The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi
What a strange read to evalue it's this one. I've been having mixed feelings about this book from the start to the end.
It present itself like a fairy-tale retelling, based on stories like Beauty and the Beast and the greek myth of Hades and Persephone all mixed-up with indian legends. All of this point of origin were put together nicely, but having no knowledge on India's folk stories I was quite confused time to time. Something that I didn't register while reading The Wrath and the Dawn, a fab retelling of a Thousand Nights.
The book opens with Maya, one of Bharata Raja's daughter. She has been cursed with a Horoscope that promise a marriage of death and destruction, making her an outcast in the court. Content to follow more scholarly pursuit, her world will be turn upside down when her father arranged a political marriage to peace the outside rebellions. She will soon find herself in Akaran, a land in between worlds, married to the Raja Amar - and in his mysterious palace there are many doors that must not be open and many voices not to follow.
The story is full of magic, filled with twists and turns, caused mostly by Maya's stupid decisions. As a character she could have more development, she was quite dumb, not a strong engaging female leader.
The love interest starts from the first encounter. The same moment Amar stands in the room for the first time with Maya, you can sense that "love is in the air". But taking the reincarnation, predestiny and soul-mates stuff, I can give in in believing in love at first sight.
Amar lucks any characters, his positions as the Raja and the blindness love for Maya defines him.
The only role that could get my whole attentions and I did find interesting is Kamela, a talking horse. She is hilarious.
All of this lucks are mystified by the vibrant, elegant language, Roshani Chokshi use. She is clearly a skilled writer and her poetic vibe did combine wonderfully with the magic atmosphere of India's folk stories.
There are a lot of pro and cons to this story, so I will go with a political 3/5 STARS.
Here a well done fan-made book trailer.