The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi
St. Martin’s Griffin, 2016. 342 pages. Young Adult
In a fantasy world influenced by Indian mythology, Mayavati daughter of the raja of Bharata is born with a horoscope that predicts a marriage of death and destruction. Because of this, Maya is scorned and ridiculed by the other women in her father’s harem. Maya wants more out of life and fears marrying will force her to just move from one harem to another. So when her father makes plans to marry her off to prevent war, Maya attempts to rebel but is locked in her room. When a mysterious stranger, Amar, breaks into Maya's room claiming to be one of her potential suitors and offering her a chance to rule at his side, Maya jumps at the chance. But Amar’s kingdom is a place of mystery and shadow, a kingdom in the Otherworld. Amar asks Maya to wait until the next moon, then all will be explained, but is that more than she can give when mirrors offer glimpses of strange lands and the lines between life and death are blurred?
Vividly imagined and rich in mythic detail from Hindu folklore, debut author Chokshi has created a lush tale about betrayal, love, sacrifice, self-discovery, and making your own destiny. This is the author’s first novel, and while there are a few hitches, this is definitely an author to watch.