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The Star-Touched Queen #2.5

Star-Touched Stories

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Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram's new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

400 pages, Paperback

First published August 7, 2018

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About the author

Roshani Chokshi

42 books9,727 followers
Roshani Chokshi is the author of commercial and critically acclaimed books for middle grade and young adult readers that draws on world mythology and folklore. Her work has been nominated for the Locus and Nebula awards, and has frequently appeared on Best of The Year lists from Barnes and Noble, Forbes, Buzzfeed and more. Her New York Times bestselling series includes The Star-Touched Queen duology, The Gilded Wolves, and Aru Shah and The End of Time, which was recently optioned for film by Paramount Pictures.

*I no longer read direct messages on Goodreads, but I'm always happy to hear from you on Goodreads Ask The Author section, website contact form or Twitter!

*Policy on friend requests: Please don't be offended if I don't accept your friend request! I use my GoodReads account a lot, and I get sucked into this Vortex of Angst and Concern whenever I stumble on a reader/reviewer's status update/review of my book. For my own sanity, I try not to read reviews. When that reader/reviewer friends me, those statuses/reviews become impossible to avoid.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 303 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
Read
July 4, 2018
I'm not going to rate this for three reasons.

1) I only read the first story and a bit of the second. That was enough for me to feel like this book wasn't for me.

2) There's really nothing wrong with Star-Touched Stories if you are looking for exactly what this is: flowery, swoony romance. I wanted to try this book after loving the author's short story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings - some authors' writing works way better in short stories, IMO. But it unfortunately just wasn't for me. It's full of glittery metaphors and romantic meetings that begin with something that's very close to instalove.
And in that moment, his smile banished my loneliness. He moved toward me, grasping my hand, his touch hummed in my bones like an aria. A song to my dance. The beginning of a promise.

I should point out that this first encounter doesn't lead to an instant relationship, but it is obvious the way it's going to go.

And 3) I was lucky enough to meet Roshani Chokski last year and she is a warm glow of loveliness in a human being. You know those rare people who are so nice and genuine that they make the whole room feel instantly comfortable and happy? That's Roshani. So giving this lady a low rating would make me feel like a monster, but rating it higher would feel dishonest. I would never claim to be unbiased and objective - I'm only human - but I feel like my bias here would really affect my honesty. So... no rating.

But if you love romance between beautiful supernatural beings and writing that is flowery and poetic, this collection of three stories is exactly what you need. I'll have to stick with The Cruel Prince series to get my fix of characters who try to best each other while pretending the love/hate sexual tension doesn't exist. Yeah, I have those kind of issues.

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Profile Image for Stacee.
2,672 reviews701 followers
July 9, 2018
I’m going to read everything Roshani writes, but I’m 10000% on board for anything set in the Star Touched Queen world.

These three stories are fantastic. I loved seeing the glimpses or characters and I thought the ending of Rose and Sword would kill me. It was absolute perfection and my cold, black heart warmed a bit, but it was also a bit heartbreaking.

Overall, this was an atmospheric and lovely slice of time in a series I absolutely love. I need to reread those books again ASAP.

**Huge thanks to St. Martins Press for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks).
301 reviews13.9k followers
February 8, 2021
This is tough to review considering it's 3 separate novellas, so I'll first discuss it as a whole then go into each story.

Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Star-Touched Stories is a beautiful collection of novellas that will add so much to your overall enjoyment of this world and these characters.

“Sometimes we women are our own worst traps. Our hopes snatch us like quicksand. Our loneliness forges a cage. Sometimes all it takes is one sweet glance and kind word to make us forget ourselves.”
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- Premise -
Star-Touched Stories includes 3 different novellas, each one around 100-115 pages. The first, Death & Night, takes place before the events of The Star-Touched Queen, and follows both Amar and Maya as they meet and fall in love for the first time. Poison and Gold takes place after the events of A Crown of Wishes, and follows Asha as she tries to earn her spot in Gauri and Vikrams court by becoming their Spy Mistress, but in order to do that she must earn the approval of the current Spy Mistress. Finally, Rose & Sword. I don't want to describe this one too much, because it is something that is best going into knowing little. But let's just say - it's beautiful and heartbreaking and just so perfect.

- Setting -
The world in The Star-Touched Queen series is always absolutely breathtaking, and this book is not an exception. From the Night Bazaar to the palace, this world is immensely beautiful and fascinating. The first novella really shows a lot of the aspects of this universe that I was dying to see during The Star-Touched Queen, and was everything I could have hoped for.

- Writing -
Roshani Chokshi has such a gorgeous and elegant writing style. Each sentence is put together so perfectly that it just makes me want to smile. Her writing is flowery, but also has room for humor and wit when necessary, and never feels too pompous or pretentious.

- Characters -
I was so happy to see all of these characters again. Honestly, this book adds so much to each of them. There were only a couple of characters that left me unimpressed, but for the most part, I would forget about them the second another character I loved arrived.

- Individual Novellas -
Death & Night - 4.5 Stars - This novella was everything I needed. When I read The Star-Touched Queen, I really wanted something explaining the relationship between Maya and Amar from before she was reincarnated. While I enjoyed that book, that thought always hung over me, because I found their relationship hard to believe without the background. This novella is the background I was dying for, showing exactly how they came to be what they were.

Poison & Gold - 3 Stars - This was definitely the weakest one for me. I enjoyed Aasha in A Crown of Wishes, but that wasn't enough to make me love this story. I just found her love interest really lacking, which made me so sad because it was a sapphic love story and I was SO excited for that! Not to mention, the actual plot was less gripping in this one. However, I still did enjoy the writing and some smaller aspects.

Rose & Sword - 5 Stars - I can't tell you how hard I cried while reading this. For fans of A Crown of Wishes, this will destroy you. It was everything I didn't even know I wanted and I don't know what to do now that it's over. It's the perfect epilogue to a perfect story.

“I want to write my own legacy in the stars instead of simply having the stars be my legacy.”

- Conclusion -
Pros- beautiful writing, sapphic romance, also the other romances are adorable, and it just filled me with so much joy, okay?
Cons- Aasha's love interest was pretty weak, the second novella in general isn't the greatest.
Overall- 4.5/5 stars.
Star-Touched Stories is absolutely necessary (and gorgeous) for anyone wanting more from this astonishing series.
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,768 reviews354 followers
January 7, 2019
Netgalley # 77

Many thanks go to Chokshi, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

I had a difficult time rating this book. I adored the story of the Shadow Wife's Curse. It brought the Dharma Raja and Gupta back and explained a backstory from Book One. But I'm not a big fan of Aasha, Gauri, and Vikram, and the last two stories basically dealt with them. So I couldn't rate it higher than a three. I was disappointed.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews838 followers
November 30, 2018
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram's new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

What I Liked:

I'll be the first to admit that I don't typically like short stories or novellas, and so I avoid them most of the time. I hate feeling like a story was cut short or could have been longer. Usually that's the feeling that most short stories and novellas leave. However, I will say that the three star-touched stories in this book are 100% worth the print bind-up that the publisher is publishing.

Roshani Chokshi's storytelling and masterful prose are on full display in these stories. If you've read any of her books, you know how creative and colorful her writing is. She likes comparisons and imagery and a good amount of detail, and she ties everything together so neatly and with a flourish. I really enjoy her prose, and I know some won't, but majority will.

And per her usual, her storytelling was wonderful. I did NOT feel like any of the stories were too short or ended with a sense of lacking. Perhaps it was because she had the room/page space to write freely? Regardless, each story felt full and complete. This is what short stories and novellas should feel like. No reader should feel like what they read wasn't enough, from that story.

There are three stories in this novella bind-up, and while I won't talk about each of them (that would take too long and this review would be entirely too boring), I will state that each story is unique and engaging in its own way. Each story has a lovely tale, a sweeping romance, and a wonderful, complete ending.

I love the Indian rep! These stories are written with so many dashes and dips of Indian culture. From the food to the lore, Chokshi has woven Indian culture into her stories seamlessly. These stories are great #ownvoices rep and just plain great.

Can I talk about the amount of food references? Each story had multiple mention of some sort of Indian food and well, yum. I'm Indian and am familiar with most of the dishes and it was gratifying to see Indian food in the stories. I couldn't help but feel a little hungry!

Definitely pick up this book if you want to experience more from Roshani Chokshi. The stories are so wonderful and engrossing. You won't regret it!

What I Did Not Like:

I have no complaints! This book is gorgeous, inside and out.

Would I Recommend It:

If you've read Chokshi's debut and sophomore novels, you'll want to pick up this one. Regardless of your feelings on short stories/novellas - remember, I don't usually read them. (I find that they are a waste of time.) I do recommend you read this book after you read The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes. You'll appreciate the short stories so much more. Especially Poison & Gold! So many Vikram and Gauri appearances.

