Title: The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Pub: April 2016
I really wanted to like this book, I really did. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve read it and I’ve mulled over my thoughts and I’ve come to the conclusion that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I was going to. It was rather disappointing.
Quick synopsis: Maya is cursed with a horrible horoscope which makes her the scapegoat of the family and practically feared by everyone in her father’s kingdom. To resolve political and violent conflicts, Maya agrees to a marriage of convenience and is whisked away by a mysterious man named Amar, who shares little about himself and little about the world he brought Maya too. She is now the queen of Akaran and must wade through countless questions and fight the fate thrust upon her.
There is no doubt about it that the prose is beautiful. The descriptions and imagery are great, but it was hard to read at times. The words themselves were difficult to read, it felt like I was stuffing cotton balls in my mouth. I had to really concentrate on the words to comprehend them and at times I had to reread a passage just to get what was being said.
Chokshi also did an amazing job at bringing the setting to life. I was impressed by how immersed I felt in Maya’s home and then in Akaran.
I read this book fairly quickly though because I was interested in Maya and how she was going to take on her role as queen of Akaran. Her story has an interesting premise (cursed horoscope and all) and paired with an even more mysterious husband. However, we as readers don’t really get a chance to see her act upon her new role.
The conflict was literally nonexistent for the majority of the book. Maya spends most of the time wandering around her new home. There isn’t even a decent amount of development between Maya and Amar. There isn’t a moment or catalyst that makes you want to root for either of them because they’re just as mysterious at the end as they were at the beginning. I hardly know anything about them. The characters have little to no development or characterization of themselves or between them.
There is no doubt that Roshani Chokshi is a gifted writer. Her prose is wonderful, but The Star-Touched Queen lacked direction and a protagonist with any distinct characteristics and goals.