The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #1) / ★★★☆☆
Summary: Maya is cursed with a future marriage destined for death and destruction. When her father’s attempt to marry her off turns into something more dastardly, she runs away with with the trustworthy Amar and soon finds herself the Queen of Akaran- an empty place full of locked doors and a voice that calls to her.
Although I had never envisioned marriage, I had thought of love. Not the furtive love I heard muffled in the corners or rooms of some of the harem wives. What I wanted was a connection, a shared heartbeat that kept rhythm across oceans and worlds. Not some alliance cobbled out of war. I didn’t want the prince from the folktales or some milk-skinned, honey-eyed youth who said his greetings and proclaimed his love in the same breath. I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones.
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
This is one of those circumstances in which I didn’t think the book was bad, necessarily, but I just wasn’t entirely into it. The Star-Touched Queen is gorgeously written and tells a story of a girl destined for death and destruction in layers of fantasy and mythology. It was an intriguing tale, yet I found myself weaving in and out of interest as I read it. I liked how the plot revolved around fate, death, reincarnation, and time. Whenever the book really delved into a scene surrounding these, I was very into it. But a lot of the time, I felt rather lost- the prose was beautiful, but sometimes I felt a little tripped up by the flowery language, like it was getting between me and my understanding of the plot. This book is gorgeous, but I didn’t quite understand what what happening amongst the colors and the sparkle. Unfortunately, I think it’s what lead me to a lot of the boredom I experienced while reading this book.
I’ve seen reviews that say this book revolves around instalove, but I must disagree. While Maya is certainly attracted to Amar, she definitely does not trust him right away, and I liked the internal struggle she had with that trust. I wasn’t swooning over them, but the romantic plotline of this book was much stronger than I thought it would be. However, I did think that some of the plot points that hinged upon her trust for him felt…avoidable, especially since we see it happen more than once.
I really liked Maya. I’ve seen reviews that criticize her for being a “bad” female character, but I didn’t really see that at all. She was rash and curious and on her guard all of the time, but I didn’t think that was so unfair for someone who had been shunted growing up because of what had been foretold in her future. I liked that she was bad at following rules, loyal when she cared about someone, and distrusting to a fault.
Amar was…okay. I didn’t feel to much toward him. He was good to the point that I needed something a bit more to really capture my heart. I liked his best friend, Gupta, more, I think. And unfortunately…….. I was not a fan of the talking horse.
The writing was beautiful, vivid, intensely colorful and fantastical. I’m conflicted, because it was gorgeous writing, but it did become a bit too much at times and got in the way of my understanding of the plot. I would have preferred things to be a bit less descriptive sometimes. Still, Chokshi has a way of weaving words.
Was I satisfied?
I liked this book, it was beautifully written, but overall it was a bit….boring and confusing. I don’t think it’s a bad book, just one that missed the mark with me.