Rating:

4 stars. This is a masterpiece! The world, the writing, the storytelling, the romances. Roshani Chokshi is talented and deserves the success she has received and will receive. I can't wait to read more from her. Might I also recommend A Thousand Beginnings and Endings? Chokshi wrote an #ownvoices Filipino-inspired tale in that anthology. I loved it!
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,677 reviews920 followers
April 18, 2019
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

I was so happy to get to read this book last night. I finished one book and decided to start this, the only reason why I finished it so fast is that one of the stories in this collection I just read the prior week. I skipped over that and read the second and third stories. I was maybe a blubbering mess at the end of this short story collection. Chokshi does a great job of having you wish for more stories involving the characters we have been introduced to in this fantastic world she has created.

Death and Night (5 stars)- Not too much to say here besides how much I loved the beginning to Death and Night or how we know them, Amar and Maya.

We read about both of these characters in "The Star-Touched Queen" but we get to read about how they met, how Death courted Night, and how she loved him. We know what will happen next (I read the first full book and only came back to read this prequel now) but it was great to read about how they came to love one another prior to Night choosing to leave him in order to be re-born.

Death is cursed to fall in love with a woman who will leave him. So he decides to just marry, but not love his wife. Until he meets Night and knows that she is the right person for him. They have a great dynamic that consists of challenging each other as well as realizing that the other person is truly who they want to be with.

I did like that we got some backstory on the friendship between Night and Nritti. You get to see why Night loves her so much. She's one of the few who is not afraid of Night.

I also loved how we got to see how playful Gupta was with Death. I maybe laughed at him trying to teach Death how to properly court.

The writing was lyrical and made me laugh at times. You can easily see why Death and Night fell for each other.

Poison and Gold (5 stars)- We got to know Aasha in "A Crown of Wishes". Now that she is living with Guari and Vikram as they prepare to marry and unite their two kingdoms, she is scared that her powers are out of control. If she were to hurt one of them or someone else, she doesn't know what she will do. When she is given a choice to become their Spy Mistress or be sent away forever, she chooses to do what she can to stay with them. She begins training and finds out reserves she never knew she had, all while being brave enough to love someone.

Rose and Sword (5 stars)-A story within a story, we have a little girl being told a fairy tale by her grandmother. The story revolves around a wedding night and death. It also involves some familiar faces to those who have read "A Star-Touched Queen" and "A Crown of Wishes". Seriously though you guys, please get tissues ready. If you can read this story without crying, you are stronger than me. I was a mess. I don't want to spoil for potential readers, but this story hit me with all the feels.

My Emotions
Profile Image for Marianne Moresco.
Author 1 book158 followers
May 24, 2019
4.5 stars

Enchanting and touching, masterfully written.
Just so you know, the second novella has a predominant queer element to it, as in there's a f/f relationship - I don't consider it a spoiler because a character's sexual orientation or gender identity should not be treated as an element of Surprise!!.
Also, if you've read and loved "A Crown of Wishes", be prepared for the third and last novella.
Also pt.2, I think that even if you haven't read the previous two books you can smoothly read this bind-up. There are mentions here and there of what happened in those plotlines, but that's really it.
If you're looking for an enthralling and lovely collection of stories based on Hindu mythology then absolutely go for it.

*

Already read Death and Night and it was delightful. Can't wait for the other two!
Profile Image for Nastassja.
422 reviews966 followers
October 6, 2018

It is rare that I am so emotional about a book, let alone a short story, but this one made me weep and feel the range of emotions from happy, laughing, giddy to sad, hurt, lost and many more - a rainbow of feelings, really. Roshani Chokshi’s storytelling once and for all found its special place inside my heart. I don’t have anything else to say, just eager to feel more of that unearthly magic of her words.

Profile Image for Sue (Hollywood News Source).
781 reviews1,603 followers
June 18, 2018
SO I FINISHED STAR-TOUCHED STORIES, what happens now? I am merely an empty husk of who I was before.

That's exactly how I felt after reading these stories. It's like an inception because there’s stories within a story. A myth behind another legendary myth. I love reading books that take you to places and that's what this universe does for me. Roshani Chokshi once again reminded me why she's one of my favorite authors. I'm in love and speechless. Full review to come.

I've decided I'm going to gather my thoughts and review each story so it's more concise.



