BONUS BOOK: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

“Another woman scurried away behind a lattice of elephant bone, staring out to a scene forever marred by the patterns of a gilded cage.”

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis: “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. While Maya is 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 handing in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most… including herself.”

Review: I just realized as I started to write this review that I had COMPLETELY forgotten the heroine’s name. Maya. Maya Maya Maya. This slip up is 100% indicative of how I feel about The Star-Touched Queen. Chokshi is a talented writer (perhaps a bit green but she does seem to have promise), but the very first issue I had with this book was the prose. TEN MILLION METAPHORS DOES NOT A GREAT BOOK MAKE. The writing is so incredibly flowery that it actually makes it difficult to understand what is happening sometimes. I truly do appreciate metaphors and illustrious writing ,but like all great things, both are best in moderation. My favorite line from the entire book actually came from the acknowledgements section, not from the story itself:

“Thank you for the phenomenon of our childhood.”

The writing style ended up being off-putting and distracting but, as it turns out, there wasn’t all that much to actually be distracted from. Chokshi simply doesn’t do a good job of helping the reader understand her world. Her descriptions were simultaneously flowery and vague, so that I never really got a sense of what was going on in the story. Maya is a very one dimensional character, and her complete gullibility even in the face of evidence suggesting she should NOT listen to Nrriti? (Neriti? WHAT IS HER NAME?) is infuriating. See, this is my point; I just spent the past five minutes trying to remember the name of the evil character and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what it is. I don’t even feel bad for putting my spoiler-ish guesses above because anyone with a brain can figure out the “plot-twist” in A Star-Touched Queen. This book was simultaneously too much and not enough, and I can’t think of anyone I would recommend it took. Only one star for The Star-Touched Queen.




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