2020 SQHS Your Literate Life - BOOK REVIEWS ONLY discussion

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)
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The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi

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message 1: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Thorsen | 38 comments Mod
Mayavati is a shunned princess in the harem of a royal court in a fantastical version of India. Her horoscope prophesies she will be married to death and bring destruction to others, so the wives and other children in the harem stay away. When she is old enough to marry, her father hides the prophecy from her suitors, but he knows that whomever she chooses will bring war, so he asks Maya to kill herself instead. But there is one unexpected suitor who seems to know her plans, and Maya recognizes it is her only chance of staying alive and escaping her fate. The land he takes her to is nothing that Maya expected; both it and her new husband are full of secrets – whispering voices, mirror portals, and mysterious doors – ones that when revealed will have the power to heal or destroy, all depending on whom Maya chooses to believe.

This was not the typical YA fantasy book that I expected. While it retains some of the same structures of a hero’s journey, it’s unconventional in many ways, too. Steeped in Indian mythology, I enjoyed learning about all the strange, imaginative worlds and creatures (especially Kamala, the talking skeletal demon horse), and I found it interesting how the idea of reincarnation figures into the story. The writing is incredibly lush and vivid; Chokshi rarely lets a sentence go by that isn’t star-touched itself. While evocative and beautifully written, it’s still a very accessible story. For the most part, the action moves along without getting too caught up in description. My only complaint was that it takes over half the book for the catalyst that sets off Maya’s journey. The first part of the book builds up the mystery of Akaran, the land where she is taken by her new husband, the land she supposedly rules but knows nothing about. It’s a good mystery, and I felt engaged, but the story becomes even more interesting when Maya learns the truth and sets off to make things right.

message 2: by Bear (new)

Bear L. Osterhaus (boster) | 20 comments The book sounds good and very interesting. Btw is it fiction or non-fiction?

message 3: by Monique (new)

Monique | 3 comments A fantasy book that includes Indian mythology sounds really interesting! The plot seems to be filled with action.

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