Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Star-Touched Queen #1

The Star-Touched Queen

Rate this book
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.

Listening Length: 9 hours and 22 minutes

342 pages, Hardcover

First published April 26, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Roshani Chokshi is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling series The Star-Touched Queen, The Gilded Wolves and Aru Shah and The End of Time, which Time Magazine named one of the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time. Her adult debut, The Last Tale of The Flower Bride, was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and often draw upon world mythology and folklore. Chokshi is a member of the National Leadership Board for the Michael C. Carlos Museum and lives in Georgia with her husband and their cat whose diabolical plans must regularly be thwarted.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5,635 (21%)
4 stars
8,403 (32%)
3 stars
7,716 (29%)
2 stars
3,269 (12%)
1 star
948 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,366 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
May 3, 2016
“I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars.”
“I want to measure eternity with your laughter.”

I want to know what the fuck that^ means? No, seriously, can someone tell me?

1 1/2 stars. The Star-Touched Queen is a book full of dreamy, purple prose that is at times beautiful, and at others makes absolutely no sense. But if you buy into these metaphors, put on your prose-tinted glasses and let yourself get drunk on the glittering descriptions, I suppose you might be able to ignore:

• The slut-shaming/woman-hating
• The instalove/obsession (complete with nauseating sweet nothings)
• The lack of character development
• The meandering plot
• The blind stupidity of the heroine
• The lack of world-building (beyond the nonsensical weirdness of the Otherworld)

Let's start at the beginning and break this down.

The Star-Touched Queen is not what I expected. People often like to comment on my reviews that "just because it isn't what you were expecting doesn't mean it isn't good". Very true. So I will also add that, for me, this book wasn't good, irrespective of my expectations. But I had it in my mind that this book was a high fantasy entwined with mythology, kingdoms and death. It's not.

It's yet another fairy tale-esque retelling, based on stories like Beauty & the Beast and Hades & Persephone, and reminiscent of better books like Cruel Beauty, and not so great books like A Court of Thorns and Roses (like this one, it has lots of kissing).

The book opens with Maya being forced into a political marriage by her father. When the groom is chosen, she must take a poison and martyr herself for the sake of her kingdom. But at the point when all seems lost, a dashing suitor whirls into the room and takes her away to the Otherworld. The love interest can be spotted immediately from the way the air changes when he enters the room.
When I looked at him, something stirred inside me. It felt like recognition sifted through dreams; like the moment before waking - when sleep blurred the true world, when beasts with sharp teeth and beautiful, winged things flew along the edges of your mind.

Being with him was like seeing for the first time.

But, take a step back a minute. Maya's lack of character development will remain throughout the entire novel, but it is in the early stages of the novel where she establishes herself as someone with no female friendships, lots of female enemies, and a tendency to slut-shame:
“I’d rather spread ideas than legs,” I hissed back. “But I doubt you would agree-"

Suffice it to say, this book definitely does not pass the Bechdel test.

In fact, Maya has literally ONE female friend, who is - wait for it - a horse. Which is almost hilarious.

Not only is Maya allergic to all the other evil, slutty females in this book, but she is so freaking stupid... I can't even. I honestly cannot think of anything she does that was guided by her own decisions and brain cells (does she even have any?). The plot is propelled along by her doing what everyone else tells her to do and being tricked into acting like an idiot. The bad guys (or should I say "girls"?) are not difficult to spot in this book. The reader will spot the deceptions coming a mile away - why is Maya so dense? She has very few thoughts of her own.

Maya: Oh my god! How could I be so stupid?
Me: I literally DO NOT KNOW.

The middle part of the book was the hardest for me to get through. Once Maya becomes the queen of Akaran, the plot meanders and we are taken on repetitive tours. Like Cruel Beauty, but less compelling, there are many doors, mysterious voices and mirrors. It is this wandering part of the book where I could not see what we were reading towards. What questions did we have to answer? What made us turn the pages? For me, I drew a blank.

Fortunately for the plot, Maya acts stupid, gets bumped out of this world, and has to figure out how to get back to where she was. That's right - we basically reach the happy ending by the middle of the book, but Maya fucks it up to give us another 150 pages. And to give another example of her a) stupidity and b) lack of original thoughts, this is what happens:
“Gupta, what door is that?”
He frowned. “Door? What door?” He turned around and then asked sharply, “What did it look like?”
I hesitated. Mother Dhina’s words echoed… keep some secrets for yourself.

Yes. Maya decides to withhold information about a weird voice coming from behind a door... because of the words of an evil, conniving woman. She would rather give weight to the words of someone who hates her than think for herself.

Who would I recommend this book for? Maybe those readers who like cursed romances, but don't care about character development, woman-hating, or actions making sense. Sorry, but it wasn't for me. Points for Kamala, though. The horse is the best thing in this book.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store
February 25, 2016
Although I had never envisioned marriage, I had thought of love. Not the furtive love I heard muffled in the corners or rooms of some of the harem wives. What I wanted was a connection, a shared heartbeat that kept rhythm across oceans and worlds. I didn't want the prince from the folktales or some milk-skinned, honey-eyed youth who said his greetings and proclaimed his love in the same breath. I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible.
**high-pitched screaming**

Sorry about that.

Oh. My. God. I'm speechless with glee and my head is spinning from this fantastical, lovely, exquisitely built tale. The story can best be described as Greek mythology in a mythical Indian setting. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

Seriously, both of those elements promise to be magical, and trust me when I say you will not be disappointed by the way they are represented in this book. I have always been fascinated by the image of the Indian royal court and the harem. Call me a romantic, if you will, but I love the colors, I love the harems, I love the power play and the backstabbing. I love the richness, and vibrancy of it. It's something that has always fueled my imagination, and this book delivered on every front.

Seventeen-year old Princess Mayavati lives in the royal courts. Though she is a princess, a charmed life it is most defintely not. The belief upon horoscopes prevail, and upon her birth, Maya was predicted to have a cursed life. As such, she may be a princess, but she lives her life as one ostracized.

It's not all bad, because nobody pays attention to her, Maya gets the run of the court. She reads. She spies on her father. That independence soon comes to a close when Maya gets the shock of her life; she is to be betrothed to the a foreign prince to avert war between their nations.

Life is over as she knows it. Instead of freedom, Maya will now live a life in a gilded cage to a stranger. But her wedding is a bit...unexpected.
A soldier's hand grasped for me, but Amar pulled me away. Arrows zoomed past, but each time one came near, he would whirl me out of the way. He moved fluidly, dodging javelins, always a few steps behind me, a living shield.
Oh snap! Not your traditional wedding, that's for sure.

Against all hope, Maya finds happiness. She finds love. She finds a partner. But what fun is it if the story just ended there? There's magic and mystery and hidden rooms, and then there's the mystery of her groom itself. The groom that's just too good to be true, and perhaps is.
That night, I dreamed of locked doors and baying hounds, rooms that were night-dark and a beast-king that smiled and laughed around a mouthful of broken stars to sing one phrase over and over: I know the monster in your bed.

Maya is such a wonderful character. She may have suffered from her loneliness, but she never becomes a martyr. She has strength that comes from such loneliness. And unlike other characters in other books who frustrates by building an impenetrable wall of bitchiness around their heart, Maya is open to what her heart desires. One criticism may be that she is too easily susceptible to romance, but I compare it to a man dying of thirst, confronted with a bounty of water.

The world building is incredible. From the mythology within her world...
In all the tomes and folklores I had read from the archives, there was no limit to the worlds around us. Somewhere unseen were demonic realms filled with laughing asuras and blackedned suns. There were austere kingdoms on the peaks of mountains where phoenixes serenaded the moon and the halls of the gods glinted with lightning. And there was our own, human world, mortal, with only the comfort of stories to keep away the chill of death."
"What do you want from me?

He stopped, the smile was gone from his lips.

"I want your perspective and honesty," he said, before adding in a softer voice, "I want to be humbled by you. My kingdom needs a queen. It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you."
IT'S WILDLY, MADLY ROMANTIC AND GUESS WHAT? I DON'T GIVE A SHIT. It was beautiful and glorious and my heart sings with joy.

All quotes are taken from an advanced reader's copy and is subject to change in the final edition.

Read this review and more @ The Book Eaters
Profile Image for Elena May.
Author 11 books691 followers
August 9, 2017
When my favorite character is a skinny talking horse, who also happens to be a flesh-eating demon, you know it’s a memorable book!

Mythology retelling! Indian folklore! Harem backstabbing! Lush and colorful settings! Strange creatures and hungry demons! What’s not to love???

The book seems to be partially based on the legends about god Yama:

The version we see here is quite different, though we still have the water buffalo. I got to ride one too:

Princess Mayavati’s horoscope is a disaster – she’ll be partnered with death itself. But the real disaster is people’s interpretation. Everyone blames her for everything that happens in the palace. A child gets sick? Maya’s fault! A wife dies in childbirth? Maya’s fault! A wife’s slippers disappear! Okay, that one was really Maya’s fault.

But then she’s swept in a magical adventure, like one from the bedtime stories she tells her little sister, and she must learn that there are many ways to interpret a horoscope. In a world of reincarnations, death is not just a natural part of the circle of life – it’s also a new beginning.

Before she find herself, Maya goes through being an ignored princess, a confused queen, and even an unwilling sadhvi (a sadhu / sadhvi is an ascetic, who is simultaneously respected as a holy person and ostracized for being an outcast and a beggar):

Maya’s characterization shows some inconsistencies, which is why I’m deducting a star. At the very beginning, her father informs her that in order to avoid a war, he needs to wed her. Maya will have the choice among a pool of possible husbands. Instead, she decides to run away. Her choice is somewhat selfish – this could mean war and would surely bring lots of trouble to her people. But this is selfishness I can accept and understand. What has her family done for her, after all? What does she owe them? The choice is still self-centered but it would have made for an interesting, flawed character. But it was not to be...

Once her escape fails, her father tells her his plan has been different all along. There will be war anyway, so his plan is to lure in her suitors and kill them off. However, they would be protected by guest rights, which is why Maya needs to kill herself; after her death, the foreign nobles will no longer be protected.

And Maya’s reaction is... okay, sure. She never tried to fight her fate and obediently starts drinking the poison until a random stranger stops her. Supposedly, she does it to protect her people, in particular her half-sister, but she never spares them any thought before. So she is unwilling to marry someone of her choice to protect her people, but is fine with dying?

From that point on, Maya shows next to none independent thoughts. She just blindly follows whatever random people tell her, without putting much thinking into it. I’ve seen many reviewers complain she makes a stupid choice, but I didn’t really have a problem with the choice itself. Honestly, she doesn’t have enough information to make the choice, and she’s right not to trust Amar at this stage. The bigger problem is, she never really thinks about her choices and seems to decide at random. And, given how insane her life becomes all of a sudden, she doesn’t ask enough questions. Why is Amar so unconditionally in love with her, without even knowing her? He is willing to forgive her anything and overlook all the messes she makes. He claims he needs her insight, but we’ve never seen this insight. The reasons are revealed later on, and they are not hard to guess even before that, but Maya never guesses what’s happening. She doesn’t even wonder about it.

Also, it doesn’t look good when we see how in a previous life .

There are some other minor inconsistencies, e.g. in the beginning we see Maya’s mother dies when Maya is young, but later the book claims she dies in childbirth. Also, Amar waits for one specific event to happen after “sixty turns of the moon” in the mortal realm, which is roughly five years, and yet at one point we see ten years have passed and yet nothing has happened. Overall, the book would have benefited from a stronger editor.

One small thing is bugging me – can someone with a better knowledge of Indian names help out? Isn’t Gupta a surname? I was quite surprised to see it as a first name here, so I got curious and looked it up. I work in a large multinational company, and I did a search in our internal directory to find I have 448 colleagues with the surname Gupta, but not a single one who has it as a first name. A quick Google search confirms my thoughts. Then why is it a first name here? I’ve seen some very high profile authors mess up first name / surname conventions of cultures they’re unfamiliar with, but this author seems very knowledgeable, so I’m sure that’s not the case here.

Please don’t let my complains discourage you, this book is epic and beautiful! If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ve probably noticed I tend to nitpick the most about books I love the most. Also, guys, there’s a talking horse! And it’s not really a horse, but a pishacha: a demon that haunts cremation grounds and eats flesh. It’s absolutely ugly and terrifying, but so, so cool!
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,243 followers
May 11, 2016
I know I'm in the minority with this one. I gave a full star simply for the writing. Other than that...the book lost me. It was hard to stay interested. Gorgeous writing is not enough to make up for what it's lacking in plot and characters.

I admit it. I saw all the hype surrounding The Star-Touched Queen..all those 5 star reviews. And I needed to read it. A retelling of Hades and Persephone. Fairy-tale like story. A girl cursed by the stars. What could go wrong? Unfortunately...me and this story weren’t friends.

This book is filled to the brim with lush, flowery prose. Metaphors galore, over-descriptions, lyrical writing. If this doesn’t interest you, I’d already suggest reading something else. I mean...the writing. I get it, I can appreciate it. But it got to a point where it was just way too much. If we took the book and cut out all the overly-descriptive sentences and metaphors, it would be less than half the size and that’s being generous.

There was so much lacking when it came to plot. Not a lot happens. And when something does, it doesn’t even make sense. Nor does it flow well. The plot is hard to follow. I found myself so completely lost at times. Other times, I found myself bored. I really had to push myself to keep reading.

Where was Maya’s characterization? Where did we establish who she is? I don’t feel like we knew her. I don’t feel like we knew any of the characters really. Which brings me to the romance at the center of it all...The insta-love is real. OH BOY is it real! Although I understand the purpose within the plot of this particular book, it was still nauseating and overall just annoying. It’s hard to care about any relationship when it begins like this.

Again I’ll mention that while I can appreciate the beauty of the writing, it wasn’t enough for me. Luckily I still haven’t read some of The Star-Touched Queen's closely compared novels such as Cruel Beauty, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and A Wrath and the Dawn - all of which which I’ve heard are similar, but seem a little more my thing. I think I’ll just read those and pretend this didn’t happened.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
February 19, 2017
Goodreads is saying I've read this for the second time but this is my first time reading it (as it has with a lot of books since adding the rereading feature). Need sometime to think on it also it's 5am so I will update later!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
June 27, 2018
you know that feeling when you finish a book and enjoy it, so you go creep on your friends reviews to see how much they like it as well, but then you have to slowly back away because more than half of them DNF’d it? no? just me? okay then. haha.

yikes. i honestly had no idea so many people disliked this book. i mean, i can sort of understand how it might have bored some people, but i actually quite liked this. i thought the writing was imaginatively descriptive, the story was unique and magical, and i was pretty much entertained throughout the entire book. the only complaint i do have was the ending - it left with me with a ‘huh. okay.’ reaction, which was a little anticlimactic, but it didnt ruin the book for me. i feel so sad that a lot of people didnt enjoy this, but the book had high entertainment value for me personally.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,279 followers
February 10, 2017

❝He loved her. And she loved him. And in such bliss does devastation grow.❞

Rating: {★ ★ ★}

I must admit, I'm a bit conflicted on how I want to rate and review this book. I enjoyed reading The Star-Touched Queen but at the same time, I did have a few issues that stuck out to me and affected my reading experience.

