A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi

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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!

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The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1) by Roshani Chokshi

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“Kill, if you must. String a garland of severed heads around your waist if you want. I would take you in my arms if you were drenched in blood or dressed in rubies … but think. Impulsiveness is a dangerous thing.”

You guys, this was so beautiful! The Star-Touched Queen is a loosely based retelling of the Greek mythology surrounding Hades and Persephone, but told in a setting to completely celebrate Indian culture. I loved every aspect of the retelling, but I also loved every new and inventive way Roshani crafted this into her own story. This was lush, and engaging, and so romantic. This was an absolute treat to read.

Maya is the daughter of a very powerful Raja, who is constantly trying to keep a war at bay. Maya is also the daughter of a woman who was a part of her father’s harem, but died while giving birth to her. In this world, horoscopes are read like prophecies once you are born, and they are very important and very dependent on what your future will bring.

Maya’s horoscope is one that promises she will be married to death, therefore many people in her community treat her awful. Also, this makes her very undesirable for a marriage proposition. Though, her father soon becomes very desperate and arranges a marriage for Maya while covering up her real horoscope and replacing it with another of better fate.

“He loved her. And she loved him. And in such bliss does devastation grow.”

Obviously, the story takes a very unexpected turn, and Maya is thrown into a world where secrets literally hide behind every door. We get to see her grow, and learn, and become strong on her own and decide what she wants for her life. This is a story about a girl learning what she is capable of, without her father’s power, or her brother’s kingdom, or her husband’s help and that’s so damn beautiful.

This story places a heavy emphasis on love, but also the importance of sisterhood, motherhood, and friendship. And the price and weight we put on all those titles. And the good and bad things we are willing to do for the sake of those relationships.

And the romance, the romance is so good. I was swooning so hard at some of these lines. And even though I think the writing could be almost too lyrical at times, this book had some of the best one-liners I’ve ever read.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I’m also completely in love with a certain sassy, flesh-eating, demon horse.

“I would break the world to give you what you want.”

Overall, I loved this. It was diverse, and so well crafted, and the world building was phenomenal. It was swoon-worthy, and empowering, and a joy to read. I want so badly to read the spin-off, A Crown of Wishes, now!

I was blessed to meet Roshani this October at the Goodreads Power User Summit in San Francisco, and she was honestly the sweetest and kindest author I’ve ever met. I knew I couldn’t let 2017 end without giving The Star-Touched Queen a proper review! This in no way has impacted my rating or review, but I just wanted to let you know what an absolute angel is she.

And this was a buddy read with another confirmed angel, Sonja! ❤

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December 2017 TBR

Happy December 1st, my loves! I can’t believe 2017 is almost at a close, but I hope we all find some new favorites before the year is out! Also, a lot of my TBR is based off the Yule Bingo challenges, which is a readathon that a couple of my best friends have created and that I decided to participate in! How we are in the last month of 2017, I have no idea, but here is what I hope and plan to get to before 2017 ends!

The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere, #2) by Meg Elison:
This is one of the five books that I have to read before the end of 2017! The Book of the Unnamed Midwife was my favorite read of 2016, so I have such high hopes for the sequel. But this will be a very dark read, and I hope I will be in the right mindset for it.

Everless (Untitled #1) by Sara Holland:
This is an ARC I have that will be published on January 2nd, 2018 by HarperTeen! I don’t know much about this one, other than the fact that people exchange blood for time to live. And a servant girl discovers secrets and rises in the ranks quickly! But, I mean, that sounds pretty intriguing! And I’m buddy reading this with the beautiful Destiny! ❤

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert:
This is also an ARC I have that will be published on January 30th, 2018 by Flatiron Books! This is one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, so I’m very excited to finally dig into this. Alice is a girl that has grown up with fairy tales told by her grandmother, but once Alice’s mother is kidnapped, Alice starts to realize that maybe her Grandmother’s stories weren’t fairy tales after all! And this is a buddy read with Jenn and Destiny! ❤

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2) by Jay Kristoff:
This is also one of the five books that I have to read before the end of 2017! And give me all the f/f assassin novels, please. Also, I fell so fast and deeply in love with Nevernight, that I expect to do the same or more so with this one, too! Also, this is another amazing buddy read with Jules! ❤

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1) by Roshani Chokshi:
I was blessed to meet Roshani this October at the Goodreads Power User Summit in San Francisco, and she was honestly the sweetest and kindest author I’ve ever met. I knew I couldn’t let 2017 end without giving The Star-Touched Queen a proper review! And this is a buddy read with Sonja! ❤

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3) by Brandon Sanderson:
I believe with my whole heart that this will make my best of 2017 list, so I really have to buckle down and force myself to read and review this budding masterpiece!

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles edited by Natalie C. Parker:
This is an ARC I have that will be published on December 19th, 2017 by HarperCollins! And, please, give me all the anthologies at this point in my life! And this one is all about love triangles! I mean, how much more “Melanie” could this get? The only thing they could do is add a fae story about a queer, book lovin’ girl and I’d be in bookish heaven.

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) by Sarah Tarkoff:
This is also an ARC I have that will be published on January 9th, 2018 by Harper Voyager! I’m a little nervous about this one, because it has to do with good people being awarded with beauty and others being forced to deal with disfigurement and things like that. But I’m hoping it isn’t offensive, and it looks like there is a PoC MC on the cover! Plus, this story has to do with Clerics, and that’s my ultimate favorite D&D class, so hopefully this wows me!

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #1) by R.J. Barker:
This too is one of the five books that I have to read before the end of 2017! Okay, I received an ARC of this right before the release date, so there was no way for me to fit it into my TBR and now it just keeps getting put on the back burner for newer release ARCs! But I think this is going to be an amazing fantasy debut, that stars a disabled MC assassin!

Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall #1) by Elena May:
This author wrote to me early this fall, and was such a sweetheart! Then she sent me a copy of her book and some European goodies! I want to read and review this so badly before the end of 2017!

And beyond all else, I hope you guys are having a wonderful holiday season! I can’t believe this is my last TBR for 2017, but here we are! I also hope we all have an amazing December, filled with good books, because with the way 2017 went, we can all use a little more joy in our lives! Happy reading, lovelies! ❄⛄

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