Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: A Crown of Wishes

Title: A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Magic | Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.
Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire (goodreads).

Whoa. I wanted magic, I want adventure, I wanted romance, and Chokshi delivered. 
Plot: To be honest, I thought A Crown of Wishes was a sequel to The Star-Touched Queen and I was unsure if I wanted a continuation of Maya's story. I then learned how to read a synposis, and was pleasantly surprised that A Crown of Wishes followed a whole new set of characters but remained in Chokshi's magical realm filled with Indian folklore. A Crown of Wishes read very differently from The Star-Touched Queen. It was filled with laugh-out-loud humor, daring escapes, riddles, a swoon-worthy romance, and I'm convinced that it was sprinkled with pixie dust. 

The novel opened with Vikram, a young man who wanted to lead a country and not just act as a puppet for his father's council. His complete opposite was Gauri, Maya's younger sister from The Star-Touched Queen who grew up in hostile conditions. The two together set off to a magical realm to participate in the Tournament of Wishes to have their dreams come true. One of my major concerns for A Crown of Wishes was the pacing because it was what stopped me from fully falling in love with The Star-Touched Queen, but A Crown of Wishes flowed wondrously. Much like a fairytale, Chokshi was able to subtly give clues about what was yet to come and always keep the reader wanting more. 

You may be asking yourself, "so Amber, do I need to read The Star-Touched Queen before jumping into this book"? Technically, no you do not; however, I highly recommend it. A Crown of Wishes features characters from The Star-Touched Queen and it takes place in the same world. I think it would help you enjoy this novel more once you have that backstory. 

Characters: Oh Vikram and Gauri, where do I start? These two are hot and cold; oil and water; night and day. Vikram was more of our dreamer, he was eager to believe in magic and wishes. Because of his easy belief, people tended to underestimate him, but Vikram had an equally sharp tongue. That's probably the only thing he and Gauri had in common. Gauri lived her life sleeping with one eye open and attempting to better life for her people. She was ruthless, but knew how to apply her makeup flawlessly. When put together, they were absolutely charming. Nothing but sass and witty banter to help you fall in love with them over and over. And their love story was swoon-worthy I can tell you that. All you slow-burn lovers, this book is for you!

Worldbuilding: The Star-Touched Queen's writing was something to drool over and A Crown is Wishes is no different. Thanks to Chokshi's beautiful prose, I was able to vividly picture the world. It was filled with fun magical creatures that reminded me of the Iron Fey series.

Short N Sweet: A Crown of Wishes is perfect in every way. I hope Chokshi blesses us with a Gauri/Vikram novella one of these days. 


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