The Star-Touched Queen Review: A Beautiful Setting Where I Had NFI What Was Going On

December 16, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

The Star-Touched Queen Review: A Beautiful Setting Where I Had NFI What Was Going OnThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1
on April 26th 2016
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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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 sumptuous, luxurious setting based around Indian folklore and the Hades/Persephone story, The Star-Touched Queen was both magical and enchanting. Similar to The Wrath and the Dawn, Maya is taken by the mysterious Amar into his own world, where she’s made a Queen. However, the mysteries stack up when he disappears each night, leading to Maya uncovering her own mysteries.

I was caught up in the mystery, as Amar seems to be in insta-love with Maya and he says she has abilities beyond what she’s ever wished for. It’s intriguing how Maya tries to unravel the mystery behind Akaran, from it’s gorgeous Night Bazaar, to the glass garden, tree of memories and a bed wrapped in stars and the ocean. Despite what Amar says, there’s beasts and shadows lying in it’s midst, and it was fascinating seeing the story unfold. The second half of the book takes a different turn, as Maya escapes from her circumstances and tries to pave her own way and save her own kingdom. The setting was absolutely beautiful and breath-taking, written in a stunning, poetic manner.

“I see no secrets in your gaze,” I said. I see only night and smoke, dreams and glass, embers and wings. And I would not have you any other way.

I’m comfortable with the notion of reincarnation, and having someone’s destiny play out based on different pathways. It was great to see this concept explored with such a heavy basis in The Star-Touched Queen. While the story is beautifully written, giving us an evocative view of the beautiful, magical setting of Akaran, there were a few times when it left me confused. It’s basis on heavy mythology concepts, but the significance behind the tree of memories and Amar’s sacrifice was lost to me. There were definitely a few parts, especially towards the end, when the events occurring were a little too meta and intangible. I had no idea what was happening and a bit more explanation would have been welcome into the significance of events/characters.

I also wasn’t a fan of the insta-love, where Amar is absolutely taken with Maya from the very beginning. I tend to mistrust male protagonists who have a hidden agenda behind their words, which is definitely what it felt like here. Seeing the story unfold, I can definitely see how it’s necessary, but it doesn’t help me as a reader. This detachment from Amar and the romance lead to my ambivalence around his character.

This was no heaven, but it was the hell that I knew, and I preferred it, far more than whatever beast of a country awaited me.

What I was definitely a fan of however, was Kamala the flesh-eating horse who becomes Maya’s companion later in the book. He was hilarious and added some comedic relief to Maya’s journey. After being mostly alone for the whole story, his companionship for Maya was definitely welcome, and I loved the role he played in the story. There’s also a cloud weaving hippo who was a lot of fun (also CLOUD WEAVING).

While I had a few issues with The Star-Touched Queen being confusing af, I thought it was an incredibly unique, diverse setting that was written in a really beautiful way. I loved how it was based on Indian mythology and folklore, with a great diverse setting, although I wish there was more explanation at times.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a review copy! 

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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40 responses to “The Star-Touched Queen Review: A Beautiful Setting Where I Had NFI What Was Going On

  1. Yawednesdays

    Your title encapsulates EXACTLY how I felt this entire novel. I actually listened to the audiobook so was probably two times more confused. Excellent review!!

  2. I loved this book! *squeals* Well, I rated it four stars too, but I thought it was one of the best books released last year. The setting and Amar were ererything in this novel.. Great review as always ! 🙂

  3. I've been slightly wary of this one because of the (somewhat) polarizing reviews I've seen; many leaned towards the positive spectrum as your review though. I'm so glad you liked this one. I'm really looking forward to the beautiful prose. And thanks for the heads up with the instalove and somewhat confusing mythology. I'll have to keep that in mind once I pick it up. ^.^

    • Yeah, it was confusing so I can understand why it wasn\’t everyone\’s cup of tea, I really loved the unique and diverse mythology setting though. I hope you enjoy it Summer!

  4. Yeah, I was so lost by the end of it but somehow I was still like…hey that was enjoyable? Lol I could understand your review though! Merry Christmas!