Death and Night is the prequel for the main characters in The Star-Touched Queen. I didn't expected I would love this story as much as I did. I'm in awe of Chokshi's writing, she makes everything so splendid and delightful. I love that finally readers could see the history between Maya and Amar. I personally feel this is a fluff story like it just made me so darn happy. Favorite part: the blooming and fruitful romance of the Dharma Raja and Night, the flowery writing that serves as another ornament of the story, and alas the organic experience of reading something so exquisite.
Profile Image for Aila.
911 reviews32 followers
August 11, 2018
Throughout these stories, Chokshi's writing remains provocative and sensual - perhaps leaning towards the purple prose side for some readers. I for one really enjoyed her heady descriptions and imaginative metaphors, and any reader who has enjoyed her previous two books in this world will adore this one. It ties in so many stories and characters, as well as presents itself as a final kiss and goodbye to the stunning world that we have visited twice already.

NIGHT AND DEATH

“Love was extraordinary.
Extraordinarily spiteful.
Extraordinarily blind.
Extraordinarily misleading.”


This story is a prequel to Chokshi’s debut, The Star-Touched Queen. In TSTQ, Maya and Amar are given a second chance to revisit their love and correct their mistakes. But what happened when they first fell in love?

I love how Chokshi set-up Death and Night’s characters in this story. Night sold her wares at the Night Bazaar, which consists of this dream fruit that is coveted by many, but at a high price. She wants recognition. Death has been lonely these past years, and he needs to take a bride. The only catch is: he can’t fall in love with her. Despite obstacles and all odds, they meet each other and begin a sweet, sometimes snarky, but altogether delightful courtship that is tested through the threads of time. I loved this little insight to Maya and Amar’s past life, and seeing familiar characters!

POISON AND GOLD

“Of all the human desires and emotions that fascinated her, love was the most mysterious of them all.”


In A Crown of Wishes, we met and fell in love with Aasha, a centuries old vishakanya who despite her age, is still curious and bright-eyed about the world. When Aasha gets granted a boon to become human, she goes back to the courts with Gauri and Vikram. But she still doesn’t feel as if she belongs with them…

I adored Aasha in ACOW, and I loved seeing her story continued in this short story. Aasha finds herself lost, to an extent. She’s no good to Gauri and Vikram diplomatically, while they’re trying to rule two kingdoms, and she just can’t seem to shake off the courtier’s insults. An opportunity to get away from this presents itself when Gauri and Vikram ask her to become their Spy Mistress. The catch? She has to get approval first from the current Spy Mistress, who is a mysterious and apparently cold-hearted individual. But when Aasha begins her training and finds herself completing her tests, she also finds herself drawn to the Spy Mistress and the secrets she told. I loved the sapphic romance this story had, and Aasha’s own self-discovery.

ROSE AND SWORD
“‘To possess even a single line in the legend of you is the greatest wish I could have made.'”


This story brings back Gauri and Vikram’s tale, which hasn’t quite ended yet. It takes place distantly in the future, where a grandmother is trying to cheer up her grandchild in the wake of a large wedding. To cheer her up, she tells the story of another wedding, long ago. A wedding that never happened…

I don’t want to give away too much of this story, but it was as beautifully-written and heartful as the other two. It serves as an epilogue to ACOW in many ways, and I just love how Chokshi tied everything up. There’s an exploration of not only new love found, but retaining this love through thick and thin, and the risk to love despite the pain. Readers of Chokshi’s books do not want to miss out on these three stories, and the beloved characters they bring back.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,001 reviews3,090 followers
August 22, 2018
This short story collection is a must if you love The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes! I was pleasantly surprised at how each of the stories already feature the couples that we know, from Maya and Amar's back story and Gauri and Vikram as well. I loved seeing more of the characters that we knew and loved from the first one and the short story format was perfect for sharing snippets of their lives - before and after we had met them in their books.

As always, Roshani Chokshi's writing is romantic, beautiful, lush and captivating. Everything was so intoxicating, from the magical world based on Indian mythology of the underworld, the night bazaar, all the beautiful creatures and the denizens of the underworld. I loved returning to the world and learning more about the fate of the characters. Definitely a must if you've read the first two books!
Profile Image for Amber.
872 reviews69 followers
August 17, 2018
The Star-Touched Queen series just gets better and better with each book. With three stories related to The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes, these stories will leave you both satisfied and wanting more. Of course, there were stories I preferred over others, so let's get into the nitty gritty!

Night and Death
Rating: 4 stars

I read this one last year when it was released as a short story and I'm happy to see that it's found a family. I mentioned in my review last year that I wished that Night and Death came out before The Star-Touched Queen because it provided a lot of background on Amar that we didn't get to see in The-Star Touched Queen.

