|(Source: Kelsey Darling)|
Five Sentence Summary
Mayavati, Maya, is a princess of the realm Bharata, which is on the verge of war; she is being forced to marry a suitor from a surrounding kingdom, but her father has told her that if she does, the others will attack, so she is better off killing herself. Maya is about to go through with her fathers plan when a cloaked man named Amar saves her and whisks her off to the enchanting city of Akaran, and awaiting her is a life that she only thought possible in the bedtime stories she told her younger sister, Gauri. However, the palace she now calls home holds many secrets that are impossibly dangerous and she is drawn into its power; this only conflicts with her growing feelings for Amar, who treats her as his equal, something she is not used to, and she cannot deny this pull to him, as if they have known each other in a previous lifetime. As days pass, Maya finds memories of her previous lives and begins to question Amar's motives and devotion when she is reunited with an old friend, Nritti. Through the book, Maya faces many trials, rights wrongs, and learns that it doesn't matter who you trust if you don't trust yourself.
Paramount Moments and Dissatisfying Instances
- So one of the things that I really like about this book is that Amar and Maya are equals. He stresses to her when they meet that he is not above her, or she above him. This is completely different from anything Maya has known as her father has multiple brides, and later in the story, her brother does as well. I feel like this is something important that needs to be stressed more. It doesn't matter what type of relationship you're in, there needs to be a balance, one person cannot always be on top. I love that that is a key part of the relationship between them.
"I make this bond to you in blood, not flowers," he said. "Come with me and you shall be an empress with the moon for your throne and constellations to wear in your hair. Come with me and I promise you that we will always be equals." (p. 69)
- Another thing that I like about the book is that Maya pretty much saves herself and Amar. Yes, she has her damsel in distress moments, and someone comes to her aid, but everyone does, that's what friends and family are. Maya knows that she has to fix the situations she has gotten herself into, she takes responsibility for her mistakes, and she works to repair them, not just for herself, but for her kingdom. It was refreshing to read about someone who felt very real, at least in that regard.
- In the first few chapters, the big thing is Maya's horoscope, how she is partnered with death and brings destruction; she brings fear to everyone. And she technically ends up marrying death, but I feel that it just became an afterthought of the story, when it should have been a very important factor in the story.
- I understand that every story needs to have an air of mystery when it comes to the plot, but this book just takes way too long to get to it. Instead of giving us a little bit of an answer here, and a little bit there, it waits until its last pages to answer all of your questions at once, I feel like by then, it's too little, too late. And I feel like it makes the book somewhat confusing; it's like you have the edge pieces to a puzzle, but only a few random center pieces and you don't know what the picture is supposed to be.
- I do not understand why Aman kept his face hidden. It just went over my head, I guess. I feel like his explanation made no sense.
"'What?' he coaxed, his voice hovering between a growl and a question.
'I can't even see your face...'
I said nothing. Amar leaned forward, and I felt the silken trails of his hood brush across my neck. My breath constricted. 'Is that what you want? An unguarded gaze can spill a thousand secrets.'' (p. 123)
The Star-Touched Queen definitely has its high points that make the story incredibly enjoyable. The Night Bazaar was probably my favorite of all the locations that were visited through the story. While at times the descriptions were a little too flowery and over the top for my tastes, I will forever dream of picking jeweled fruits off of fragrant trees and tasting the sweetness of the fruit. And Roshani Chokshi has done a wonderful job of making a very feminist character and an equal relationship that is a wonderful role model.
But sadly, for me, the story felt too choppy and I found myself trying to keep up with what was going on. I spent more time re-reading passages for clarification, and often not finding any, than I have on any book in a long time. Although the story was wrapped up in a neat little bow, the contents in the middle were disconcerting.
Despite that though, I want to read the book again. Part of me wants to see if I'll understand it better a second time around. But also, I'm just not ready to say goodbye to the beautiful world of Akaran. So Chokshi must have done something right.
Pages: 342 (hardcover)
Series: The Star-Touched Queen
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult