A Crown of Wishes: Review
Note: I received a free Advanced Reader's e-galley from the publisher for review.
I was so excited when St. Martin's Press sent me an e-galley of the follow-up to The Star-Touched Queen. That book was simply filled with wonder and mythology, dreams and nightmares. The prose was so elegantly written, with visceral details and heart-wrenching emotions. The main character there is a young woman who is determined to forge her own path in a world where women are simply ornamentation. She winds up in a kingdom where nothing is as it seems, yet she holds the power of life and death in her hands. It is a story of love and loss, and I couldn't wait to read more from Roshani Chokshi.
Disclaimer: This is a SPOILER-FREE review!
A Crown of Wishes takes place in the same setting that The Star-Touched Queen does, which is an ancient India steeped in fantasy and folklore, but this second book does not encroach on the characters and stories of the first. Instead, it follows Gauri, the younger sister that was left behind in The Star-Touched Queen. As we know from the first book, Gauri grew up to become a folk hero and warrior princess of her kingdom. Within the first few pages of the book, we realize that Gauri was thrown away by her stepbrother and king, and is currently being held captive by a neighboring kingdom.
Now, we meet the Fox Prince, Vikram. The adoptive son is ruthless and clever, but he harbors a deep resentment towards his kingdom's Council for forcing him to prove himself as a worthy heir over and over again. He meets a traveling sage who offers him the opportunity to participate in the Tournament of Wishes. He must compete with a partner, but if he wins, his greatest wish will be granted. Vikram accepts the chance to participate and his partner is none other than the warrior princess Gauri, who is being held in his very own dungeons.
A lovely story is spun out of this contentious relationship as it develops, and Hindu mythology is woven seamlessly into the musical prose. I've seen reviews where readers say that the prose is too lyrical and dragged on too long for them- but I personally love a bit of poetry in the books I read. In my humble opinion, Chokshi exhibits mastery with words and descriptions.
"On the side of a star-touched night, a plume of winter hung in the air- cold pears and banked embers, polished gems and kafir cream. On the side of rain-kissed day, a lace of fire spiraled through the air- overripe plums and ripped flowers, dusky berries and cold honey."
The one thing that I had trouble with was the switch in points of view between Gauri and Vikram. The story alternates nearly every other chapter between their points of view, but more specifically, Gauri speaks in first person point of view, while Vikram remains in third. That definitely threw me off the flow of the story a little bit, but it didn't hamper the timeline of events.
Overall, I rate A Crown of Wishes4/5 stars!
A Crown of Wishes comes out on March 28, 2017 and you can pre-order it here!