ARC Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Pages: 352 pages
Published: April 26th, 2016
Source: ARC from Brittany
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

Pre-order now!
** Thanks to Brittany from Brittany's Book Ramble for the ARC **

What attracted me the most about this anticipated release was not the cover or the promised fantasy and science fiction elements. It wasn't the fact that this was one of the most sought after books in the blogosphere. Neither was it because the early reviews of this book have been raising the standards for this book and calling it a "masterpiece". It was simply because this book, you guys, is a standalone novel. 

Like seriously, how often do we see standalone YA fantasies nowadays. SCARCELY! So when this book was announced to have fantasy, mythology and a hint of Indian folklore, I was hooked and I knew that I needed to get this one in my hands ASAP. My wish came true when the wonderful and lovely Brittany sent me a copy!!

Maya is the narrator, a princess with a cursed horoscope. Because of her foretold curse of a "marriage of death and destruction" she is scorned by everyone, but her little sister Guari. Saved from an arranged marriage put together by her father, she has no choice but to put her fate in a stranger named Amar who promises to give her the one thing she's always wanted -- freedom. But silence turns to secrets and darkness turns to monsters as she discovers that Amar is not who he says he is and that there's something bigger than herself that she doesn't know about.

The writing is phenomenal. I know you've heard this in just about every review of this book but it's really a spectacle. Roshani Chokshi's knack for weaving worlds and use of imagery adds so much to the story and the mood. It's a great way to get lost in the book! I didn't think it was flowery at all.

Because this book is labeled under fantasy I immediately had the idea that it would be told from several different POVs. It didn't. I think the one person perspective really fit the story line. Unlike most YA fantasies, it was refreshing to hear the story from a single perspective rather than having many conflicting perspectives of people with different intentions.

I had a huge problem with the pacing. The beginning was exciting and very suspenseful with the arranged marriage and her father's hidden intentions. I don't remember the exact part where the story just started dragging for me but it was somewhere around the time when Amar saved Maya from the engagement ceremony. That was when the story really immersed itself into the bulk of India mythology, which was great. I had no problem with the aspects of mythology thrown in. I think because I wasn't familiar with the mythology beforehand, it was harder for me to understand. I constantly got lost in trying to write down information and understanding what was happening to the characters.

The book itself had a chilling and eerie vibe, which I absolutely adored. It's not with every book that you begin to develop goosebumps and hide under the covers of your bed. The atmosphere was very dark and at times, scary. The main protagonist always heard voices in the darkness surrounding her *makes ghostly sounds*

INDIAN MYTHOLOGY. The mythology, I believe, was really hit or miss. I grew up reading and learning about Greek mythology, and I don't think I was ready for the huge switch. India mythology is very different from Greek mythology. I think that although the author did a great job in terms of weaving together fiction and mythology, she lost me at times. It felt like the author was constantly adding several stories from mythology to find some connection to the characters that would make sense.

For one of my most anticipated releases of this year, I definitely wasn't completely satisfied. At some points in the middle I had the urge to put it down because of the slow pacing and the amount of mythology and new information that was being thrown at me. But I sucked up my gut and stayed till the end, which was great and satisfying! I can see why it really doesn't need a sequel. For fans of immersive fantasy books that read like you're in an entirely new universe with many twists and turns

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  1. How did I not know this book is a standalone??? I've been waiting MONTHS to read it and I never once stumbled into this little fact. Talk about not paying attention, LOL. Well, at least you enjoyed it! Sometimes pacing is what makes me put a book down, but hopefully I won't get bored. And I'm pretty excited to know more about Indian mythology because like you, Greek mythology is mostly what I know about. :)

    Great review!

    Melissa @ The Reader and the Chef

    1. I saw the author answer that question on Goodreads! I did not know it was a standalone either and it's so exciting. She did state that she was writing a companion novel though. I'm so glad you've found interest in the book enough to pick it up. Let me know what you think of it.

    2. I didn't know it was a standalone either, until now and this book has been on my TBR since being announced XD

    3. Well you better get to reading it :D I know you'll love it!

  2. I'm not familiar with Indian mythology but as someone who really wants to hear more this book sounds great (so long as I don't get too confused!) Hopefully the pacing won't be too much of an issue for me or I'll just power through - sorry to hear it was unsatisfying. As something that is prominent throughout a book when you're reading, I know how it can affect your view. Great review!
    Enchanted by YA

    1. I'm glad so many people are exciting regardless of the pacing. Well, it's good because this book is worth checking out! I think the world-building and atmosphere of the book alone make up for the fact that it's pretty slow in the middle.

  3. Seriously, I think the only reason why I wanted to read this book was because the cover was so GORGEOUS. (I was seriously gawking at your photo of the ARC, haha. Such a beauty.)

    Reading your review, I'm super glad to have come across your opinion because yours was really convincing! While I'm slightly worried about the pacing, I'm actually looking forward to Indian mythology and phenomenal writing. And like you said, I'm also used to reading about Greek/Roman mythology. But now that this book features Indian ones, I'm quite happy there's a tinge of diversity in it :D It'd be amazing to read about that! Really really interested in this <3 I don't know why, but this somehow reminds me of The Winner's Kiss HAHA, great review Alex! As always :)

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

    1. >_< Oh Jillian!
      I hope when you read it that you don't think it's too flowery. I've seen flowery writing and this book is definitely not the case. Now that you mention it, the romance is a lot like The Winner's Kiss. I hope you find yourself liking it when you read it :D


  4. Great review! I've been curious about this one, but I've been reading some mixed reviews. That's too bad about the pacing. However, since it's a standalone, I'll still probably pick this one up. I'm interested in the mythology and the gorgeous writing. That's also great to hear that it's only from one pov.

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

    1. Everyone just loves the idea of a standalone fantasy novel! Also not many know about it either. *wipes sweat off forehead* YES thank goodness it was just one person. I think it was more than one person POV i would have rated it lower..


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