My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I will not let us be beings of regret. I know my past. What I want is my future. —Maya
I cannot believe I was so hesitant to read this before. The Star-touched Queen is surprisingly one of the best novels I have read this year. The author also happens to be part Filipino, so I’m feeling quite proud at the moment. Tee-hee.
My actual rating for this book is 4.5. Before I picked it up, I actually expected to give it 3 stars. Silly me. I’ve read reviews which complained about the too flowery writing and sloppy world-building, but I found myself unable to fully understand such harsh criticism. Truth be told, the only problem I encountered was the incomplete/inadequate glossary; there were some italicized, Indian terms that were quite a hassle to look up on Google.
In contrast to other readers, I loved the author’s writing style. Sarah J. Maas wasn’t exaggerating when she blurbed, “I was spellbound from the first line.” In totality, the writing was flowery in a way that stimulated my imagination. Some metaphors were over the top, but most of the descriptions were beautiful in that they gave so much life, color, and depth to the story. If you love Marie Rutkoski’s play on words, then you will definitely be a fan of Roshani Chokshi’s.
As for the world-building, I found it whimsical and refreshing. Initially, it was quite confusing, but everything clicked for me when I remembered how the novel was marketed as a loose retelling of Hades and Persephone. Ultimately, both the writing style and world-building just require a little patience. They might befuddle you at first, but you’ll learn to enjoy them eventually.
The Star-touched Queen featured a cast of diverse and intriguing characters. Maya had a wonderful character arc. All of the hatred and deception she experienced transformed her into a formidable heroine. I only disliked her for her tendency to be gullible. Seriously, the dilemmas in the story could have been avoided if she learned to hone her critical thinking skills.
Amar, her love interest, inevitably reminded me of ACOTAR’s Rhysand (everybody’s favorite male character in YA). It was funny how he kept on pining for Maya’s trust while keeping so many secrets from her. In the end, the reason for his furtive demeanor was justified. It even made him more likable. I’ll probably remember him best for his Feminist and evocative vocabulary. ^^
Personally, I think that at its core, this book is not a love story. Instead, it is a magical story of an ostracized girl’s transition into empowered womanhood. I believe that you’ll find so much more than a slow burning romance. Otherwise, I would have given this book a lower rating.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Star-touched Queen, and I am very excited to read its supposedly amazing sequel (companion novel). As a fellow Filipino, I sincerely applaud the author for making a difference in the predominantly Western domain of YA literature.