book review: the star-touched queen

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Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

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.

MY REVIEW

I just want to preface this review by saying I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It was extremely hyped so I had high expectations and not all of those expectations were met.

However, I do think that The Star-Touched Queen is probably one of the most unique YA fantasies I’ve come across so far. The premise is brilliant and to me, the fact that it’s inspired by Indian mythology is also a bonusMany of Maya’s stories reminded me of summer breaks spent in India reading myths and the like. The author’s writing style is also very beautiful and I absolutely loved the prose. This is the kind of book you want to read slowly so that you can taste every single word. 

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.” Now, he stood inches before me; his rough hands encircled my waist. “Be my queen and I promise you a life where you will never be bored. I promise you more power than a hundred kings. And I promise you that we will always be equals.

But I did find the characters and plot a bit lacking. Maya was a very disappointing main character and not the strong badass queen I’d envisioned. While, I suppose this could be considered refreshing since most MCs consistently and constantly kick ass, it was also very frustrating to watch Maya flounder and basically #fail at life in general. She kept making bad decisions that were the source of most of the conflict and instead of seeking the truth, she merely listened to whoever she deemed to be “trustworthy” in that moment.

As for the love interest..I will admit that I had a teeny meeny crush on him but I barely got to know him. His character is very broody and mysterious and two years ago, that would have been enough but not today. I wanted more than the little tidbits from Maya’s POV.  There was also a slightly problematic scene where Amar said: “Any farther…and I would not know how to stop.” I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to slap him because that is not romantic at all. If someone wants to stop, you have to fucking stop. 

The plot was kind of nonexistent. I say this because it was there but not all the time. The story didn’t always move forward and more often than not, got bogged down by the descriptions. I know I said I loved the descriptions but I also thought there should have been more of a balance because they seemed to replace the action. Also, everything completely hinged on Maya (who barely knew anything and didn’t even bother confronting her husband) and hence, fucked things up massively.

“There is no romance in real grief. Only longing and fury.”

I am still not really sure if I would ship Maya and Amar because like I said, I barely knew them or the other characters. But I’m holding out hope that the next book will be even better. 

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Yes but you should definitely go into it with “modified” expectations.

 

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16 thoughts on “book review: the star-touched queen

    • Rachana says:

      Thank *you* for the kind words! It was hard to write this review because I enjoyed the book but there were all these little things that bugged me so to speak and I wanted to find the right balance between expressing my positive & negative opinions. But in the end, I suppose I didn’t do too badly. Anyway, I hope you end up trying this book! 🙂

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  1. Alise (Readers in Wonderland) says:

    Ooh, I’m liking the quotes you chose. I bought a copy of this one but still haven’t read it although now I really want to! It’s a shame there really wasn’t too much of a plot but if the other elements are good I think it would be okay. Like with The Wrath and the Dawn I liked the romance so much I didn’t mind that the book centered around it. Nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachana says:

      Thanks! Oh man, there are so many great books I have copies of and I keep forgetting to read them lol. But you should maybe consider moving it up your tbr pile! 😉 Oh yes, I was a huge fan of the romance in TWATD as well! Thanks for dropping by my blog! 😀

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  2. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    I’ve heard that this book has beautiful writing which is always a plus for me. I’m pretty sure any book I read automatically gets an extra half star if it has beautiful writing lol.

    Ok, yes, I hate when male characters are all, “If you do that again I won’t be able to stop myself,” or crap like that, and it’s supposed to be sexy. I see that so often though, in both YA and adult books.

    Anyway, I think this book is too high fantasy for my taste, but I’m glad you at least somewhat liked it, even though the characters do sound a bit frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachana says:

      LOL I totally agree with you! Beautiful prose is always enough to keep me hooked. Ah well the thing is, I only recently became really aware of how fucked up saying “I won’t be able to stop myself” is. Like seeing those in YA books really subtly shapes people’s outlook and I remember thinking guys who lack self-control are hot (or something along those lines) when I was younger… So yeah, I just wish less books would do that lol. Hm if you like good prose, I think you should still check it out – you never know right 😉 But the characters do need some work haha.

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      • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

        I totally get it. I feel like, on the one hand, I can understand why it’s “sexy” when characters (or people) say that, probably because they don’t *really* mean it and people like feeling wanted, but it just doesn’t sound good when you actually think about it. It sounds like the girl is being blamed if the guy lacks self control.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity says:

    Funnily enough, I haven’t actually read many thoughts on this one! So I am super appreciative of your balanced review.

    I think this one is releasing in Australia soon, and now I am quite interested in reading it. I love beautiful prose, and it seems like this one has that in spades.

    The love interest, however, seems pretty disappointing. And that line that you mentioned is not romantic in the slightest. It’s actually creepy and gross :/

    It’s a shame that there were a few things you weren’t 100% happy with, but hopefully they will be improved upon in the second book!

    Lovely review, Rachana ^.^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachana says:

      Oh really? I was worried my review might be irrelevant because (on Goodreads) it seemed like quite a lot of people had already read it and made up their minds. Ah yes, the prose *is* pretty magnificent. I was really into the love interest….until he said that. The sad thing is that one liners like that is what made me think (when I was younger) that it’s a good thing if a guy is so into you, he can’t “control” himself. I know how fucked up that sounds but that’s what one liners in YA books taught me. Sigh. Like you said, the second book will probably be better! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Chiara!

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  4. Zoe says:

    I completely agree. This was such a unique and original story, but the plot was definitely a bit nonexistent. I’m glad you enjoyed it, even if you didn’t quite love it. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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