Review Detail

 
Young Adult Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

A Refreshingly Good Fairytale


An enthralling, beautifully crafted YA fantasy—laced with Indian lore and memorable characterization.

Gauri is a betrayed and deposed princess, determined to reclaim her kingdom from the clutches of her corrupt brother. Vikram is the adopted son of an eccentric king, determined to prove his worthiness before he assumes the throne. And The Lord of Wealth just might be willing to grant them favor… if they don’t kill each other, first.

Chokshi’s prose is something akin to literary painting. Delivering both broad and fine strokes, working a keen depth and vibrancy into every description and character. With steady pacing, distinct character voices, and lingering profundity, it trends more toward the lilting than the verbose. Such lovely and thoroughly quotable writing is a rarity.

The romance is as exceptional as it is enjoyable. Beginning from a place of assassination-at-first-sight (on Gauri’s overtly aggressive part), readers are treated to a slow-burn attraction that is gradually built through companionable shared goals. The catalyst of magical insight into each other’s painful pasts lends their relationship a vulnerability and intimacy that neither chose, and yet both must choose how to utilize. This reader is, admittedly, a sucker for seeing a strong alpha female offset and complemented by a witty, cunning beta male. And that is essentially what we have here. The Fox Prince and the warrior princess ‘Jewel of Bharata’—a chemistry that begs to be remembered.

I may have swooned a little. >.>

Note: I am NOT, generally speaking, a swooner.

Really, it’s the banter between them that got me. I don’t think I’ve ever so looked forward to two people bickering.

"You're welcome, by the way, for dragging you back here. I had a couple offers to sell you and almost considered it."

"Intriguing. For how much?"

"A bag of gold, the ability to make thunderstorms go to sleep. Something else. Five goats?"

"Just five goats? I'm worth at least ten. Plus a cow."
-------------
"They say morning light reveals a woman's true nature. My condolences to your future consort."

"It's too early in the morning for bloodshed," I groaned.

While I could understand and somewhat relate to Gauri, her myopic tendencies and quick temper sometimes made it a frustrating chore to be in her head.

"My intentions might have been rooted in good, but they always grew thorns in the end."

Vikram, on the other hand, was a joy. Philosophical, whimsical, and borderline lackadaisical—he has a delightfully unique temperament for a hero. The way he uses humor to deflect and process his real emotions both rings true and resonates tellingly with everyone around him.

“The truth was that he was not afraid of being seen for what he was. He was afraid of being seen as someone who could never be more."

My only qualm would have to be the worldbuilding. Not that it wasn’t intricate and fascinating—particularly with all the interwoven bits of Hindu mythology. No, the issue was more one of uncertainty regarding the magical elements. Once our hero and heroine leave their natural world and enter the fantastical realm of Alaka, the rules of engagement turn decidedly murky. It often felt as though anything could happen for almost any reason, and our protagonists—never mind the readers—couldn’t hope to guess at the rules and limitations of the unhuman inhabitants of this haphazardly wonderous place. (i.e. think ancient Indian version of Alice in Wonderland.) Readers may sometimes be confused over how to gauge possible danger, and just how permeant consequences may be, while the setting remains in Alaka—which does constitute roughly 2/3rds of the book. I’d recommend going into this story aware you may have to just go with the flow.

This book stands alone perfectly well. I have yet to read The Star-Touched Queen, and at no point did I suspect I was missing anything from it. I am, however, intrigued enough that I’d be willing to go back and give it a try.

Favorite Quote:

*"Maybe that's why the best laughs tend to break free on the edge of lightless horror. Only then can they give wings to a drooping spirit."

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

There’s no stopping a prophecy. Solaris and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Secrets have a way of coming out. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Days of the Dead
Glorieta Magdalena Davis Espinosa is happy that Papi married Alice....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Amelia Bedelia Digs In (Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books #12)
In the twelfth chapter book in the New York Times–bestselling...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
QUANTUM
Seventeen-year-old student pilot, Willow Ryan, can be in two places...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth (King & Kayla #4)
Kayla places her tooth in a Tooth Fairy pillow, but...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Summer Bird Blue
A mixed race teen struggles to find her way back...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Starfish
A William C. Morris Award Finalist A New...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Truth Lies Here
In small town Michigan, Penny, an aspiring journalist, teams...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Looking Glass
GIRLS IN TROUBLE. That’s what Sylvie Blake’s older sister...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Something of Substance
Seventeen-year-old Grace Michaels is determined to be thin, even...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death by the River
SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET. SOME SECRETS...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Soraya: A Wielders of Arantha Prequel
On the planet Elystra, the all-female Ixtrayu tribe have...
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Scream All Night
A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Touch of Gold
King Midas once had the ability to turn all...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the Sky
From award-winning author McCall Hoyle comes a new young adult...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Truth Lies Here
 
4.0
"THE TRUTH LIES HERE by Lindsey Klingele is a young adult, sci-fi novel set in Bone Lake, Michigan. This little..."
Scream All Night
 
5.0
"I am NOT a Horror fan. I am a big scaredy cat when it comes to the genre, be it..."
Meet the Sky
 
4.3
"Meet the Sky is an ably-written, well-paced contemporary YA—one which is perhaps best described as a pleasantly stormy beach read...."
A Touch of Gold
 
4.0
"When I read the synopsis for this book I was immediately intrigued. I love retellings and this book seemed right..."
Pretty Dead Girls
 
3.0
""Pretty Dead Girls" was an interesting YA thriller following Penelope (Pen/Penny) in the aftermath of a death of a frenemy,..."
Relic
 
4.0
" “Relic” is a historical paranormal novel about Maggie, a teenaged girl who lives with her brother, sister and parents..."
All Summer Long
 
4.0
" Austin and Bina have been inseparable friends since they were in diapers. The summer going into the eighth..."
The Darkest Legacy
 
4.3
"Five years have passed since the 'rehabilitation' camps have been shut down. Suzume 'Zu' is now seventeen years old and..."
The Turnaway Girls
 
3.7
"Delphernia lives in a cloister of turnaway girls on the island of Blightsend, and she's unable to do the one..."
The Looking Glass
 
4.0
"THE LOOKING GLASS by Janet McNally is a young adult novel set in the highly competitive world of aspiring New..."
Brightly Burning
 
3.3
"An ambitious work of YA speculative fiction—a post-apocalyptic premise fused with the plot of a beloved classic. I’d like..."
Give Me Some Truth
 
4.3
"Carson Mastick and Magpie "Maggi" Bokoni are two Native American high school students living on a reservation outside of Niagara..."
House of Ash
 
5.0
"I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I absolutely devoured it from start to..."
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over
 
4.7
"'Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over' by Shani Petroff captures the angst of romantic hardships and misunderstandings. When eighteen-year-old..."
The Opposite of Innocent
 
5.0
"'The Opposite of Innocent' is yet another fantastic novel-in-verse by the illustrious Sonya Sones. The story will draw readers in..."
Echo's Sister
 
5.0
"'Echo's Sister' by Paul Mosier is a realistic and heartwarming story that truly gets to the heart of the matter...."
Storm-Wake
 
3.3
"Moss has grown up on a magical island with Pa, his stories, and their dogs. The island is filled with..."
A Kiss in the Dark
 
3.3
"WHAT I LOVED: Macy is a likable, layered character and her narration flows easily. Even when my frustration mounted..."
Poe: Stories and Poems
 
5.0
"The perfect gift for any Poe fan, Gareth Hinds breathes life—and gory death—into some of the greatest works of Edgar..."
Who's That Girl
 
4.0
"I was drawn to this book because of the musical theme and it wasn’t disappointing. Who’s that girl is a..."