The Star-Touched Queen was like The Wrath and the Dawn meets Cruel Beauty meets A Court of Thorns and Roses with Indian mythology added into the mix. A lot was going on and I was really lost 90% of the time I was reading. I think even when the truth was unveiled, I became even more confused as to what was happening. I had hoped that once everything was explained, it all would start to come together but it never really did...

Roshani's writing is very vibrant and beautifully detailed. Her sentences are weaved together perfectly to create such melodious prose. However, I did find the writing to be both a strength and a weakness when it came to The Star-Touched Queen. On the plus side, the lush writing provided the readers with such fruitful imagery. Unfortunately, at times I did feel overwhelmed with the amount of details that were given to us. The imagery, of course, was enthralling but in certain parts it became too much and too flowery to the point where it took away from the plot because I often found myself getting lost in the descriptions.

Secondly, I felt that the world-building was a bit confusing. Even after finishing the book, I'm still unsure of how the world works... How the threads worked... How the palace worked... I'm not even sure. I'm just completely lost with this book. :( The only thing I understand is that the palace has different rooms? (Obviously) But different as in... There's a different world in every room? Every room is a gateway to another world? Goodness, I honestly don't even know.

One of the things I did enjoy was the star-crossed relationship between Maya and Amar. However, I did feel that they were a bit insta-lovey in the beginning. I just think that any relationship that deals with past lives or past "loves", is a bit tricky to handle in order to avoid coming off as insta-love just because of that instant spark that they're supposed to feel due to the whole past love thing. But I decided to just look past the insta-love part and found myself enjoying the chemistry between Maya and Amar.

The Star-Touched Queen wasn't really how I expected it to be. It's sad to say that I'm a little disappointed but I have no doubt that Roshani will write many great books in her future. Roshani's writing is very artistic and beautiful, and I wish I could've enjoyed it to its full potential but it didn't work for me. I can understand completely how other readers would enjoy The Star-Touched Queen. It's very creative and diverse. I sure haven't read any books based on Indian mythology and I give Roshani props for trying to pursue this! We need more diversity in YA and I'm glad she decided to contribute to this movement. Although I didn't enjoy this as much as I was hoping to, I have faith that this author will accomplish a lot with her future books. She is a great writer and a great person to talk to. I will read anything that Roshani writes and support her 100%. :)
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,165 reviews98.2k followers
December 20, 2017

“Kill, if you must. String a garland of severed heads around your waist if you want. I would take you in my arms if you were drenched in blood or dressed in rubies … but think. Impulsiveness is a dangerous thing.”

You guys, this was so beautiful! The Star-Touched Queen is a loosely based retelling of the Greek mythology surrounding Hades and Persephone, but told in a setting to completely celebrate Indian culture. I loved every aspect of the retelling, but I also loved every new and inventive way Roshani crafted this into her own story. This was lush, and engaging, and so romantic. This was an absolute treat to read.

Maya is the daughter of a very powerful Raja, who is constantly trying to keep a war at bay. Maya is also the daughter of a woman who was a part of her father’s harem, but died while giving birth to her. In this world, horoscopes are read like prophecies once you are born, and they are very important and very dependent on what your future will bring.

Maya’s horoscope is one that promises she will be married to death, therefore many people in her community treat her awful. Also, this makes her very undesirable for a marriage proposition. Though, her father soon becomes very desperate and arranges a marriage for Maya while covering up her real horoscope and replacing it with another of better fate.

“He loved her. And she loved him. And in such bliss does devastation grow.”

Obviously, the story takes a very unexpected turn, and Maya is thrown into a world where secrets literally hide behind every door. We get to see her grow, and learn, and become strong on her own and decide what she wants for her life. This is a story about a girl learning what she is capable of, without her father’s power, or her brother’s kingdom, or her husband’s help and that’s so damn beautiful.

This story places a heavy emphasis on love, but also the importance of sisterhood, motherhood, and friendship. And the price and weight we put on all those titles. And the good and bad things we are willing to do for the sake of those relationships.

And the romance, the romance is so good. I was swooning so hard at some of these lines. And even though I think the writing could be almost too lyrical at times, this book had some of the best one-liners I’ve ever read.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I’m also completely in love with a certain sassy, flesh-eating, demon horse.

“I would break the world to give you what you want.”

Overall, I loved this. It was diverse, and so well crafted, and the world building was phenomenal. It was swoon-worthy, and empowering, and a joy to read. I want so badly to read the spin-off, A Crown of Wishes, now!

I was blessed to meet Roshani this October at the Goodreads Power User Summit in San Francisco, and she was honestly the sweetest and kindest author I've ever met. I knew I couldn't let 2017 end without giving The Star-Touched Queen a proper review! This in no way has impacted my rating or review, but I just wanted to let you know what an absolute angel is she.

And this was a buddy read with another confirmed angel, Sonja! ❤

Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Steam | Twitch
757 reviews2,345 followers
April 17, 2017
Minor spoilers ahead. They won't be marked.

I've been reading this book for about 15 days now and I'm so thankful it's OVER! This was one of the most annoying and confusing books I've ever read with the most over descriptive and lyrical writing EVER. Some of the sentences made no sense to me??? I skimmed through the last 25% and could care less what happened. The romance was horrible insta love and Maya was super annoying.

Alright, let's start with the good:
🔸It's an Indian setting!!
Err...that's about it.

🔹Even though this is an Indian setting I really didn't learn much about India??? I mean, I seriously learned and understood nothing about India, their customs and culture except for a few words and the fact that the cultural clothing is a sari - which I already knew. Even hough it's full of magic and places like the Other world and The Night Bazaar, I freaking learned nothing new about India.

🔪The over descriptive writing made me want to puke everything out. This book is fulled of over descriptive and a shitload of metaphorical writing to the point where it's not beautiful, but so damn fucking annoying and irritating. It's to the point where some of the sentences don't even fucking make sense. It's to the point where everything is just really fucking weird.

I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.

His voice echoed with all the desperation of someone who has not slaked his thirst in eons and had just spied a goblet of water sweating beads of condensation, thick as planets. His voice lulled me, coated me.

What??? The??? Actual??? Fuck??? That's just so damn over descriptive to the point where it doesn't even make sense and is just starting to sound so fucking weird!

🔪The Plot: Oh sorry, I started to fall asleep and was #confusedaf??? over that writing thaT I could fucking care less about the story and figure out what's going on??? And I mostly skimmed through this book???

🔪This book had the worst insta-love and romance ever. She meets the guy and ten seconds later she agrees to fucking marry him! AND she throws the garland around his neck that seals their marriage. I mean girl, you just fucking met him, what the fuck. And I hate how their kissing and then 5 pages later their fighting and then kissing again, like srsly what the fuck is happening??? And the guy was literally willing to lover her and give half of his kingdom and give Maya whatever the fuck she wanted as soon as they met and got married. Srsly the fuck?
“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”

“I promised you the moon for your throne and stars to wear in your hair," said Amar, gesturing inside. "And I always keep my promises.”

Overall, what the fuck did I just read???? Bc I'm left 100% confused???
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,986 followers
August 20, 2016

Universe, are you throwing terrible books at me or are you throwing terrible books at me?
The stars are liable to become a star. Singular.
(At the end of the day, the stars did become one).

In my last reviews I've been complaining more often than not: you probably think I'm a gigantic grump.
You're right.
But I think that when I complain, I do it for the right reasons.

Take this book, for instance.

•It's my (dis)pleasure to introduce now the hugest and most severe case of insta-love I've ever witnessed.
Some could object that the following developments, plot-wise, actually justify it.


Why so? Because the interactions between the two main characters are freaking ridiculous from the very line where they meet.

Why so? Because she freaking him four pages later. Four. Blasted. Pages. Later. And it's not as if she hadn't any choice. Let me illustrate the circumstances to you: she's about to die because her father is an asshole, there is an attack to the palace, this hooded guy appears, offers to lead her away from the fight, she throws a garland at his neck .
Go, strong-willed and smart woman seeking a life of freedom and independence. We're all behind you.

How does she justify the act?

"Something else guided my hands."

Of coooourse give me a minute to see if I can find an antipsychotic. Incoming elephant dose for you.

And it doesn't end here (if only!). Oh, no. It goes on.

He to her, a couple of pages later: "I want to be humbled by you."

And on.

"I could give you whole worlds."

And on.

"You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way."

And. On.

"I would trade anything for it." It being a strand of her hair.


Besides, the whole thing feels fastidiously childish too: they were on the verge of kissing for the first time for four or five times (I didn't really count them, but trust that they were a lot) and each of these times they were interrupted by a) a noise that might or might not result in b) an imminent attack from things. I mean, I watched teen-dramas more mature than this.

•If you're wondering why some readers might think this disgustingly gushy and sappy subspecies of romance may be granted some sort of justification, the answer is: because the background story and the core plot-twist of the whole story are evidently copied from (and I'm marking the title of the book as spoiler because the moment you know what story I'm referring to, you can guess the entire development of The Star-Touched Queen).

•Which leads me to the plot. Ugh. You know what, let's pretend I forgot this point.

•As if that -"that" including sloppy characterization, lack of originality and a romance that gets on your nerves even before it shows up- were not enough, the book is also boring. Boring, like, I had to skim through some part or my neurons would have collapsed like dominoes. The writing, the so much vaunted writing, can sound beautiful in the first chapters, but little by little it grows stale and devoid of any freshness or liveliness. Who compared it to Laini Taylor's has clearly no idea of what they're talking about.

➽ When I started to write this review, I though there was going to be also a paragraph dedicated to the positive aspects of the novel, but now I realize there won't. It was hard labour to read this thing. If today was yesterday, as a friend of mine said, I would have steered clear. No, I would have ran in the opposite direction.

EDIT 20/03/2016: So, I read the free sample -chapter 1-5; you can download it for free here. It is beautifully written indeed, though I think the writing betrays a bit of inexperience (the narration is kind of blurry, the events seem to fade one into the other), and just at the end of chapter five we already have a plot-twist that fully convinced me to give the book a chance. I have good expectations.
Profile Image for Joelle (Throne of books) .
193 reviews64 followers
May 3, 2016

ARC Review:
Inspired by Indian folklore and Greek mythology, The Star-Touched Queen is a beautifully written, captivating story luscious in detail and suffused with vivid imagery.

Cursed with a horoscope upon birth that promises a marriage of death and destruction, seventeen-year old princess Maya is feared by the people in her fathers kingdom. Made to feel outcast and inadequate, Maya embarks on a journey to unravel her true identity. As she embarks on this quest she is met with lies, deceptions, betrayals and finally, the revelation of she really is and what role she plays in this world.

To say that I loved this book, is an understatement. Words can not describe how much I absolutely adored this story. The character development was phenomenal. I truly felt a connection with these characters on many levels. Maya, our main character, who even though she is feared and pushed aside by the rest of the wives and her sisters, she does not let their harsh words and cruel whispers dissuade her from seeking happiness.

In fact, she prefers to be left alone. To let no one in. Except one person, Gauri, her younger sister. Maya would do anything for Gauri. The love she has for her younger sister is a strong and passionate thing. At night, to chase away the bad dreams, she tells her stories of other worlds and its strange mythical creatures.

The Romance was magical. The love story was enchanting and captivating, bringing tears of joy to my eyes. Romance is a strong element in The Star-Touched Queen. Also, get this: NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Refreshing, right?!?! The writing was graciously beautiful and mesmerizing. It made the romance in the story a hundred times more beautiful. The writing was also not only marvelous, but breathtaking. Every word was pure gold. In its own way, it was magical. A piece of art.

The world building was spectacular. Roshani Chokshi has created a world so complex and intricate, it blew me away. Never have I envisioned anything with such great detail.

To top it all, there is a demon horse, Kamala. She is fierce, has a dark sense of humor, and sass for days. Or more like eternity. As a demon horse she loves to eat people. She always wants to eat someone. She jokes constantly and throws sass in every direction. She could eat me and I would put up no fight, I would just thank her. Kamala is my precious diamond. My spirit animal.

And then there's that one-bites on tongue to keep from using an insulting name-person we hate. She infuriated me so much. Like girl I've got some words for you. But anyway, moving on now because spoilers. Just know I really wanted to put in axe in her face.
Full of revelations and a stunning conclusion, The Star-Touched Queen is a remarkable and imaginative story with Indian and Greek mythology woven into every last word.

Mark your calendars because The Star-Touched Queen hits shelves April 26th! And trust me, you won't want to miss out on this one.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
422 reviews1,630 followers
October 13, 2017
2 Stars

What a waste of an interesting combination of Greek mythology and Indian folklore. This book is the definition of purple prose. There was barely any plot, and what existed was buried under so many metaphors, hyperboles and pretty adjectives it was confusing as heck.


“I love you," he murmured into my hair. "You are my night and stars, the fate I would fix myself to in any life.”

“I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones.”

“I see only night and smoke, dreams and glass, embers and wings. And I would not have you any other way.”

"I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams," he said, brushing his lips against my knuckles. "I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars." He moved closer and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies. "I want to measure eternity with your laughter."

The whole book is like that. Granted, there are beautiful phrases and some gorgeous imagery. Chokshi has a talent for setting decadent, rich scenes. If I wasn't preoccupied trying to decipher the story itself, I think I could have enjoyed this.

Other cons:

- Riddles that don't make sense.
- Instalove beyond words. It’s literally fate guys, so they don’t need to talk, right?
- Girl hate that barely impacts the plot and wasn't necessary
- Inconvenient plot points that exist just to drag the story out. “I can’t tell you the whole story-- because magic! You’ll just have to trust me, even though you have no reason too!”
- MC’s immediate reaction to being told “don’t touch the things, they’re dangerous” is to touch the things.
- One of the coolest settings completely wasted when the last half ends up being a journey-story.

Other Pros:
- It was pretty unpredictable
- Talking zombie-horse who wants to bite people
- Said horse's incredibly high sass levels

Needed more plot and more zombie horse.
Profile Image for Chantal .
337 reviews825 followers
July 2, 2016
1.5 stars

I anticipated this book SO highly. Not only did the cover and blurb speak to me in about a hundred different ways, but the early reviews were glowing. Unfortunately, this turned out to be my perhaps biggest disappointment of the year so far.

The first maybe 5-10% of the book were promising. The set-up shows some potential. It has that mythological fairy-tale vibe I was expecting and I couldn’t help but feel excited about the prospect of getting to see the Night Bazaar, the crystal gardens and jewel-like fruit. Ultimately however, I didn’t get anything from this book I was hoping for.

The story starts with princess Maya being forced to marry for political reasons in order to save her father’s country. But in reality, there cannot be a right choice for a husband and so Maya is told to take a poison and commit suicide to solve the problem. Naturally, the moment she bravely wants to take the poison, a handsome Amar rushes in and takes her away to a magical land of…things.

As you can tell, the premise is not original or innovative in any way, but hey, it has Indian mythology so what do I care. The problem is that a lack of originality is one of the book’s smallest problems. I’m not a reader who always needs to understand everything. But at some point, to a certain extent, it should click in my head. This book just…didn’t. I was confused throughout and when reasons and motivations were revealed I still didn’t get it. This could be a case of me simply being too stupid, but looking at other reviews it doesn’t seem that way. I don’t think anyone truly understood what was going on, though some minded more than others. The confusion was due to a couple of factors:

1. The writing style. While I enjoyed the colourful writing for the first 20 pages or so, it became old SO quickly. The further along I got, the more purple the writing seemed to become and although there were some beautiful passages, most of them were completely non-sensical. You know those paragraphs that start off being about one thing and then go off and leave the original intent so far behind that you can’t remember what that same paragraph was supposed to be about in the first place? That was The Star-Touched Queen to me ALL THE TIME. The metaphors were so far-fetched and unrelated to the plot that I couldn’t see any reason for them being there except to confuse the reader. Yes, the writing is poetic and luscious, but I would have appreciated it much more had it been its separate entity in a book of poetry for example, instead of the way it was done here. Also, there was simply too much of it. Such descriptive writing can lose its magic very quickly when over-used.

2. The dialogue. Look, you can have dialogue with characters speaking to each other in riddles and cryptic messages, but then please make the rest of the book readable. Or, conversely, make the writing style purple and give us some breather through simpler dialogue. But don’t combine the two! The result is a book that will feel like a tome even if it’s not particularly long and will leave the readers grasping at straws in order to understand anything that is going on.

3. The plot. I’m not sure how, but this book managed to be simultaneously confusing and utterly boring and repetitive. The whole story is pretty much just Maya meandering around. She would stand in one room and then suddenly be in a completely different part of the palace without me ever registering the space between. I had absolutely no idea how anything looked or where stuff was because it was just so all over the place. Additionally, the book was also very predictable and I was left wondering why I hadn’t DNFed it half-way through.

Now that I have complained about both writing and plot, let’s take a look at the characters.

Maya is a blank canvas. I can’t describe her to you because I literally cannot think of a single defining thing about her. What type of person is she? She’s not as much a person as she is a placeholder to whom the plot (or lack thereof) happens. Her utter lack of proactivity was at times startling and at others incredibly frustrating. She doesn’t make decisions, she just does what everyone around her tells her to do. No character development either.

Unfortunately, Amar isn’t any better. The only thing I remember of him is that he’s beautiful and talks in weird metaphors. Those metaphors and the way he constantly compared Maya to the stars was supposed to be romantic but I found it stale and clichéd, devoid of any sort of liveliness or humour. Their relationship was very much insta-love, but with the plot being what it was, I can’t really criticize that. What I can criticize however, is the complete lack of any sort of chemistry or sexual tension. I mean really, I felt NOTHING. I didn’t care if they kissed or died.

The worldbuilding was a disappointment as well. Though the language served to evoke some beautiful imagery, we didn’t get any explanation of the world. I would have loved to know more about the relationship between the human realm and the Otherworld. I would have liked to have some accurate politics. Magic that has some actual reasons/limits/rules etc. Something more on horoscopes please? But nope, we didn’t get any of that. It all seemed randomly placed and like an afterthought.

To top it all off, there was also some woman-to-woman hate and I couldn’t help but notice that all the antagonists (if I remember correctly) were female.

The only bright spot in this whole story was Kamala. You know something is wrong when the best thing I have to say about a book is that I loved the talking horse. But honestly, Kamala was the most interesting and fleshed-out character of all. A very random character, but enjoyable nonethless.

Would I recommend The Star-Touched Queen? Though I would like to say a clear “no”, I have to acknowledge that I believe some readers will really like this book. It’s definitely one of those hit-or-miss books. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind being confused and a lack of worldbuilding and character development doesn’t bother you, maybe give this a try. Or, if you like purple prose and enjoy beautiful but random metaphors, this may be for you as well. But to me, this read like a book that didn’t know what it wanted to be and reading it felt like a chore because of that.

Profile Image for Ayesha.
110 reviews338 followers
June 27, 2016

There, my queen,” he said. “A constellation to wear in your hair.”
“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”

** The Star Touched Queen is an ensorcelling bewitching piece of unicorn uber shittttt. No kidding. ^^**

✏ I know I'm behaving in quite Aeergia( The only goddess I know about is the one who is famous for being lazy)fashion these days and being a bad friend, but I just had to tell everyone about The Star Touched Queen. Now the writing might be a hit or miss , and fortunately I belong to the category that appreciates this beauty. Normally, I'm not a fan of figurative or metaphorical language. My love for metaphors is all but enhanced by the book that shattered me. TE HEEEE. But Roshani Chokshi penning style is so...Classically poetic that there is a great chance you will be bewitched, befuddled, mesmerized etc etc. Go find the remaining synonyms from a thesaurus. I'm so tired of cramming synonyms at this point.

✏ I have seen a lot of people label the relationship between Amar and Maya as instalovey and you can say I was surprised when a special word reincarnation came into the scene and it all started making sense. That's when all the facepalms at the presumptions I had heard started. You see they have been in love since the dawn of time,they just don't remember it yet. It is a sort of a temporary glitch in their hippocampus but their amygdala will step in to work it all out once they meet.*wink* So there is officially no instalove here. Label it as one of those "culturally and historically" accurate things. I hope whatever I said made sense.
I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.

---I'm a good person and a shitty writer but The Star Touched Queen deserves all the stars in the world. Yes, I'm willing to quote John Green and use a GR cliche. I completed it during the span of 24 hours and then listened to my googoo-eyes playlist for a week. My non existent belief in love at first sight is restored and I can die happy now. Also, major +ve +ve +ve +ve points for Roshani Chokshi(how pretty is her name) as she didn't overly emphasize on the characters' appearance. I'm soooo tired of reading odes to greenish hazel green eyes that look blue in spring or the girl with the classic Bella Swan syndrome.

✏Now another thing I'm going to mention will probably imply that I'm a bad feminist okay with girl hating. Err women living in polygamist circles are usually bitter and their conniving ways and backbiting nature is not sugarcoated in the book. This happens and they are not getting a free leash owing to some misguided sisterhood and just because I belong to the female species. I don't believe in sexism, male or female.

---Call me shallow but one star in my rating is reserved for the featured boy, if he gets to my BBF list. Amar's eternal love(the dude's name literally means eternal) for Maya is beautiful but we don't get to see a lot of him throughout the story and his personality apart from his love is mysterious. But still, they are a match made in hell heaven or somewhere in between.

Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
368 reviews975 followers
February 19, 2019
Well, unlike Gilded Wolves, this didn’t take eons for me to read. In fact, I devoured it in one sitting. I’m in awe that this is Roshani Chokshi’s début novel!

I have no idea where the confusing, lyrical prose that other reviewers were criticising was, but I guess they probably don’t like Laini Taylor’s or Jay Kristoff’s books either...because I wouldn’t call this purple prose AT ALL. I do absolutely adore Chokshi’s descriptive writing style though, and think she has a wonderful way with words.

This was essentially a Hades and Persephone retelling set around Hindu mythology, which was fascinating to me, as I’m more comfortable with Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse mythology.

I’m not too much of a fan of the romance in this book because it was a tad too instalovey for my tastes. They fell a bit too hard for each other and a bit too fast to seem realistic. I would’ve preferred more of a slow burn, La Belle et la Bête-style. Maya and Amar did ultimately end up making a very cute couple though. My favourite character, hands down, was the flesh-eating demon horse! I absolutely adored Kamala!

As someone who was reading this in an ebook format though...it would’ve been nice to know that there was a glossary at the end, rather than me having to pester my Indian friend, going “what’s this word mean?” and “what’s that word mean?” A little heads up would’ve been nice. Just saying. :P

All in all, this was a great book. I’m not certain that I’d rank it among my favourite retellings, but I am going to begin the spinoff, A Crown of Wishes, now because I hear that it’s even better than this instalment!
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,275 followers
June 7, 2017
Mayavati (Maya) is cursed at birth with a horoscope that portends of a marriage steeped in death and destruction. At seventeen years of age, she believes her curse prevents her from ever marrying and is content to spend her life as a scholar. But her plans are torn asunder when her father, the Raja, contrives an arranged marriage for political purposes, one he hopes will quell the surrounding rebel kingdoms. Maya must decide whether to accept the burden of responsibility or flee under the cloak of night to obtain freedom.

Whatever magic had unearthed meaning in stars, my celestial forecast was shadowed and torn, and the wives never let me forget. It made me hate the stars and curse the night sky.

Desperate for autonomy, Maya’s story is one of dreams and longing. Throughout her life, she’s collected what she refers to as “small hopes.” She desires significance in her father’s court, a chance to rule, and to be listened to rather than feared. She further wishes to prove herself in some way, to be more than a nameless woman who is one of many in a man’s harem. Such things feel beyond her grasp; to obtain them would require her to face unusual monsters.

This was the court of Bharata, a city like a bone spur – tacked on like an afterthought. Its demons were different: harem wives with jewels in their hair and hate in their hearts, courtiers with mouths full of lies, a father who knew me only as a colored stone around his neck. Those were the monsters I knew.

Maya, her world, and her troubling circumstances are introduced with elegant writing that boasts sensory flourishes and lyrical similes that draw reference to Indian culture. Chokshi’s stylistic prose is the hallmark of The Star-Touched Queen and draws readers in from page one, line one. With such alluring descriptions and swooning analogies, the book gives the immediate impression that it’s going to be a stellar read.

The archives were cut like honeycombs and golden light clung to them, dousing every tome, painting, treatise and poem the soft gold of ghee freshly skimmed from boiling butter.

Outside, the thunder of clashing gongs drifted through the harem walls. Parrots scattered from their naps, launching into the air with a huff and a screech. The familiar shuffle of pointed shoes, golden tassels and nervous voices making their way to the throne room for [my father’s] announcement.

Though the book starts strong – with impressive writing and an intriguing premise – it quickly unravels in terms of story. To put it simply, Chokshi’s book reads like the byproduct of unpolished discovery writing. She begins telling one story and, about a quarter of the way through her book, readers are blindsided with an entirely different narrative, one that trades the weight of real life for the perils of the supernatural. Despite being hinted at early in the story, this shift to an alternate realm happens with jarring swiftness. The feeling that the story is unpolished is made more palpable by loose ends and oddities that seemingly exist for the author’s convenience.

For example,

Also in the vein of the seemingly inexplicable, much of the plot moves forward because of Maya having sudden realizations that come out of the blue, making the plot feel hastily executed. Maya makes several decisions throughout the book that have weighty consequences but devotes little time to contemplating her choices. Chokshi opts for quick explanations to give account for Maya’s decision-making, then hastens to recount the ramifications – for good or ill – of Maya’s choices.

Because of her choices, Maya embarks on a dangerous adventure and traverses many settings with mythical and surrealist qualities. These creatively unique places are a ‘visual’ delight for the imagination, but they often feel shoved together without reason or for inadequate reasons. The same can be said of the wondrous imagery: a bridge made of clouds, trees with succulent gemstone fruits, and an unearthly elephant who shapes clouds in the sky can all be found in the book, but they are dropped in, briefly interacted with, then whisked away - in some cases, to never be mentioned again.

Were it not for its flawed plot and clunky character arcs, this book would be on par with An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir or Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

The Star-Touched Queen is a fount of missed opportunities and is best viewed as a light read that delivers a richly folkloric story through befuddling characters whose behavior feels erratic.
Profile Image for Maureen.
507 reviews4,201 followers
March 25, 2017

Part 1 is SUPER confusing and jumps all over the place. Through it all I still loved the main character, Maya, but it was hard to really love the story and get into it, though I was seriously moved by some of the passages. Everything just seemed to be moving too quickly to make sense.
But part 2. PART 2. This is really where this book hits its stride. It's over halfway through but man does it make the first part worth it. Things can still feel a little random but it's SO GOOOOOD. SO GOOD.
Overall I really liked this book. Beginning was extremely confusing but it got better at the end. The writing was GORGEOUS. The plot seemed jumpy and choppy until the book hit its second part and then it all made sense and came full circle.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,500 followers
September 17, 2020

Like I can't even describe how beautiful this book is. I could have taken out all the dialogue and just read the descriptions of the lands and places they were visiting, the things they saw and the impossible becoming possible and I still would have been glued to the book. Like is there fan art of this book? I want to see this thing COME TO LIFE.

Like seriously when she goes down into The Otherworld I'm just like on that trip with her. Like she was basically Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland but instead make it something of mythology and even more magical and crazy and beautiful and holy cow, can I read that for the first time again?

Ugh, I can't talk good well right now. Here's the scoop: seventeen year old Princess Maya is feared by everyone that she ever comes in contact with. Why? Because her horoscope spins a tale of her marrying death and bring destruction. To save her kingdom, she has to pick a husband.. little did she know that was the beginning of her journey of discovering the beauty in her horoscope, but the horror of it too.

I have heard it said that this is a retelling of Hades and Persephone, which I could totally get on board with. Just sprinkle in a little Wonderland and pure, unyielding magic and this book is what you'll get.

Seriously Roshani Chokshi writes so beautifully. She really brought this book to life.
Profile Image for ☆☽Erica☾☆.
200 reviews674 followers
April 29, 2016

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

[[[How many stars am I legally able to give this before it's considered weird??]]]

Here, book, have them aaaaallllllll:


Bottom line, this was breathtaking.

In a strange way, this was my ideal book. If I were to write a book, it would be this one's soul twin. I've only ever felt this way about The Love That Split the World and now this one. Not that these are my absolute favorite books of all time (although they're on the list) but that they both resonate deeply with both my sentiments and my imagination.

This book is about a runaway princess who finds herself in a magical world that only existed in the bedtime stories she told her younger sister. She is being forced into a political marriage and plans to save her nation from war. Yet, on the day of the wedding (and groom selection), she is visited by a mystical stranger who poses as one of her suitors. This stranger won't tell her about himself or even show his full face, but he offers her an escape from her life, and against logic/reason, she accepts. The story unfolds from there in a way that is both surprising and uplifting.

Usually I'm a character-driven reader. I almost always love or hate a book based on it's characters. This one had great characters, but what really blew me away was the world and language. It is lush and enchanting, almost reminding me of magical realism despite the fact that there is a separate magic world here. When is comes to descriptions I often find myself skimming through them while reading. I generally find them unnecessary, simply there to either allow the author to wax poetic, or convince us all of the world-building that may or may not be there. Yet, with this book I became stupendously wrapped up in the colors of the words, the vibrant, ethereal world built through the magic of the author's fingertips. It was dreamlike, transcending a mere fantasy story into a realm all its own. It's a like a glistening, sparkling gem garden of pure creativity.

My heart and soul are in love with this book.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,891 followers
June 26, 2018
Roshani Chokshi paints with words.

She is an artist, and this book is a like a gorgeous abstract painting - beautifully crafted and intricately detailed with a whimsical flair. Her artistry deserves nothing short of 5 stars.

“I promised you the moon for your throne and stars to wear in your hair," said Amar, gesturing inside. "And I always keep my promises.”

