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Star-Touched Stories

Review

Star-Touched Stories

Roshani Chokshi is a New York Times bestselling young adult and middle-grade fantasy author. Her debut novel, THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN, was released in 2016. The sequel and companion novel, A CROWN OF WISHES, was released in 2017 and follows minor characters from the first book as the main characters. Her first middle-grade fantasy novel ARUH SHAH AND THE END OF TIME was published in 2018 and is the first in the Pandava Quartet. STAR-TOUCHED STORIES is an anthology from THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN universe. Choksi also has a new fantasy novel, GILDED WOLVES, which will be released in January of 2019.

"Chokshi has one of the most beautiful writing styles of any author in the young adult genre. STAR-TOUCHED STORIES made me hang on to this world even more..."

STAR-TOUCHED STORIES is a beautiful collection of additions to the journeys contained in THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN and A CROWN OF WISHES. This anthology should definitely be read after reading both books, so do not read the rest of this review until you have thoroughly read both books. It includes three short stories from different points of view called “Death and Night,” “Poison and Gold” and “Rose and Sword.” All of my favorite characters from both books are revisited either in the past or future.

“Death and Night” fittingly follows Night and Death, the Dharma Raja, from the STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN far before the events of the novel. It is their love origin story of sorts and fills in some of the holes left from Maya and Amar in the STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. I enjoyed revisiting them, but I think their story has been wrapped up well. The setting of this story was incredible, but the short stories only get better from here.

“Poison and Gold” was Aasha’s from A CROWN OF WISHES time to shine. I absolutely adored “Poison and Gold,” which I definitely did not expect to enjoy so much. Aasha did get a few chapters in A CROWN OF WISHES, but this story is wholly hers, and I found it to be remarkably entertaining and fun. Aasha must train to become the empire’s Spy Mistress if she wants to stay in Gauri’s palace, and there are so many surprises readers will not want to miss. Even when I thought I wanted to read from Gauri’s point of view, I enjoyed Aasha just as much if not more. Some of Aasha’s story included fun scenes with Gauri and Vikram, which were the perfect glimpses for the transition to "Rose and Sword."

“Rose and Sword” was the icing on the cake of this series for Gauri and Vikram. A CROWN OF WISHES left the door slightly open on their story, and “Rose and Sword” closed it perfectly. It takes place in the future where Gauri is telling her granddaughter the tale of her wedding and how she almost lost Vikram. “Rose and Sword” showed Gauri’s influence over her empire in the long run, and it was a fascinating snapshot that readers rarely get to see. It was definitely the fastest read of the three for me because it read like extra chapters from A CROWN OF WISHES.

Chokshi has one of the most beautiful writing styles of any author in the young adult genre. STAR-TOUCHED STORIES made me hang on to this world even more and ensured I will be reading anything Chokshi writes in the future. These stories are what novellas try to be but rarely are: as mind-blowing as the original novels. I am so glad they close out my experience with this world, and I am already itching to reread them. Any readers who enjoyed THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN and A CROWN OF WISHES must pick up this anthology or else they will truly be missing out on more time with the best characters. Even if you are generally not a novella reader, these stories are not your typical novellas and are worth the read.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2018

Star-Touched Stories
by Roshani Chokshi