I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokski
Series: The Star-Touched Queen
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on April 26, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
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.
I am always a fan of reading about unique cultures and mythologies. Especially when they’re interwoven with a great story and great writing. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokski promised all of that. And it received major hype from practically all the bloggers and reviewers out there. People were raving. So I was expecting to love it, and I was ecstatic to see that I got accepted for a review copy.
However, this book didn’t work for me.
But I’m a fair person; I try to be a good reviewer. So I’m going to attempt to explain my dislike of it. But before I delve into the details, remember that so many people not only like, but love this book. There are so many other great 5 star reviews that you should go check out on Goodreads or blogs. Reading is a subjective sport, so just keep that in mind. But here we go.
I’ve noticed recently that all of my favorite books have fantastically developed characters. Characters that are well-rounded and believable. Likable with faults. Or believably hatable. Characters who make you feel something.
And I think the root of my problem with The Star-Touched Queen is that none of the characters did that for me. I didn’t feel like I related to any of them. I didn’t feel like any of them made sense. The relationships felt rushes and unrealistic But I also 100% know why I felt these things: the reincarnation mythology.
Without giving away any spoilers, basically the entire plot is stemmed from the idea that the characters all had past lives—whether they remember them or not. And they built relationships in these past lives that aren’t revealed until the end of the book. But the relationships are still present throughout the entire book, but we as readers don’t see the development or foundation of these relationships at all. And it happens over and over and over again.
Things felt rushed because I didn’t get to see any of that initial meeting, the gaining trust, the building friendships, and the budding romance.And because my personal opinion on books is based heavily on whether I can connect with the characters, I just felt disconnected with the entire book throughout the 342 pages. Does that make sense?
But though the mythology kind of stunted the book, in my opinion, it’s also pretty dang cool. There aren’t many YA books with Indian mythology in them. And it was pretty incredible to see how Chokski worked it throughout the story, in more ways than just the reincarnation.
Also Chokski’s writing really is beautiful. She has a magical way of weaving words together that matches really well with the mythological and fantastical storyline.
Overall, this book just didn’t work for me, mostly because I couldn’t connect with the characters. However, I want to re-emphasize that so. many. people love this book, and there’s a good chance you could too.