This was honestly just such a beautiful book. From the characters to the world and the writing in general. The Star-Touched Queen is heavily influenced by the Hades and Persephone myth (one of my favourites) blended with Indian folklore and mythology. Magical doesn't even begin to cover it.
Maya, our main character, has been an outsider all her life despite being a Princess. Born with a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction she has very little to aspire towards. At least that's what she's told, not what she believes. In secret, she'll climb into the rafters to listen to her father's council meetings, play pranks on those who are cruel and pave her own way. In Maya, I found one of my new favourite characters. She is headstrong and passionate. She makes mistakes, big ones, but is the first to try and put them right. She is our Persephone in this tale and is more than a match for Amar, her Hades.
The story is woven together so beautifully. We see the characters interact and watch their respect grow to love and overcome certain trials. I assumed this was the start of the series and when I found out it was a standalone I was concerned how satisfyingly the story would wrap up. I needn't have feared anything. I can't recall reading a standalone fantasy that was so wonderfully self-contained. It read as though this could've been a legend or a myth printed as a book.
I learnt so much and loved seeing how certain characters and places were sprinkled into the story from Indian folklore. It reminded me of Caraval in how atmospheric this story was. But perhaps my favourite character was Kamala the flesh-eating horse. She provided such humour but also seemed to act as Maya's confidant.
What a stunning story.
Name: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Have you read The Star-Touched Queen?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,