology or a good romance, I recommend this book. It exceeded my expectations and quickly became one of my favorite new releases.
Quotes from the Book:
“I know your soul. Everything else is just an ornament.”
“I see only night and smoke, dreams and glass, embers and wings. And I would not have you any other way.”
“A memory is a fine legacy to leave behind.
“There is no romance in real grief. Only longing and fury.”
“Trust is won in years. Not words.”
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns