A CROWN OF WISHES
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: March 28th 2017
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.
Secrets did make people dance.
A Crown of Wishes is a big step-up from and a great companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen. It gives us new and developed characters and an enchanting story in a universe familiar to readers, breathing life into the world Chokshi created. The use of mythology combined with the plot is expertly done, making it one of the highlights of this book.
Roshani Chokshi’s writing strikes the perfect balance between purple prose and simple writing. In TSTQ, the metaphors and magical imagery were both a blessing and a curse. This time around the words hook the reader in but don’t cause any confusion, which makes this a rather enjoyable read. Even more so if you like tournaments and riddles.
This book has a very strong beginning. I was a little hesitant at the start, since TSTQ was not a book I liked very much, but I’m really glad I picked this up. It quickly becomes apparent that all the potential Chokshi showed as a writer in TSTQ is evident here. The writing rises to a new level and delivers a story that’s both engaging and magical. And I say that even though I’m not a big fan of tournaments and trials and games, at least in fiction.
The plot is captivating for the most part, and the fast pace keeps things interesting and moving. The abstract writing when it comes to the magic and the use of mythology to ground the competition is extremely well done. Chokshi knows how to create fascinating riddles and a dreamy atmosphere, and those are both highlights in this novel.
The real stars, and what kept me flipping pages, are the characters. Gauri and Vikram are both delights as narrators, each with an unique voice and layered personality. There is so much depth to both of them, and they change and transform and develop as they go through their trials. I especially loved the interactions in which both of them called the other on their flaws, recognizing when they weren’t being helpful or were being difficult.
In turn, this makes the relationship between them another positive point in A Crown of Wishes. It is the typical enemies-to-reluctant-allies-to-lovers story, and Gauri and Vikram’s ability to see when they other is wrong and talk about things is something I really liked. It makes their relationship more believable, more real, and adds a sweetness to the story that is needed as they go through the Tournament of Wishes.
Overall, A Crown of Wishes is a great read for YA Fantasy fans. It has action, romance, twists and turns, and some incredible writing. It shows just how good of a writer Chokshi can be, and it leaves me wanting to know more about this universe she created.