Blog Tour Review: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Monday, August 13, 2018
Title: Star-Touched Stories
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: fantasy
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #2.5
Pages: 304
Published: August 7 2018
Source: ARC via publishers for review
Rating: 4/5

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram's new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

These three short stories, set in the same magical and dangerous world as the author's full-length novels The Star-Touched Queen and its successor A Court of Wishes, are another window into the fertile imagination of Roshani Chokshi. Each is replete with the vibrant imagery and vivid writing that readers have come to appreciate in Chokshi’s verbose style. The writing itself can approach purple prose at times, but without ever crossing over; this is a flowery book full of ornate writing and Chokshi has the talent to pull it off with aplomb.

Though all the additions to Star-Touched Stories are creative, well-written and plotted, it is the first,‘Death and Night’, that is the best, and the sole one rated at a full five stars. All three make for a solid selection but Chokshi's clever, and often darkly humorous or just plain silly, look at the courtship between the god of death and goddess of night is the standout. A familiar story, and a prequel for the first novel, played out in fresh hands and with fresh eyes, there's inventiveness from start to finish as Chokshi weaves her unlikely but impossible to resist love story. It doesn't follow the expected path or fall into overdone tropes; watching Amar and Maya is still genuinely fun and seeing them meet is satisfying.

The second, 'Poison and Gold', is another strong offering; one a bit shorter but focused on flawed and yet likeable characters, relatable despite their less-than-mundane situations and abilities. The writing itself remains a standout throughout the pages, but Aasha's struggle to control her gift, control her fate is vividly rendered and easily empathized. 'Rose and Sword' is a another good short story, but even with the talents of varied Roshani Chokshi, felt a bit shortchanged in comparison to the sweeping romance of the first and the heartfelt emotion of the second. It was too short, too rushed of an ending. The unexpected glimmers of humor, usually unexpected, were another highlight of the entire collection.

An anthology that further explores the world that Maya introduced us to and Gauri further expanded on her own adventures, Star-Touched Stories is a glimpse at smaller lives within a large world. Key figures are shown and feature into the plots, but even the newcomers and side characters make an impression. The author's vivid storytelling, which is often so descriptive it verges on tangible, is ably suited to short-form as well as full-length novels. It was fun to revisit such a fantastical and unique world, even for a short time.

1 comment:

  1. I still haven't read any of these books. I'm slacking. Great review! Thanks.


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