The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Rating 8.8/10
A riveting tale of possibilities, of lives lost, of lives gained and the ultimate price that needs to be paid to keep the balance

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.

“I know your soul. Everything else is an ornament.” 

What would you do if your fate was decided long before you had a chance to even live the life you were given? Would you rebel? Or would live the life you were given?

Maya was born with a destructive horoscope. She lives in a time that relies heavily on the stars. It signed an end to all those around her. Born into a harem, where she was one of the daughters of the great Raja, Maya has to beat the odds in order to survive, but also to fulfil the prophecy that was written long ago. Unbeknownst to Maya, she is being watched. Not just by the jealous harem wives and their children, but by a darker force that threatens to destroy everything and everyone she loves. The desire to find out if her fate could be changed, Maya decides to accept an offer that she believes will reveal who she really is, but that is one question she’s not sure she wants an answer to. Tormented by the visions she sees, the past, the present and the future events, Maya has to find enough courage to pull the threads in the tapestry of life to ensure there is a balance between her world and the one she has entered into with Amar; lord of the Underworld.

Roshani Chokshi will take you into the Underworld where your life is nothing but a mere string in a vast tapestry, waiting for Death to pull the last string, only when the time is up. This book is a mix of old Greek Mythology of Hades and Persephone that is written in such a manner that is not only really easy to read, but easy connect to and stay connected to. 

I loved every single word. Told in first person, from Maya’s point of view, readers are instantly connected to the characters, the scenery and the plot. Maya’s story is really interesting because it has remnants of a tale that has been written about hundreds of times, and yet, no one seems to have connected two vast Empires and myths into one, until Chokshi.

The story is one that will linger long after you have left a page to go to bed, however, the imagery and descriptive writing will remain hidden in your subconscious to the point where you will literally want to call in sick into work until the book is finished. There are trials and tribulations for our hero, Maya, but there are so many heart warming connections in the tale that you will feel so part of her world that nothing else will matter.

Chokshi’s writing is very similar to J. R. Mitchell’s. The vision of these two writers is something that is yet to be recognised fully. The visual aspects of both tales will leave you spellbound. There is no denying that The Star Touched Queen is a tale of love, tragedy and overcoming adversity. It’s also a timely reminder that our lives are always connected. That we are all pieces of a greater puzzle and although this is fiction, there are elements of humanity that cannot be ignored. Chokshi’s use of first person makes sure that readers never feel disconnected or left out of the loop; you’re always in the Underworld, you’re always with Maya or Amar. There is no second guessing it. You’re in that world and you won’t be able to escape it. Even when you reach the last page. A riveting tale of possibilities, of lives lost, of lives gained and the ultimate price that needs to be paid to keep the balance. Will our hero make the right choice when the time comes to pull a string? Will she be able to decide on whether one life is worth a million? Or are millions of lives worth one?

The ultimate question is, is nurture better than nature? And if so, which one will come out on top in the Underworld where nothing but time is eternal.

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