Poison and Gold
Rating: 3 stars

I'm sorry to say that Poison and Gold fell flat for me. I couldn't give it anything less than 3 stars, but I felt that it was missing the emotion and magic that I had grown to expect from this world. I loved Asha from A Crown of Wishes, but I wanted to feel the connection between her and her love interest. My favorite scenes from this story involved Gauri and Vikram, which doesn't say much for Asha's stage presence.

Rose and Sword
Rating: 5 stars

This. This is the story that we're all here for! If you fell head-over-heels in love with Gauri and Vikram (like any rational human-being), this beautiful story was written for you. This story had me in tears for the majority of it, and I felt that it wrapped up the series almost perfectly. When you crack this one up, make sure you have the tissue box handy. Because you don't understand, you will cry.

Short N Sweet: Star-Touched Stories includes faces and places that we've all come to love. This is a satisfactory conclusion to an epic adventure
Profile Image for Miranda.
729 reviews111 followers
August 8, 2018
Reading these short stories reminded me why I love Roshani's writing so freaking much. All of the short stories were enchanting, mesmerizing, lush, and romantic. I could read a full novel about each of the short stories in this book! I loved going back into the world of The Star-Touched Queen series and learning more about the world, history, and favorite characters. I made me love the The Star-Touched Queen series even more, which I did think was possible.

I am a HUGE romance fan, and Roshani knows how to write romances that make me swoon like there is no tomorrow. I feel like romances are hard to pull off in short stories, but Roshani did it masterfully. I WANT MORE!!!!

I also really enjoyed the plot of each short story. Each story had an interesting and well-developed plot that kept me hooked from the first page.

If you are a fan of the series and are still craving more form the world, then I 100% recommend picking up this collection of short stories! This book will suck you back into the magical world and remind you just how wonderful the series is.

5 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It
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Profile Image for Amy Leigh.
327 reviews38 followers
May 21, 2018
Three magical stories that add so much depth to the world Chokshi has created.
Beautiful writing that winds these stories in a fairy tale fashion that I adore! I highly recommend for fans of the series, I don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't read them yet but they are amazing. I highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for prag ♻.
585 reviews585 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 10, 2020
me: has absolutely NO time to read
netgalley: so here's the arc you requested a month ago!!! happy reading :) :)
Profile Image for Flavia.
316 reviews33 followers
August 17, 2018
I absolutely loved Roshani Chokshi’s full novels The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes, so when the first short story in this collection, “Death and Night” came out as a novella last May, I was all over it. I won’t go into that story in this review, because I wrote a full review for it last year (and you can read it on my blog). So, when I started reading Star-Touched Stories, I skipped straight to “Poison and Gold” … and I do have to say that it was my least favourite story in the collection. The story revolved around Aasha, a friend that Gauri and Vikram made while participating in the tournament of wishes in A Crown of Wishes, and while I did like her character in that book, I can’t way that I liked her enough to read a short story about her. I did enjoy learning more about the world as a whole, but I wasn’t really too invested in Asha and her interactions with the Spy Mistress, although the ending was a sweet one.

My favourite thing in “Poison and Gold,” was that I got to spend a little more time with Gauri and Vikram. The third and last story in the collection, “Rose and Sword,“ had more of a focus on Gauri and Vikram though, and it was quite a beautiful story. It was also a very sad story though, and I spent most of it crying, while the ending made me bawl my eyes out. I’m actually tearing up while typing this now! Gauri and Vikram had been through a lot in order to “save the day” and be together, so I was very sad to see them have to suffer through another struggle. I would have rather read in detail about their wedding day and night. There were some happy moments though, and I character that I enjoyed in Chokshi’s full-length books made a reappearance, so that made me happy! Also, like I said, “Rose and Sword” was a beautiful story, and all three stories, in fact, were beautifully written in the unique and lush style of Chokshi. I also found that Chokshi’s writing (while great from the start for me), has matured and improved over the years! I highly recommend this short story collection to fans of her work!
Profile Image for Kasey Giard.
Author 1 book50 followers
August 8, 2018
You know that feeling when you finish an amazing book, and you just wish for one more scene to revisit that favorite character or that awesome story world? That’s pretty much what Star-Touched Stories is. Every time I ran into a character I remembered from The Star-Touched Queen or A Crown of Wishes, I got so excited. There’s a story about Aasha! And Kamala appears in another one! Yay! And more Gauri and Vikram! I couldn’t have been happier.

The same rich-as-ripened-fruit, delicious writing fills every single page of all three stories. There’s plenty of peppery banter between characters and deep, heart-wrenching emotions. Grab a spoon and eat up every page. (I know... that’s a metaphor which would make Zahril scoff.)

While the stories would stand on their own as interesting tales, it’s hard for me to imagine reading them without first reading The Star-Touched Queen or A Crown of Wishes. I think you could. But I’m pretty sure it’ll make you want more of the story world.
Profile Image for Olivia Chanel's Stories in Space.
237 reviews14 followers
August 5, 2018
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Star-Touched Stories. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Star-Touched Stories is an anthology filled with three stories from the world established in The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. The three stories are beautifully written and I was blown away by their excellence, their originality, and the way they made me feel. This book was so much better, so much more than I ever could have imagined. I have decided to review the three novellas separately for you to truly see what makes them magical.

Death and Night

The first novella is about Death and Night and is a prequel to The Star-Touched Queen. This extraordinary story really had me yearning to read The Star-Touched Queen – the only book in the series I have not read – which is the first novel in Roshani Chokshi’s series of standalone novels, connected through the world they are set in and the side characters we get to know along the way. The best part of ‘Death and Night’ being a prequel to the first book in the series is that I could perfectly understand it without having read The Star-Touched Queen first.

And the truth was that I wanted to spend my life with someone who made eternity too short. I wanted a love that time could never erode, a foundation that would grow spires and turrets large enough to swallow constellations. And yet I wanted love like a home, a corner of the universe built for two and snug as skin. I wouldn’t settle for less. Queen or no.

The chemistry between Death and Night is amazing and out of this world. I love the way these two characters are so soft for each other yet each has their own strong individual personalities. I loved the banter between them and laughed several times. As always, Roshani Chokshi’s writing is lush and magical, she writes unlike anyone else.

Poison and Gold

The second story in the anthology takes place after A Crown of Wishes, the second novel in the series, and is about Aasha. Aasha is a side character from A Crown of Wishes and ‘Poison and Gold’ is about Aasha finding her place in her new life with Vikram and Gauri. She does that by meeting the current Spy Mistress and training under her. In the novella, Aasha trains under the Spy Mistress for three months and at the same time finds out who she is as an individual in the space in between being human and vishakanya. With this knowledge, she truly becomes herself and finds love on the way. This is an f/f story and it is beautiful: and yes, there is definitely kissing involved.

Instead, she reached for … herself. The space between her two lives where she existed in moments of stolen peace. A place of curiosity. Questioning.

Ever since I read A Crown of Wishes, I have wanted to see more of Aasha and this story really delivered. However, I want to say I’m greedy for more. There were a lot of great moments with Aasha, Vikram, and Gauri in this story and I love how the three of them all support each other. Their friendship is just amazing.

Rose and Sword

The third and last story in this book is about Vikram and Gauri, who I first met in A Crown of Wishes. As always, the writing is just phenomenal and what also made this story so special was how it was narrated. The way this story is narrated lets you know how it will end and despite that, it will still wreck you. ‘Rose and Sword’ made my heart grow and I want everyone to experience the beauty of this one.

“This is an adventure, Gauri,” Vikram whispered against her hair. “All of it.”

‘Rose and Sword’ is my favorite out of the three stories and it is a tearjerker; you have been warned. When I read it, I cried a bunch – more than I first expected I would. This story is just so beautiful, heartbreaking, happy, and bittersweet in the best way. I could not imagine a better ending for Vikram and Gauri, an ending that is just so them. You will not be disappointed by this story or any of the others seen in this anthology. I want everyone to experience Roshani Chokshi’s words and stories.
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
560 reviews119 followers
May 19, 2021
Roshani Chokshi does it again with her beautiful way with words. This is a collection of short stories set in the the Star-Touched Queen world featuring characters you already know and love. I usually stay away from novellas, and definitely away from short-story collections because rarely are they worth the time or effort. You never get enough or too much is crammed in to the point it makes no sense and you hate it.

Not the case here.

Full review at A Book Shrew

A run-down of my thoughts on each short story.