  5. I understand what you mean about the meaning of some of the events not having quite the same significance for us as readers as they seemed to have for the characters in the story. But I just kind of went with it, haha XD I really ended up liking this book, which was quite a surprise because I didn't know what I would think – I just wanted to read it because I love the Hades/Persephone myth!

    The writing was so flowery that it took me a while to get used to it. But by the end I was kind of in love with the way that Chokshi weaved her words together, though.

    Kamala was the best part of this book for sure. She was EVERYTHING. To be honest I would happily read a whole book about her because I think she'd be the ultimate feminist MC we've all been waiting for!

    • Lol I think I missed something about Kamala because that's the flesh eating horse who is a he XD Yeah, I loved how bueaitufl the writing was and omg the mash up of the mythology was sooo good. Merry Christmas, dear!

  6. cw @ readthinkponder

    Ahhhh, great review Jeann!
    I'm starting this book tonight sooooo I find this review helpful. I will read it with my eyes wide open! I hope I love it though – I've heard so many great things about it and idk I JUST feel like I need to like this book. *fingers and toes crossed*!
    My recent post Book Recs: #OwnVoices of 2016!

  7. pavedwithbooks

    I requested this from the library and got it the other day! I haven't started reading it yet, but I'm quite excited to. I'm wary about insta-love too, but cloud weaving sounds fun!

  8. I read this a while ago and was definitely confused too! The writing was beautiful, but at times I found myself getting /too/ lost in it. I wasn't the biggest fan of the romance either, but I loved the mythology. Kamala was one of my favourite parts too. Great review, Jeann!!

    • Yeah, it was definitely confusing at so many points! It's the romance that I always criticise in these books hehe. Thank you Lauren! Merry Christmas!

  9. TOTALLY agree with you on all of this, Jeann! I was kind of confused, but like, I wanted to keep reading! And I wanted to feel more for Amar too. I feel like if we got to know him a bit better, then the love would have made more sense maybe? But YESSS to Kamala! And I loved the writing too, so much! And I have heard that ACOW is even better, so I am excited for that too! Great review, I am glad you liked it despite the issues!
    My recent post Reviews in a Minute: Winter Wonderland

    • Yeah, it was such a beautifully written book but half the time I was like "WTF is going on" lol. I enjoyed the second half of the book a lot more because of Kamala! I'm excited for ACOW, I've heard good things. Merry Christmas Shannon!

    • YAY I'm glad to hear it wasn't just me! Even though it was confusing, it still seems like most of us enjoyed it which is a credit to the author hehe. Merry Christmas!

  10. OMG SAME JEANN. I loved the writing and the setting, but I think I spent a good 25% of the book just trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Glad you enjoyed it despite that though! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  11. I remember feeling a bit out of my depth when I read this, too! I did kind of wonder if it might just have been that I'm not as familiar with Indian mythology as I am with, say, Ancient Greek… or maybe the world Roshani Chokshi created was just a little more out-there than I was expecting.

    It did end up having some really charming moments (cloud weaving hippo!) and Kamala was great. The story overall followed a kind of unexpected plot and pacing, too, which was neat.

    • Yeah, the Indian mythology and the ancient greek mashup was interesting, but it was just done so well. I thought Kamala was a nice addition to the end of the book! Thanks for your comment Kelly and Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks Knesia! there are definitely lots of mixed reviews and I can understand why, but if you love beautiful writing and diversity then it is all there!

    • Hahaha yeah definitely lots of mixed reviews for this one but I loved the beautiful writing and the diversity. Thank you Cyn! Merry Christmas!

  12. I thought this book was beautiful in its writing and descriptions, seriously the imagination behind this blew my mind! … But yeah, I had no idea what was going on half the time lol. I totally didn't understand the heroines choices either… but yay for the talking horse 🙂 Great review – thanks for sharing!
    My recent post Red Winter – Book Review

    • I know, it was such a beautiful setting and the writing was so descriptive! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in that respect lol. The heroine felt kind of weak in some way? Thank you Sarah! Merry Christmas!

  13. sharandshanti

    I own this book, (okay, techinically I gave it to my twin for her birthday) and I want to read it, but I am worried about it being confusing. Still, this was an awesome review, thanks for writing it!