Born with a horoscope that predicts a marriage of death and destruction, Maya is an outcast in the kingdom Bharata even though her father is the Raja. When his political machinations go horribly wrong, Maya finds herself married to Amar and queen of Akaran–a mysterious place filled with secrets and magic.
Amar offers Maya the chance to rule at his side and become more than Bharata ever would have allowed. All he asks in return is her patience and trust which soon prove more than she can give.
Maya’s search for answers will lead her across worlds and through her own fragmented memories to discover surprising truths about her husband’s kingdom and herself in The Star-Touched Queen (2016) by Roshani Chokshi.
Chokshi’s debut fantasy is filled with vivid and unexpected imagery as Maya discovers the wonders and dangers found in her new home in the Otherworld. Well-researched figures from Indian folklore and mythology, astonishing creatures, and expressive characters further complement this story.
A setting drawn from ancient India, romance with feminist sensibilities, and a unique magic system make this a novel sure to appeal to fans fantasy both high and urban as well as retellings of myths from other cultures.
Maya’s narration is refreshingly unapologetic about her ambitions and her desire for independence. Although her distrust and doubts lead to the main conflict of the story, Maya is quick to own those mistakes and works to correct them even when it might be to her detriment.
The Star-Touched Queen is a stunning debut filled with lush writing, smart characters, and a mysterious plot that provides as many twists as it does swoons. Sure to be the next big thing.
Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn, A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
*A more condensed version of this review appeared in the March 2016 of School Library Journal as a starred review from which it can be seen on various sites online*