1. DEATH AND NIGHT
My favourite, hands down. It is basically the prequel to The Star-Touched Queen you didn't know you needed but secretly wished would land in your lap. This tells the story of Night incarnate and the Lord of Death and how they met and came to be lovers, and let me tell you, this was perfect. It was lush and swoony and romantic and utterly wonderful. The magic and the world-building was top notch in this. The rest of this book could have been trash and I'd still finish in the hopes of getting another moment that resembles this particular tale. I literally have nothing bad to say about this one.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
2. POISON AND GOLD
This was probably the one that could have tanked the ship for me. This one takes place after the events of A Crown of Wishes, and focuses on Aasha going through a series of tests and trial to become the new Spy Mistress. I really liked Aasha in ACOW, but I fell off the wagon here. It was a story that felt too long and boring and frankly, unasked for. The spy mistress angle should have been more exciting, but was not. I wanted more of a story of discovery of the world for her, but it became more about her, personally and her insecurities and weaknesses.
⭐️⭐️⭐️
3. ROSE AND SWORD
I enjoyed this one as well! Not as much as the first, but more so than the second. It focuses on Gauri as she travels to the underworld to save Vikram from illness and death on the eve of their wedding. I love Gauri and Vikram together, so I was delighted to get more of their banter and dynamic together. My major complaint with this was it was too short. It needed—no, deserved more. Chop Aasha's story in half by speeding up the pace and give those pages to Gauri.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was a great companion piece to the Star-Touched world and came at a good time for me, not wanting to leave that world just yet.
Profile Image for Lili  Marcus.
714 reviews404 followers
August 31, 2018

Oh my God, the writing... But first, the stories. I'm not so into companion novels (but I do love Levana's story in The Lunar Chronicles) and not also into short stories or anthologies so I wasn't sure what made me request this one from Netgalley. Maybe it was the cover because duh? look how gorgeous it is. But anyway, I'm glad I did request this ARC.

First paragraph on first story, Death and Night, I was hooked. Death is the first narrator and I found his thoughts not only dark but sad. So sad, my heart answered to him right away. And then there's the love story between him and Night herself. It was perfect. I haven't felt true love in so long, I just loved it. Sure there was ssa bit insta-love an dthe plot was a little rushed but we mustn't forget this is a short story.

The second story I couldn't connect that much, maybe because I heard too much from Aasha and I long to hear from the spymaster herself. I wanna read her thoughts too. In fact I want to read hers more than Aasha becaus eshe's much darker and Aasha was all-scared adn I don't know. But I love the LGBTQ+ rep though I wasn't expecting. It's very refreshing.

The third story, I adore so much. It started with a kid resenting her sister but then her granny told her a story. The three stories somehow are connected with each other. And very much connected to the main series, I guess. I haven't read them but I want to now.

The writing is juts perfect for me. I love it. So aesthetic. So Beautiful and magical. See, I really love this kind of writing but lately all I've been reading are books with aesthetic language but said aesthetic language are used only to describe things around. But it turned Roshani Chokshi's writing is art itself. I'm gonna read all her works just for her inspiration. And oh the world. I love the world. I can't wait to read the other books in the series..

Please note that I got an ARC of this beautiful book from the publisher thru Netgalley but my opinions are my own and unbiased.

Happy reading,

cameff_1512136642287
Profile Image for Tova.
628 reviews
September 2, 2018
3.5
I would still die for my husband Vikramaditya, just saying.
RTC
Profile Image for Mira Mio.
270 reviews50 followers
September 30, 2020
Death and Night - приквел к Star Touched Queen, не планировала читать, потому что мне не нравится романтика из первой книги.

Poison and Gold - сиквел к Crown of Wishes про Аашу. DNF 50%. Заунывно, лесбийство превратилось в упоротый абьюз. Две зв��зды.

Rose and Sword - сиквел к Crown of Wishes про то, как на свадьбе у Гаури украли жениха. Милая и немножко печальная история с мини-квестом. Пять звезд.

Итого: прочитана половина текста, значит, DNF 50%.

P. S. Рассказы намного меньше, чем кажутся, потому что огромный шрифт, широкие поля и ознакомительный фрагмент Gilded Wolves.
Profile Image for Bright Star.
389 reviews125 followers
May 30, 2021
“They lived. Mostly happily. Sometimes furiously. But always gratefully. It is, I think, the best way to spend existence.”


My heart was not ready for this.
These novellas, especially the first and the third, were beautifully written and emotionally touching. I literally cried towards the end. I'll miss these characters very much.
Star-Touched Stories is truly a little gem to treasure forever.
Profile Image for Ingrid.
443 reviews55 followers
December 29, 2018
DNF @ 10%

I realized i didn't even read Star touched queen, so oops. This was completely my bad and I didn't want to finish reading it. because I want to read the other books first before reading this one.

