Published by Macmillan Audio on April 26th 2016
Where to Buy:
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Narrator: Priya Ayyar
Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...
But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no listener will soon forget.
So, who’s been in a reading slump lately? My hand is firmly in the air. Maybe it’s this crazy time of year. Or that I’m still mourning the fact that I didn’t go to BEA. Or the fact that there are waaaaay too many after-school activities all coming to an end in the next few weeks (recitals/award ceremonies that never, ever end). Or that I’m just plain tired of being an over-scheduled mama. I was definitely in a reading SLUUUUUUUMP. Usually, I pick up and re-read one of my faves, but this time, I did something different. I went for the book with the pretty, hauntingly colorful cover. I honestly didn’t even read the synopsis. I just pressed “play” on the audible app. Yes, I’m too busy or too tired for actual reading, but I’m never too busy for audiobooks. Thank goodness for all involved in producing those.
I jumped into that audiobook and was finished with it in three days. I just couldn’t stop listening. The narrator, Priya Ayyar, was wonderful in her delivery of the various characters, and with her help, I just fell right into the world. OH THE WORLD. I admit that I know next to nothing about Indian mythology, so imagine my absolute delight at the new, different, yes, here comes that overused word — lush — world that was presented to me. And then, as I followed the turns and twists of the plot, I realized there was a familiarity that I didn’t expect. There was a Hades and Persephone feel to the story that simply left me swooning (I apparently missed the book announcement). Maya’s curse and Amar’s acceptance of it. Plus, the unique way his world, Akaran, is set up.
Here’s a swoony quote just for the heck of it:
“My kingdom needs a queen,” he said. “It needs someone with fury in her heart and shadows in her smile. It needs someone restless and clever. It needs you.”
Oh, you guys, rush out and pick up The Star-Touched Queen. It’s fantasy and romance presented in a beautifully wrapped mythology. It’s everything you’d expect in a classical tale, but with just enough stomach-turning twists to make you wince in that book nerdish pain you know we all love to feel. The romance is the kind you think you know where it’s going, but then, it leads to somewhere else. In its essence, the romance is going to make you long for a good conclusion, which is the best feeling for this romantically inclined mama.
I was thrilled to find out that the story is part of a duology. A Crown of Wishes will be released next year, and I will be pre-ordering it as soon as its made available. So, if you’re in the mood for something different, dark at times, and always pulling at your heartstrings, pick up The Star-Touched Queenand toss it into your handbag. I have a feeling that you won’t be able to put it down.