Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Audlt, Fantasy Retelling
Published: April 26, 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
HERE’S THE THING, PUMPKINDOODLES. Originality is the number one thing that a majority of YA books look at and say: WELL I don’t really need that pssshhh I’ve done enough. So sorry, chums. You do. You really do. And I shall be eternally grateful that The Star-Touched Queen could fiercely and graciously realize this, that it could step up and take part in an explosive literary revolution. So here’s why this book wins for originality:
- Indian inspired fantasy setting. YES GO INDIA. What I have never understood is why medival-ish settings have trumped the Middle East and India. I can only speak for India, but I know that its culture is so vibrant and lovely—plus the mythology and history nearly force-feeds inspiration into any writer. Either way, I’m proud to see my heritage in this book! #Diversity
- Horoscopes. While horoscopes are hardly something I would ever take seriously, I find them thoroughly amusing and extremely helpful in matchmaking. In this book, however, they’re are entirely serious. Bad horoscope will haunt your life, the stars control your future in society. IS THIS NOT SUPER FUN AND ORIGINAL.
- Family dimensions. Harems and royalty are a very convenient combination when complex families are concerned.
- Talking horse 😀 Is it just me, or is YA severely lacking in the talking animal department? Back in elementary school, it was all about the main-characters-who-happen-to-be-animals-and-also-talking. Then I grew into YA, and what to I find? PEOPLE TALKING. NOT ANIMALS. Honestly this is atrocious and I am so glad that The Star-Touched Queen decided to do something about it.
Is there a particular era in Indian history that inspired the setting?
I’ve always been intrigued by the Mughal era of India. I think it’s also one of the most romanticized time periods of India because it’s characterized by lush poetry, breathtaking architecture and rulers whose personal lives are constantly reimagined.
· Are there any Indian delicacies/fashions that inspired some of the food/merchandise at the Night Bazaar?
Yes! A couple of my favorite Indian sweets are jalaibee (which is a bright amber coil of sugary, fried dough…like jeweled funnel cakes) and pista barfi (a pistachio fudge that’s often dusted with edible silver foil and even rose petals). These desserts were as beautiful as they were delicious! And even the ingredients and presentation looked like something that belonged in a fairytale 🙂 Fashion wise, Indian fashion is nothing short of glamorous. Growing up, we always knew that going to an Indian party meant glamming up. I always got really excited to buy new Indian clothes because the styles were outrageously loud — skirts covered in tiny mirrors, cropped tops threaded with gold and sewn with tiny pearls. Lovely.
BE A QUEEN. Or King. Basically—just go for it in the comments. Are you hyped to read The Star-Touched Queen, or have you already finished? Are there any other original items you noticed in this book, or any others?