I did however, enjoy the first story! She has a beautiful, imaginative writing style which mesmerizes the reader.
Profile Image for Tara (Spinatale Reviews).
555 reviews50 followers
August 4, 2018
Star-Touched Stories is a beautifully written addition to the Star-Touched Queen series. Prepare to laugh and cry (I definitely needed tissues). This book sees the return of some old favorites and the introduction of some new characters. Roshani Chokshi is truly a magician with words and her full skill is evident in these pages. Prepare to be transported back into this wonderfully magical world. While you technically don’t need to read the first two books in the series to understand this one, there are spoilers for the first two in the second two stories.

Since this is a short story collection, I wanted to include a few thoughts on each story.

Death and Night: This one was just so much fun to read. It tracks the courtship of the Lord of Death and Night as they navigate misunderstandings, getting to know each other, and curses. I loved how the front they each presented to the world was slowly unraveled and how they only fell in love once they truly knew each other. Chokshi captures the essence of a new relationship and, although this one has magic galore, it feels entirely relatable.

Poison and Gold: This is one that I would love to see expanded into a full-length novel. Focusing on Aasha, one of the more minor characters from A Crown of Wishes, Poison and Gold delves into the world of spies and secrets. Although the focus was more on figuring out who you are, the romance was absolutely adorable and surprisingly heart-warming for something that involved so much poison and death.

Rose and Sword: Rose and Sword was the one story that made me cry. This one was so beautifully tragic, sweet, and romantic. It details what happened to Gauri and Vikram after A Crown of Wishes and perfectly captures what it means to truly choose to love someone day after day. This one was probably my favorite in this book (but all three were fantastic). Just make sure you have a tissue or two handy.

For me, the mark of a good book is how strongly I want to reread it one day. With Star-Touched Stories, I was tempted to begin reading again as soon as I turned the last page. Lyrical, magical, and utterly captivating, Star-Touched Stories is a stellar installment in one of my favorite series.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for meg ✷.
97 reviews36 followers
June 24, 2018
You may also find this review on my blog here.

I received an e-ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Did they live happily ever after?" This question made her grandmother pause. "They lived," she said carefully. "Mostly happily. Sometimes furiously. But always gratefully. It is, I think, the best way to spend existence."

I'm convinced Roshani Chokshi has some kind of magic tucked within herself. How else do you explain the beauty of her works? The Star-Touched Queen was a dreamer's tale; A Crown of Wishes was a tale for dreamers. And Star-Touched Stories is a collection of novellas of both, perfectly capping and concluding the beautiful world of Maya and Amar, of Gauri and Vikram and Aasha.

Death and Night

"Will you come back tomorrow?"
"And the next day. And the day after that."
I bit back a smile. "For how long?"
"As long as it takes."

This novella was wonderful! I've always been too curious about what it was like before Maya and Amar were torn apart from each other's hands. In TSTQ, we were plunged into a story of a love forgotten and a love remembered. This novella provided a glimpse as to how exactly they first met and fell in love with one another, and it was nothing short of beautiful. I'm also glad we got to see through the POVs of both Maya and Amar. It turns out Death isn't as serious and broody as he seems!

Poison and Gold

"That's just the teeth of ambition chewing at the heart of you," she said. "Let it bite. It's good for you."

As soon as we were introduced to Aasha in ACOW, I couldn't help but root for her. She has one of the purest, most curious souls, and I was eager to learn more about her life after the Tournament. I'm so glad that this story was Aasha's own self-discovery as to who she really was in the wake of her wish and decision following the end of ACOW. Her journey to become the next Spy Mistress had me rooting for her to secure the spot while also rooting for her to get the girl (yep, this is a sapphic love story, folks!).

Rose and Sword

"And she knew, even as she reached for the flame of his last breath, that loving him would be the bravest thing she had ever done."

Reading this novella was probably the most painful for me, in part because I am most attached to Vikram and Gauri. Seeing that the story begun immediately when Gauri was already a grandmother and a storyteller herself, it surprised me that I truly could be parting ways with these characters once and for all. It was also painful because this was a story racing against time, both in the past and in the present. But as the story fell to a close and as much as I wouldn't mind reading on and on, I thought that the ending was strong and well-crafted, both for this novella and for the end of the Star-Touched Universe.

Roshani Chokshi is a wondrous storyteller that can write stories that hold up on their own while still connecting it to those around. Before reading this, I was hesitant to dive into it because I know it'll be the last time I'd read about the characters I loved so much. Often I get attached to characters, but it's not often I cling to them, hoping that their stories never end. But the author perfectly caps the world so well, and she couldn't have ended their stories on a higher and better note.

--

IT WAS PERFECT.

Full RTC. (I know I still have to review A Crown of Wishes, but LET ME GRIEVE FIRST.)
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