'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 20 May 2017

Review: The Star-Touched Queen

Princess Maya is seventeen and her horoscope has deemed her cursed from birth. Set in India, she leads a solitary life in her father’s palace, shunned, yet safe in the knowledge that she receives solace and happiness in her books. 

Who would want to marry someone to whom marriage will only bring death? That changes when her father arranges a marriage to Amar and she will become the queen of Akaran.

It is a forced marriage arranged by her father in the hope of averting conflict between the kingdoms. Hurt and bewildered, Maya has no choice but to obey her father.

Being queen is nothing like what Maya expected, in fact, the opposite. Her husband is kind and loving and has no plans to take other wives. Her palace is breathtaking, and she is showered with exquisite gowns and jewels. But her palace, although beautiful, is isolated with many locked doors which are hiding secrets. Soon, Maya feels unsafe. But from whom?

This beautifully written book is bathed in culture, tradition, romance and ancient superstitions. The first part of the book draws a lovely picture of her father’s palace, his harem and her loving relationship with her sister Gauri. Maya is an intelligent thinker and free-spirited. 

But in the second part of the book, Maya enters a different realm when she reaches her husband’s kingdom. For Maya to survive, she must draw on all her strength and intelligence to discover where her greatest threat lies. Is she up to the task?

Part fairy tale, part folklore, steeped in tradition and superstition, this is a unique story, it’s like reading two books. The beautiful prose and Maya’s character are the strengths of this novel. 

Roshani Chokshi, in her first YA fantasy novel debut, has managed to craft scenes and settings that transport you to an exotic mysterious world. The Star-Touched Queen is like no other YA novel I’ve ever read and one that has stayed with me.

The themes and complex twists and turns would make this suitable for older readers.

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Rouhani Chokshi
Publisher: Harlequin, $19.99
Publication Date: 21 November 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781489219558
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction