Publisher:St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: March 28 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
A Crown of Wishes is the stunning companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen (which I reviewed here). I fell in love with this book despite its flaws.
THINGS I LOVED
- The prose is luscious. I love Roshani Chokshi’s writing style – it’s unlike anything I’ve seen so far. She paints a picture with vivid and unique imagery.
“His hope was cold. Poisonous. Eclipsing. And he fed it anyway, the way someone feeds something out of habit simply because there is nothing else in their life worth growing.”
- The banter between Gauri and Vikram is hilarious! There are so many funny moments like the one below where they’re sniping at each other while trying to navigate a treacherous world. But what I especially like about the dialogue is that there is an undercurrent of camaraderie. They care about each other even though they started off as enemies.
“Beside him, Gauri looked distraught. Chivalry demanded that he should inquire after the Princess’s well- being. She caught him looking at her and frowned: ‘You’re heaving like a water buffalo in its death throes.’
- The romance is very much a slow burn. I definitely expected it to happen but there were times when I wondered my ship would sail or not. The author makes the characters work for their happy ending and I appreciated that.
“In that moment, he looked like mischief and midnight, like a temptation that always slipped away too fast and left you at once relieved and disappointed.”
- I love the setting of this book and all the aspects of it that are inspired by hindu myths! A Crown of Wishes delves deeper into a different part of the world Chokshi created in The Star-Touched Queen. There are vanaras and serpent kings and vishakanyas. I squealed out loud a few times while reading this book because I recognized the names of creatures I’d read about in my childhood.
- A pair of flawed and realistic main characters sealed the deal for me. Gauri is the definition of a strong female character. She is a total badass and willing to do whatever it takes but still makes a lot of mistakes. Vikram is her polar opposite but what he doesn’t possess in physical strength, he makes up for with his wit. Through the course of the Tournament of Wishes, they both have to confront their past and their secrets but the experiences only make them stronger.
“Death might be waiting, but I was going to be a queen. would have my throne if I had to carve a path of blood and bone to get it back. Death could wait.”
THINGS I LOVED LESS..
- The plot felt unnecessarily drawn out. While I loved the prose, I wish it didn’t mean that there were a lot of scenes where there wasn’t much happening. Instead, it would be pages upon pages of describing the character’s desires or the setting or why they felt they had made the right/wrong decision. For example, Gauri and Vikram take a long damn time just getting to the mythical city of Alaka where the Tournament of Wishes is being held. I later understood why some of the backstory established in the start is important and necessary but it’s still a slow beginning.