Adventure (Teen), Fantasy (Teen), Romance, YA Fiction

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

When I see a novel that has anything to do with India or Hindu mythology, I cannot resist. I have very strong ties with my religion and culture and I am always interested in how authors of Indian or non-Indian descent will portray aspects of it. You may have seen that I have read books on this area, like Palace of Illusions (which is a fantastic read that I really think more people should give a try)! I try to stay unbiased, which can be quite difficult, and give an honest review. So that is what I will do now:

Maya is a cursed princess of the kingdom of Bharata. Born with a horoscope that foretells death and destruction through marriage, she is scorned by everyone in her kingdom. Although it hurts to be seen as a sign of evil, she is content to live a scholarly life and protect her kingdom through her knowledge. But her world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges for her marriage to quell outside rebellion. Maya marries Amar, the king of Akaran, and becomes queen. Amar offers her a unique opportunity: to be a queen with real influence and to be an equal of his in every aspect of life. But there is something afoul at Akaran… too many shadows and hidden doors exist and each one makes Maya doubt the truth about everything she has been told by Amar. Can she really trust him? Or is this all a ploy that will lead to death?

I quite liked this novel. The imagery was vivid and there was just the right amount of attention to detail. A lot of the mythology reminded me of stories my own family had told me when I was a child and some of it was new, which made it all the more interesting. Maya is a formidable character and her attitude and determination can win over any reader. The themes in the story follow those seen in most other novels – trust, betrayal, love, belief in oneself, just to name a few – and that is probably one of the few reasons why this novel is able to connect with all audiences. I can definitely see why it is getting such raving reviews and I highly recommend this novel for anyone looking for a unique fantasy romance novel!

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