November 21, 2016 by Zoë
In The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Maya, one of the raja’s many children, has always had a dark prophecy surrounding her marriage. Because of this, she assumed she would never marry and she was happy with this–better not to marry than to enter into an unhappy marriage. But then her father tells her that she must marry in order to protect her kingdom. Her marriage takes her to another world, one that she could never have imagined.
Fantasy set in India! I want more fantasy based in Asia. It’s few and far between, but man, I love it when it happens.
I also really liked Chokshi’s writing style. Some people have complained on Goodreads about it being too flowery, but sometimes I just like pretty writing! Also, this story is essentially a fairy tale, so it lends itself well to interesting, nice-sounding metaphors.
Setting aside those somewhat superfluous likes of mine, I also found the plot good, if predictable. It definitely hit on some of the fantasy elements that I look for in stories. And, again, I read this book as a fairy tale and fairy tales do tend to be very predictable.
I’ll be honest, Maya annoyed me a little bit. I know, I know, this should be read as a fairy tale, but she was just so stupid. And it was aggravating having to deal with that stupidity over and over again in a long-form narrative.
I also found the inclusion of Sita’s trial by fire to very jarring. I know this novel was based on various myths and stories, but the only one I’m very familiar with is the Ramayana story and so the fire really stood out to me and felt out of place. It felt like the fire scene was shoehorned into the story just for the sake of putting it in, with no other allusions to the Ramayana before or after. (And I can’t stand Rama, so it made me like Amar less. And now I see that Amar is an anagram of Rama. Gah.)
This book is by no means perfect, but read it like a fairy tale and I think you’ll enjoy it. I definitely did.
I couldn’t see it.”