God knows I LOVE mythology, especially greek myth thanks to Percy Jackson. The Star-Touched Queen blends greek along with indian mythology. So naturally, I was all over the moon when this book came out. Captivating synopsis, pretty cover, and I’ve heard a lot about the beautiful writing. I was all set to love this book.
The biggest highlight of this book is the poetic writing. It’s all about dreamy, flowery, and beautiful prose. It’s like the entire book is written in angelic language and I can’t help but plucking beautiful quotes here and there.
Staring at the sky in Bharata was like exchanging a secret. It felt private, like I had peered through the veil of a hundred worlds. When I looked up, I could imagine-for a moment-what the sky hid from everyone else.
Though I admit… to some extent, the writing feels too poetic and makes no sense. I mean…
I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars. I want to measure eternity with your laughter.
What does that even mean??
Now let’s start with my thoughts on the book.
The story starts with a back story about Maya, our heroine. Princess Maya is born with a deadly horoscope. People blame her for the deaths of the people around her. Basically, she’s lonely and people dislike her, except her step sister Princess Gauri. One day, the King forced her into a political marriage. After the groom is chosen, she must take a poison and kill herself for the sake of her kingdom. But at the point when she almost did just that, one of the groom walked into the room and took her away to Akaran. Amar, the love interest in the book, asked her to be his Queen, to rule on his side and be his equal. He promised her the moon for her throne and stars to wear in her hair. It’s so obvious he loves her so so so deeply.
That would have been sweet and super romantic if only it didn’t feel so rushed. I totally get that Amar’s love from Maya goes waaayy back to the past, but in terms of the book, it sort of felt too instant. The author hasn’t provided enough chemistry for those kind of scenes.
Halfway thru the book, Maya realized what kind of place Akaran really is. She started to question Amar and snooped through the castle. She found a tree of memories, took one look at it, and suddenly she didn’t trust Amar. It’s annoying for me to see her all of sudden became so trusting of a girl she only saw in a memory, a memory she didn’t even remember having, over a guy who’s been nothing but kind and caring to her for months (or years, actually). I mean… why would she trust Nritti immediately when it took so long for her to even begin to trust Amar? I guess there should be more build up before we reach this point of story.
After the big climax in the middle of the book, the story went downhill.
Maya was bumped out of this world and had to figure out how to get back to where she was with only the help of a horse. The horse is actually funny, though. The other parts… they felt so boring and at the times, I (almost) completely lost interest. I was a wee bit struggling to finish the book 😦
The story is actually very interesting. I like the way it was told. I love how the writer alternated between the present and the past, slowly unraveling the twists we’ve all been waiting for. But unfortunately, the plot was just not… smooth. Also, the ending felt a bit forced. It’s probably due to limited pages since it’s just a stand alone, but there’s surely some bad plot involved.
I have to admit, Roshani Chokshi did create a beautiful world. Akaran is insanely gorgeous! The night bazaar, beautiful palace, and the throne room. Told in a flowery writing, the place feels even more beautiful.
A divided sky illuminated an unearthly city. To the left, the moon bathed small shops and twisting plants in a pearly light. To the right, the sun beamed and soft sunshine fell over strange trees shaped like human limbs and animals. The sky, ever divided by day and night, blended into a spectrum of rainbow.
Sadly, I felt that the world-building was a bit confusing. There are some scenes that aren’t clear enough for me and kind of hard to imagine. I feel like there should me more vivid descriptions for those scenes.
Maya is a loner and that’s that. I’m sad to say that by far, she is the least interesting female main character I’ve ever encountered. Her character is just… plain. Boring. It’s not strong enough to begin with. Sadly, Maya’s lack of character development remained throughout the entire book. Believe me. No one feels more sad about this than me. I’m a BIG fan of characters development.
On the contrary, Amar is, surprisingly, likable. He’s kind and caring and he treats Maya realllly nicely. He’s so full of remorse and he’s doing everything the best way he could. True, he didn’t tell Maya the truth in the first place, but there’s never any intentions to lie or deceive whatsoever. He kept showing her compassion and respect in his words and actions. He’s also a natural born romantic who says stuffs like this
The truth, is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way
My star-touched queen, I would break the world to give you what you want.
Melted much? 😉
Surprisingly, the characters who stood out are Kamala the horse and Princess Gauri. The horse is funny and she actually went thru some characters development. Gauri, on the other and, kicked ass real good! She’s awesome and actually a better heroine than Maya herself. This, the fact that the two side characters got more development than the main character, makes me really sad 😦
All in all, it’s a 3 stars read. There are a lot of stuffs from this book, both the good and the not-so-good. I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t. This could have been so much better. It’s not a brilliant read for me, but it’s got its own plus points. It’s still worth the read and hey, it’s a standalone, so there’s really nothing to lose. Happy reading 🙂