The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Release Date; 26 April 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: ARC from Publisher (Thank you)
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...
But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
ROSHANI CHOKSHI comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she's learning a new kind of storytelling. More information on the author can be found at www.roshanichokshi.com.
Q & A with Roshani Chokshi
• What/Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in The Star-Touched Queen? Which character in The Star-Touched Queen did you personally relate to the most and why?
For Maya and Amar, they were inspired by the Hades/Persephone. But I imagined those two mythological characters a little more differently. In Maya’s case, I knew that ambition was her defining trait, but I wasn’t sure whether that would manifest as seeking emotional or material fulfillment. Turns out, it was a bit of both. Kamala was inspired by my love of fiendish side characters like Mogget from Garth Nix’s SABRIEL and is probably the character I relate to the most. Her sense of humor can be a little abrasive. But she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Other people in TSTQ were inspired by a collection of people whom I met/knew/heard of growing up.
• What scene in THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN was your favorite to write?
Definitely the scene where Amar and Maya are working together in the constellation room. I think it’s an important scene about interpretation, which, to me, is a major theme in TSTQ.
• What is your dream movie cast for STAR-TOUCHED?
LOVE this question. I’ve always envisioned Lakshmi Menon (the Sri Lankan model) as Maya-esque. Amar has some definite Arjun Rampal undertones (swoons forever). Gupta is kinda cheeky and nerdy, and reminds me of Imran Khan (actor not Pakistani cricket player). Gauri is cheeky, but fierce, so definitely Preity Zinta or Deepika Padukone. Nritti: Aishwarya Rai. And Mother Dhina: Rekha.
• What is your next project?
Is it in the same world as STAR-TOUCHED? I just finished the companion novel to TSTQ! So, I’m hoping to get started on edits soon. I can’t wait for y’all to read it. I love it so much.
• What is the one thing you want readers to walk away from STAR-TOUCHED with?
I hope readers see a little of how fairytales and folklore celebrate our shared experiences across cultural spectrums. And I hope their dreams are a little star-touched and that they close the book thinking they’ve tasted fairy fruit and walked through more than one life.
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin for review and blog tour purposes. I was not compensated to read the book. Every opinion stated are solely mine.
The Star-Touched Queen is a vivid and whimsical story of a seventeen-year-old girl named Maya that has a horoscope showing that she is partnered with Death and Destruction. Soon enough, her father, the Raja, decides to wed her off to a prince for political convenience to quell outside rebellion. She meets Amar, the Raja of Akaran, chooses him as her spouse, and then she soon became the Rani of Akaran. As Queen, she struggles to find her voice and power but as Amar's wife, she discovers passion and desire. Akaran is full of locked doors and secrets. If she can't even trust his husband, who can she?
YOU GUYS. THIS BOOK. IS. MY. EVERYTHING. UGHHHH. I hate having this feeling of not moving on. Somebody hold meeee! I love this book so much it hurt. I request everybody to try and read this one because you got everything here! Indian folklore and Greek mythology in one book. The feels!
What I loved about this is how diverse the story was, how gripping every scenes are, and how it puts you on the edge of your seat. It's not everyday that you get a story out of an Indian folklore cross greek myth. I was fascinated by the tale, how vivid I fantasized about every details taking place, and how lush every words are brought about by the characters as well as the author herself. Every turn of the page gives you an exciting feeling you just, I don't know, grips you. There's a pull that you must finish reading it in one sitting! This is the best thing that ever happened to me this year and I was constantly in limbo after reading!
Maya comes in a strong personality which I have grown loving, and independent, which wows me off of my seat. These are the kinds of characters that keeps me going, reading until the last page. Her curiosities however, are the one thing that really distracted me. You know what they say, curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back. I was on the edge of my seat, saying 'don't listen!' over and over. It somehow fell off when she immediately trusted what she saw and she went spiraling into the lies she was told. But getting herself back up and being focused on her goal somehow raised the bar up. That's my girl!
Since the story, like any other fairy tales, shows more of Maya, we can't just skip the part where Prince Charming starts to show. Amar is a guy with surprise and endless love written on his face. The magic he weaves in the story is fascinating and keeps getting better as the story goes on. Probably my favorite part was weaving constellations. That was just full of real love and truth and gosh it just makes you blush like damn.
Let's not forget Kamala! I loved that creature! Even though ragged, this horse is full of humor. She brought the life on the second part of the book and every line she says will really make you laugh or smile. She's the 'life of the party' for this one. You can't not love Kamala, I tell you! :)
The Star-Touched Queen is an absolute page turner. Everybody should read this one since most folks strive to look for disparate reads. I dub this book as diversity at it's finest. Go on. Don't be scared to try it. I loved the book and it has a very special place in my heart. I'm pretty sure you'll love it too!
Yay We definitely need ore diverse books like this one :D
Labels: Blog Tour, Book Review, Roshani Chokshi, St. Martin's Griffin, The Star-Touched Queen