My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, Mythology
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.
Roshani Chokshi is on the right path to becoming one of my favourite authors of all time. If she keeps writing the way she does, that is.
Because she writes like a goddess. As long as her stories are as magical as her writing, her books will always be winners (a.k.a. New York Times bestsellers).
Although this is marketed as a ”companion novel” to The Star-Touched Queen, one can argue quite convincingly that this is more of an ”unconventional” sequel.
I’d go for ”sequel” myself, because this seems to complete the first book in a subtle but noticeable way. Since it’s very different from its predecessor, I do dare urge you to read it, even if you weren’t fan of Maya’s story, because this is nothing like the latter.
In fact, it reminded me of Caraval. In both books there is a competition taking place with a wish as prize. Furthermore, the main characters are partnered with someone who they consider their enemy of a sort. And both novels are so pleasurable to read.
I will admit that I found everything to be too easy for Gauri and Vikram. The characters are put in danger numerous times, yet I never truly feared for them, because I knew nothing bad could really happen to them. In other words, those scenes were rather short and not exactly convincing. But I was still surprised by some outcomes.
The characters are far more three-dimensional and original than the ones from The Star-Touched Queen. I liked the secondary ones even as much as the main ones. I’d definitely love to read Aasha’s story, should Roshani Chokshi write it. The mythology is fantastic. I sure hope she’ll expand this world-building more. In the first book, it doesn’t look like much, but we know so much more about it thanks to this sequel. I’ve come to admire it, so I want more, more, more of it. Greedy me.
The romance is extremely convincing. Oh, I just cannot resist well-done love/hate relationships.
Two chapters in and you’re in love.
Follow me on: