Title : The Star-Touched Queen
Author : Roshani Chokshi
(The Star-Touched Queen #1)
Genre : YA Fantasy, Romance, Mythology
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.
1. The world : The world in which the story is set is very alluring and beautiful. I just love books set in royalty/with some historical background – and this book had a royal setting which was wonderful to read about. The entire setting was interesting, and the imagery as well as the descriptions were done well.
2. Fast-paced : The only other thing I can really praise about the book is its fast pace. It doesn’t drag anywhere, and moves quickly without faltering or pausing.
1. Cringeworthy Romance : Oh God. This book was probably the worst kind of insta-love ever written. Like, ever. See, I’m not againts insta-love in books (though I usually prefer it when books don’t have insta-love). I can handle reading a reasonable, well-structured, realistic insta-love, but what happened in this book was crap. Like, the moment the protagonists see each other, the guy starts declaring his love for her. Even though there is kind of a vague explanation later on, it was still extremely annoying and irritating to read about this sudden romance.
Also, the romance was dipped in cheese. Like, what even.
“Come with me and you shall be an empress with the moon for your throne and constellations to wear in your hair”
Can you please explain to me what you just said?
“I would break the world to give you what you want”
No you can’t do that; I know you’re a big Raja but still breaking the world is kinda impossible, even in fantasy.
“I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars”
Again. Not really possible. Also, can you stop with the extremities?
“I want to measure eternity with your laughter”
What do you mean by that? Whatever happened to the standard units of measurement?
I don’t know if you like reading that kind of romance, but for me : NO. Just don’t.
2. Lack of mythology, unimpressive fantasy : The book was publicized under the tropes of ‘Indian mythology’. Being an Indian, I’m well aware of most mythical tales; I’ve grown up hearing stories and folklore and what not. This book doesn’t really provide much about Indian myth, barring one major story which is an important myth here. Other than that, the book touches upon bits and parts of Indian cultrue, especially of the earlier times, but doesn’t really do justice to it.
Also, the fantasy element in the book was not really what I was expecting. It was too regular and unimpressive, and nothing extraordinary. By the end it just became gibberish, with a meandering plot and literally, anything happening out of the blue. I had to skim the last part, I was just so uninterested and annoyed.
3. The writing : You’ve probably heard a lot of different views about the writing of the book by now, if you’re following its reviews. Well, I like poetic writing. I like lyrical writing. If you know me, you probably know that lyrical, beautiful prose is what I look for in books. But, when an author tries to rub it in my face, that’s annoying. What Roshani Chokshi forgot while writing this book is that lyrical prose can also be written with simplicity. Turning every sentence into a metphor is NOT impressive, and definitely not the way to win a reader’s heart (at least according to me). The author tried too hard to make her writing ‘sophisticated’ or ‘deep’ or ‘lyrical’ and it just didn’t work out (again, at least for me). I feel that one of the major characteristics of beautiful prose is simplicity and evenness, which the author completely failed at here. In order to make every sentence a painful metaphor, the real meaning of the sentence is long lost. Really, really disliked the writing.
4. Forgettable protagonists : I really enjoy character – driven plots and sometimes, if the plot of the book falters, as long as it has well-structured characters to fall back on, it’s alright. This book, however didn’t have even that. Maya is your regular badass heroine – feisty, wild, sharp-witted and clever. Amar is one of the most forgettable, useless, un-impactful heroes I’ve read about. He disappears halfway through the book (where the plot completely gets lost) and then comes back in the end as a whiny, lovestruck idiot. Anyone else isn’t worth mentioning.
5. That talking horse : I know this is not important but I have to mention it so please bear with me. This horse was so annoying. Like, wtf??! This horse acts as the apparent ‘wise one’ who advices Maya about what all to do and then ‘shows her the way’ and it was ridiculously stupid and uninteresting. Just, no.
No one. Seriously, you can read much better books.
A ‘good book’ or a ‘good read’?
Will I be continuing with the series?