1.) The Star-Touched Queen ★★★★
“A story had no ownership. A story could break its bones, grow wings, soar out of reach and dive out of sight in the time it took just to draw breath. It meant we weren’t walking a cut path. We carved it into existence with every step.”
This was utterly enchanting and completely mesmerizing. I loved The Star-Touched Queen when I read it last year, and this story was even better! Yet, this story also made me fall deeper in love with The Star-Touched Queen, because some of the crossovers just warmed my heart to no end. This was such a beautiful tale, and I completely recommend this to everyone, but especially story lovers, because A Crown of Wishes is a lover letter to story lovers everywhere.
This is a companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen, so you do not need to read The Star-Touched Queen before reading this amazing little standalone, but I would completely recommend it. I mean, more tears of joy and sadness if you do!
A Crown of Wishes stars a character that we were first introduced to in The Star-Touched Queen, Gauri, the jewel of Bharata, now a princess awaiting her death. Her path soon crosses with Vikram, an adopted prince from Ujijain, who is also nicknamed The Fox Prince, who is trying to run away from the memories of his past.
The story truly starts off when Vikram is invited to compete in the Tournament of Wishes, which is held in the otherworldly realm of Alaka, and which the Lord of Treasures hosts. This tournament is said to just be myth, but Vikram soon learns that it is very real, and if you win the tournament you will be granted any wish in the world. Yet, there is a stipulation; he needs a partner.
“Find the one who glows, with blood on the lips and fangs in the heart.”
And the greater powers at work lead him to Gauri. Gauri is so strong and fierce, yet she shows how different women are strong in different ways. And how you don’t always have to draw your power from your ability to fight with a sword or dagger, but to craft a weapon and draw your power for whatever the situation calls for, whether it be beauty, or friends, or taking a risk that you never thought you’d have the strength for. I loved Gauri so much. She was such a wonderful main character, and I want to build a garden in her honor, too.
“I donned my armor, lining my eyes with kohl until they were dark as death and patting crushed rose petals on my lips until they were scarlet as blood.”
While Gauri and Vikram are competing, they meet a plethora of cool side characters along the way, but Aasha is the one we get to spend the most time with. And she also gets her own point of view. Aasha is a bisexual icon, and she was probably my favorite character (which is really saying something, because this cast is honestly 10/10 phenomenal!)
Aasha and her sisters are poisonous courtesans who are forced into a life of seclusion. Aasha is thankful for her sisters who saved her when she was young, and who have become her found family, but Aasha wants to explore, and have adventures, and see more of the world.
This is a story about a magical tournament, with romance and laughter, but this is also a story about trauma and grief and how sometimes being honest about our pasts is the hardest thing we will ever do. I felt so much empathy for these three characters, and I felt that empathy so very differently and so very similarly at the same time. This story is perfectly crafted.
Roshani expertly wove this tale with some of the most beautiful writing my eyes have ever read. This writing is lush, and descriptive, and so very lyrical. I honestly feel like I tabbed every other page, and if I were reading on my kindle, I would have highlighted half the book.
Overall, if you like mythology, flawed characters that you can’t help but root for and then love, wonderful new worlds, important messages, with such beautiful writing, then you can’t let A Crown of Wishes pass you by. I really loved this, and I’m so very thankful that I was able to pick this up. Happy reading!