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 went into The Star-Touched Queen knowing nothing except that all of my friends have loved it. And they were right – I loved it too. This was a really unique, fantastical and magical story with a captivating setting and beautiful writing. It combines elements of Indian mythology with a rich and magical world, creating an intriguing and beautiful story that you will just devour.
I think the standout of this book was the writing. It was so wonderfully descriptive, lyrical and just a feast for the imagination. The imagery that Roshani Chokshi created was out of this world (literally) and I had no difficulty seeing the setting and the world in my mind. She makes use of her beautiful writing to build the world, and I found it to be magnificently done and flew through the book because my eyeballs couldn’t stop devouring the writing. However, there were times when I felt that there was too much description and that the book had too much world building and not enough plot to keep me satisfied. I found myself reading pages of beautiful writing and description, with nothing much going on in the plot. The book never felt like it dragged but I was very aware that there wasn’t very much going on in the story. I do have to say, however, that what we got of the plot was really exciting and intense. There were a lot of things that I didn’t see coming and had me completely shocked.
I also really enjoyed the characters in this book. Maya was a wonderful main character. I loved her backstory and how she tries so hard to be seen as her own person, rather than as part of a larger crowd of women who are only there to look pretty and bear children. She wants to be seen as an equal and becoming Amar’s wife allows her to do that. I loved her strength and determination, though some of her choices seemed very impulsive and frustrated me to no end. But I really admired the way that she went about fixing her mistakes and thought she was a really caring and kind character. I also really liked Amar and wish there had been a little more of him in the book. He seemed like a really complex character but ultimately, his character fell a little bit flat to me because it wasn’t developed as much as I would have liked. Still, if you enjoy a dark and mysterious love interest, you will probably end up falling in love with Amar.
“I want your perspective and honesty,” he said, before adding in a softer voice, “I want to be humbled by you.”
I thought the romance between them was really great as well. It was super swoon-worthy and there are endless quotes that will melt your heart. The romance contains a trope that I actually really, really love so Maya and Amar are definitely a couple that I can ship from the bottom of my heart.
Overall, I thought this was a good start to the series. There were some things that I thought lacked a bit of development but hopefully those things will be ironed out in subsequent books.