Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

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Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 342
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1 (Can be read as a Standalone)
Release Date: April 26, 2016

1.50 Stars

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First, a confession: I didn’t read the entire book. But because I’m still behind on my reading challenge and I did put myself through over 200 pages of this, I’m counting it.

Second, I’m going to tell you who I would recommend this novel for. I know I usually do this part at the end, but I’m going to make an exception. I recommend this book for people who are fond of metaphors and pretty language. For people who simply gobble up poetic language whether or not the rest of the book makes sense.

Third, a little English lesson for those who don’t know. There are two broad categories into which imagery is divided. One is poetic imagery, full of similes, metaphors and all sorts of fluff which, if done right, can make you let out a dreamy sigh due to how beautiful it is. The other type is Visual Imagery. It’s more practical. It’s when you describe what something looks like so the reader can form an image in his or her mind.

A really good author knows how to balance both of these elements. Their writing is poetic but not pretentious (see Name of the Wind). Often though, you see one more present than the other. In this book, one is too much more present that the other, to the point where things don’t make any fucking sense!

The book is a high-fantasy set in Bharata which, funnily enough, is the actual country I live in (India). So the fact that the author seems to be insinuating that I live in a fantasy world… as awesome as that would be, it just ain’t true. So you fucked up straight off the bat, author. It’s also centered around Indian mythology and it has mistakes. For example, ‘Raksha’ actually means ‘protection’, not ‘monster’ (that’s ‘Rakshasa’), and ‘Naraka’ is hell, not the freaking Underworld.

But anyway, the book focuses on a girl by the name of Maya who has a horoscope that promises a marriage with death and destruction. In a strange turn of events (which are conveniently left unexplained), Maya ends up married to Akaran, who shows her a new and magical world and promises her power, which she learns to control in one fucking day.

But then she fucks up and has to fix shit. And how does she fuck up, you ask? By being unbelievably fucking stupid.

On my God, I couldn’t stand her! From the beginning, her judging, all-other-women-are-either-evil-or-pathetic attitude bothered me. Then came her tantrum-throwing ways and the sheer idiocy of her actions (which I won’t spoil) and I was just completely done. With her and the book. And it’s not like the book had any plot that one might be interesting in.

For the first two hundred pages, the author was just setting things up so that Maya could mess up and we would have a story. Before that, it was all just poorly planned plot-devices and a sad attempt at a romance which was never, for one second, even the slightest bit romantic. Oh and, there was also the prose.

I can’t express how much the prose bothered me. Imagine this, a character walks into a room/ The first thing to be done is to give a general idea of how big the room is, what it’s like, what’s in it, etc. But nooo… who cares about that when there’s a bejeweled vase (which might as well be floating in midair since there was never an actual table mentioned) which glitters like Persephone’s garden in the moonlight! Never mind where the fucking moonlight came from!

It was disorienting, to say the least, not being able picture anything due to being choked on pretty writing. There were, honestly, so many metaphors that I’m not surprised the author didn’t have time to squeeze in character development. Or emotions. Or a fucking plot.

In the end, the only reason this doesn’t get one star is because a) I didn’t finish it, b) I’m a really nice person, and c) I didn’t always hate it; there were moments in the beginning when I though this would be an okay read and, later on, that it could be saved. It wasn’t saved and I would only recommend it to those I mentioned above, but I very rarely give one stars so… I forgot where I was going with the sentence. Basically, I hated the book, but that doesn’t mean you will.

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