Reasons you should read this book:

-Gorgeous and lavish writing
- Memorable quotes that will make you think
- Abstract, you'll have to dive in hardcore to get the story
- Beautiful, beautiful world and mythology
- The romance is sweet
- Gorgeous story similar to Hades/Persephone with but with Indian mythology that I LOVED

Just be prepared to read in between the lines! At times, I was a bit confused, but this is a book to soak in and read with a glass of wine or a good cup of tea!
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews139 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 13, 2018
DNF @ 43%

I really tried liking this! It had all the things I loved: Indian culture, post-marriage love story, fantasy, but it was really boring. I literally felt nothing while reading this and I fell asleep majority of the time.

The insta-love would not have been that bad if Amar, the love interest, didn't keep telling the MC things like "you are my hope and more" and other sweet things after only knowing her for like days... Update : Apparently, there was a reason for this but still

There were like only 3 people in the castle which was really boring because I love me some side characters. The book was like a poorly executed version of A Court of Thorns and Roses

I did like the beginning when Maya was at her father's castle but it went downhill after that

Won't rate since I didn't even go half way (but i probably would not have liked it anyway)

This is a hit or miss with readers. Hopefully, its a hit for me! 😫

Buddy-read with valedictorian
Profile Image for TS.
329 reviews61 followers
March 5, 2018
can you hear that? It’s the sound of my crushing disappointment at a poorly executed hades&persophone retelling

2 generous stars

Ok, first, let’s give recognition where recognition is due: This is a fantasy in which the MC is south asian and so are the secondary characters and it’s own voices!! Better yet, the author was heavily inspired by indian mythology when writing this book! so if that sounds promising and interesting to you, you should still give this book a chance despite my personal dislike of the book.

anything else positive worth mentioning? … nah.


to be fair, at first, I really enjoyed the author’s prose and thought that some of the metaphors written were beautiful. On top of that, the first 150 pages of the book or so were so action filled, with so many twists and turns at every movement. Resultantly, I genuinely thought I was signing up for an incredibly written and plotted fantasy and could not, for the life of me, understand why this novel was so polarizing for so many GR users. My genuine interest in those first 150 pages is the only reason why this book warrants two stars instead of a single one, because the rest of this book was a fucking mess.

after reaching that 150 page mark, the plot stopped being exciting and started being confusing and I blame it completely on Chokshi’s writing. it felt and read like the author was so consumed with shoving as many metaphors as she could into her sentences that she forgot to make sure that the sentences and metaphors needed to make actual sense. the plot was all over the place and the writing stopped being pretty and instead became frustrating. I JUST WANTED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON and though I got the gist of it in order continue along and not DNF the book, it nevertheless left me bitter.

I don’t have any direct quotes on how illogical her sentences were but check any 1 or 2 star GR review and you’ll see what I mean.



maya is such an ambitious character who constantly seeks power and influence, and honestly, it was so refreshing to read about her amidst the plethora of YA fantasies with MC’s who somehow-conquer-evil-in-fantasy-books-but-would-get-completely-chewed-up-spit-out-and-stepped-on-irl. She was clearly a Slytherin: ambitious, loyal to her very small social circle and influenceable. and I was all for it! But g0d, did she constantly hate on other girls/women and slut-shamed every girl/woman she didn’t like. this book was written in 2016 -- why is slut-shaming still so prominent in YA literature?


shoutout to a love interest flatter than my double A chest. there’s honestly nothing I can tell you about amar aside for the fact that he was the King of the Underworld or whatever and that he was so inconsistent as a love interest--as in, one moment he would be the most respectful and honourable guy towards Maya and the next moment he’d act so entitled towards her. Manipulation at its finest, I guess. But given that he’s the love interest, I DON’T THINK THAT WAS THE AUTHOR’S INTENTION.


Things less instantaneous than the insta-love in this novel:

• The abridged version of the Fresh Prince theme song
• Microwavable meals
• The time allocated for pedestrians to cross a busy street
• The speed of light

To CONCLUDE, this was yet another example of how I should probably STOP BUYING BOOKS (AND THEIR SEQUELS) FOR THEIR COVERS. smh
I'm not sure whether I liked or disliked this book to be honest so I'm going to abstain from rating it until my mind is made up because I need time to process ??

so rating and review to come
buddy read with the lovely Rachael

this cover is arguably the prettiest cover I've ever seen in any book and the content better be just as beautiful or I'll cry
Profile Image for Jodi Meadows.
Author 31 books4,628 followers
May 27, 2017
Official comments:

In one word: glorious. With vibrant, elegant language, Roshani Chokshi draws readers through a magical journey from one world to another, filled with dire horoscopes, reincarnation, and true love. THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is incredible.

Unofficial comments:

Read this book if you like woooords. Beautiful, epic woooords. And amazing romance, stunning worldbuilding, and general amazingness.
Profile Image for Viktoria Winter.
105 reviews448 followers
June 14, 2016
I received an ARC of The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi from MacMillan. This does not affect my views on the book. All material quoted is subject to change.

"The weeks before, I had lost myself in the folktales of Bharata. Stories of elephants who spun clouds, shaking tremors loose from ancient trunks gnarled with the rime of lost cyclones, whirlwinds and thunderstorms. Myths of frank-eyed naga women, twisting serpentine, flashing smiles full of uncut gemstones. Legends of a world beneath, above, beside the one I knew―where trees bore edible gems and no one would think twice about a girl with dark skin and a darker horoscope.”

Holy mother of surrealism.


Not only are the characters in this story so compelling and original, and the writing so well composed, but the imagery in this book is truly something else. Fans of Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente can appreciate this otherworldly style of creativity, where creatures abound in all aspects of life and nature has a will of its own. The Star Touched Queen is written like a whimsical dream turned nightmare. When I feel as though the details and secondary characters alone are palpable enough to uphold background stories of their own, I know it’s a damn good book. In this case, Chokshi surpasses all my expectations and completely S-L-A-Y-S the YA Lit game.

Princess Mayavati lives as an outcast amongst the royal court of Bharata, despite being of the blood of the Raja. Her horoscope proclaims a union of death and destruction, henceforth leaving her to walk in the shadows of the Harem wives and their mistrust of the young girl with the unfortunate fortune. But when the opportunity to grasp freedom from her world of glamoured captivity awakens, Maya is forced to enter a realm only believed to resonate within the stories of ancient folklore.

Maya is strong, and a noteworthy inspirational heroine. She is cunning and witty, able to pull apart the deception set before her and unravel riddles in a heartbeat. Her heart is full of passion, but her romance never sways her loyalty or her morals. Although the romance between Maya and her Raja of Akaran is ferociously beautiful, their love story doesn't interfere with what matters the most: self acceptance and self discovery. Ultimately, this is a tale of reincarnation.

Oh, and did I mention that this is an adaption of Persephone and Hades told through an Indian setting? Because it is, and it’s freaking amazing. Although, I really should add that this isn’t your usual retelling because it’s merely a loosely fitted version of the original myth. Most of this book is completely original from the author herself, with just some bits and pieces hinting towards P & H. And don’t forget what I mentioned before about the world-building. What I’d do to take a vacation inside Chokshi’s mind…*shivers in delight*

I won’t say much about the romance in fear of getting ahead of myself and spoiling you guys, but believe me― it’s maddening in the best of ways.

The Star Touched Queen hits the shelves May 3rd! I once mentioned that any book I give a 5 star rating to will also receive a playlist compiled by yours truly. That being said…listen here! Also, don’t forget to preorder your copies now! You’re not going to want to miss this.
Profile Image for destini.
239 reviews503 followers
May 2, 2016
The threads called, and I answered–it was too late to turn back now.


