The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Plot: 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. (2017, Amazon.com)
Review: I actually read A Crown of Wishes several months ago, which is the sequel to this series, and was just awed at such great storytelling. (See archives for review). You don't have to read the books in order; however, I would recommend it since the main characters who appear in the second book are from the first. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to read The Star-Touched Queen! Ms. Chokshi does not disappoint in this book either. Her writing is so poetic and the story so beautifully written you really can't put it down.
Indian mythology is central to the characters and world building, which makes it a very interesting read! In the beginning you don't know anything about Maya other than she is disliked very much because of her horoscope. As rebellion threatens her father's kingdom, she ends up marrying Amar, who is the Raja of a kingdom she has never heard of. But, the more she learns about Amar and her new home, the more she questions everything about herself and her past. Chokshi does an excellent job with the delicate romance between Maya and Amar, and the complexity of their unique world. Perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and The Wrath and the Dawn. Recommended for ages 16 and up!