Summary: “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.” (X)
The Star-Touched Queen was refreshing. The fantasy genre has been stuck in fake-medieval-Europe for a long time now, so a fantasy steeped in Indian mythology is a welcome change. Chokshi writes with beautiful prose and is very good at wordplay. I enjoyed following Mayavati as she struggled to make her own fate, instead of being a victim of an ominous horoscope.
This novel had interesting conversations about fate and how to make decisions that affect a person’s life or a person’s country. Sometimes there is no easy choice; you simply have to make one and deal with the consequences that come with it. My favorite conversation was between Maya and Amar about how being given a command isn’t the same as being given only one choice. It was a sharp reminder to think and to try to see things from multiple perspectives before acting.
The thing I didn’t like about this novel is how we didn’t get Nritti’s motivation for revenge until the very end and how the book quickly ended after Nritti’s defeat. I personally like to know the purpose of the conflict and more resolution at the end.
The sequel, A Crown of Wishes, comes out on March 28, 2017. You can read an excerpt here