The Star-Touched Queen was a book that called to me. Having grown up on greek mythology and being swept up by the folklore of Koshchei the Deathless, there was something about fantastical, romanticized "death" that always piqued my interest.
“That night, I dreamed of locked doors and baying hounds, rooms that were night-dark and a beast-king that smiled and laughed around a mouthful of broken stars to sing one phrase over and over: I know the monster in your bed.”

The Star-Touched Queen was no different. I felt as if I was a child again, opening my giant book of mythology and being enthralled by its stories.
I wanted a love as thick as time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible...

This story is very much centered around the romance. If that's not your cup of tea, then this may not be for you. I, however, am always a slut for romance so I was more than okay with its set-up. Amar (auto-correct kept trying to change it to "amor" which is a sign right there) was just... the best. Not an asshole. Not unknowingly sexist.

10/10 would Amar again.
“My kingdom needs a queen.” he said. “It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you.”

The Star-Touched Queen is shrouded in mystery and because of the book's unique storyline, it was impossible to guess what would come next. It was like a wild goose chase for answers and if there is one thing that will always keep me interested in a story, it's my need for answers.

I feel like this is a book that is either a hit or miss. You either love it or hate it. The writing can be beautiful and as magical as the story it conveys... or you can be like, what the hell is this saying? I was in the former category and truly felt like I was reading another fairytale. However, if you're not into the book, it can easily be too metaphoric or confusing or nonsensical.

While I wouldn't recommend this one to everyone, I certainly think there's an audience for it. Lots of romance, lots of mystery, and lots of magic. I solid read, indeed.
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews986 followers
February 10, 2017

Actual rating: 3.7 stars

“It’s bad to be a dragon.”
“Says who? Nothing wrong with a little bit of viciousness. Would you rather be a dove or a dragon?”

Good question, right? What would your answer be? A Dove or a Dragon? A master of your fate or a marionette? This is the very first thing I liked about this book: it gives you wisdom you want to absorb - a special kind of magic you can reach only in the process of reading the story and recognizing it. Yes, recognizing, because this story is not only about Maya and her trials, everyone can find a part of themselves in it: everyone is star-touched.

At the beginning there was my admiration with this book; in the end it became reasons why you should read The Star-Touched Queen.

* A story is told as a mix of fairytale and myth. You will definitely find here traces of Beauty and the Beast, Persephone and Hades, Bluebeard. I am sure you will also find other well-known fairytales; this story is a potion of heady ingredients that absorbed the best stories from all over the world. I felt its atmosphere, something from my childhood that made me wish I could be, for just a moment, a little girl who read all those beautiful fairytales. This is how the story feels:

The Night Bazaar had ensnared me. I could smell its perfume on my skin—of stories and secrets, flashing teeth and slow smiles.

* A magical language. Beautiful is not the word to describe it. It's otherworldly in its beauty.
All through the night, he smiled daggers into my heart.

Look how sharp that phrase is!

And this one is so painful in its beauty:

“I know emptiness. I know the taste of blood against my teeth. I know what it is to fill your belly with iron. I know hunger. I know pain. I know memories that won’t stay. I know the ghost of life and the perfume of souls.”

* A headstrong and reliable MC. Maya is a kind of heroine you connect with at once. She doubts, she fails, she seeks, she gives, she loves and she forgives. We follow her journey through realms and time, and we see her growth as a character. Not once did I doubt her - even when she was wrong- I knew she was true to herself.
“I will not let us be beings of regret. I know my past. What I want is my future.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier keep your victim faceless?”
I shuddered. “Not a victim.”
“What else do you call one hemmed in by fate?”
“Human,” I said, bitterness creeping into my voice.
“What about guilt, then? Why open yourself to pain?”
“Guilt is what makes you accountable.”

* Love. I noticed some of my friends did not like the romance in this book, because they saw insta-love in it. It's all about perspective, right? I didn't see insta-love in this book. Love here is an infinite thing that has no beginning or ending, because two souls are intertwined so tightly, you can't tell them apart. I can't say more, because it'll be a spoiler, but if you are afraid of insta-love - don't be, this story has a logical explanation as why the romance is the way it is. You just need to be patient enough to reach the point of that explanation.
Beside him, the world was a soft, pulsing and bright thing, alive with hidden angles that we could uncover one by one. It was more than magic. It was life turned relentless and astral. And I reveled in it.

The moment he touched me, my universe constricted to the space between our lips. We were a snarl of limbs and bright-burning kisses.

* A dark mysterious hero. I know, I know, we've seen it already, we've been there many times, but there's always "but". Amar is dark and mysterious, and, once again, I was not able to resist his charming demeanor. His is silver-tongued and it's hard to understand whether he is a villain or a hero in the story. Seriously, look how good he is with words!
“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”

“The truth,” said Amar, taking a step closer to me, “is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way.”

“I promised you the moon for your throne and stars to wear in your hair," said Amar, gesturing inside. "And I always keep my promises.”

What girl could resist that, right?

* Wisdon. It's one of my favorite parts about this book. The story is not just a beautiful song spilling its gifts in vain. No, it has moral and wisdom.
Father once said the real language of diplomacy was in the space between words. He said silence was key to politics.

The worms do not take heed of caste and rank when they feast on our ashes," the Raja said. "Your subjects will not remember you. They will not remember the shade of your eyes, the colors you favored, or the beauty of your wives. They will only remember your impression upon their hearts and whether you filled them with glee or grief. That is your immortality.

Books' primary purpose is to teach us something, whether it's useful or not everyone decided for themselves. This book was a great teacher to me, and I will hold its precious lessons closer to my heart.

* Sisterly bond. It always makes me happy to read a book where there's not only love between a man and a woman, but also love between siblings; it's another precious gift nature gave us. Maya and her sister have a special bond no amount of time can diminish. There's one quote that made me cry. Read it and you will understand:
I hadn’t known until now, but I saw it, felt it. I came here for her. Because it didn’t matter whether I had lived in another realm for years that I thought were mere days. It didn’t matter that I had tasted fairy fruit, fallen in love and broken a heart. Some bonds were impervious to all manner of experience. And the truth was that, no matter what happened, we were sisters.

Of course, this story is not flawless, but they do not have an objective nature: just a couple of things that were off personally for me. For example, the last 10% of the book went slightly into different direction than the one I wanted. It's strictly subjective and has everything to do with how I imagined those 10% in my head. As for recommending this book, I believe people who love fairytales or read and liked A Thousand Nights or The Forbidden Wish, have more chances to love this one. But it's in no way a set of rules to liking or disliking the book; I actually would recommend it to everyone: try it and see if its magic will affect you. And I am off to wait for the second book which will be a companion novel, and I believe no less magical than this one.

Profile Image for Roshani Chokshi.
Author 44 books10.1k followers
Want to read
December 9, 2017

Ahhh, it's so surreal to come back and edit my review for my very first book! So much has changed since TSTQ's release, and I'm so grateful for all the support and enthusiasm for the upcoming projects! Recently, I got the chance to add some kindle notes & highlights and share some behind the scenes moments to TSTQ! Later on this month, I'll also add notes to ACOW. I'm so excited to share this other dimension of the stories with you guys. As always, I hope it resonates. Barring that, I hope it makes you giggle. Thanks for all that you do. You're the best readers I could ask for <3



ICYMI: The Star-Touched Queen has a new site, you can visit it at http://startouched.roshanichokshi.com/

Click on Extras to find star-touched makeup tutorials and a new feature called Myth Mondays where I talk about some of the beings you will find in the book! Let me know what kind of content you want to see.

AMAZING FAN BOOK TRAILER!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzB4U...
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,366 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.