- Page Count: 342
- Release Date: April 26, 2016
- My Rating: 5 stars
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
5 STARS ALL THE STARS. Oh my goodness this absolutely just became one of my all-time favorite books!
Never have I ever been so wrong about a book (or so thrilled to be wrong). I first reviewed this book on May 4… right after ACOMAF. I was obviously in a major book hangover and don’t think I had a lot of patience for literally anything. I ended up calling this a DNF after a short time with the intent to come back to it later because the writing was so gorgeous and I KNEW I would normally love this. I’m so glad I waited until I could give it my full attention, but I’m also super sad I didn’t read this sooner!!
First of all, Roshani Chokshi can seriously write. Every sentence was a straight up piece of art. I kept staring at the pages like TELL ME HOW TO WRITE LIKE THIS. I was completely entranced the whole way through and loved every single scene SO much… it just kept getting better and better. The entire story was beyond gorgeous and magical and just aaaaahh I am totally failing to put my love for this into words so here’s a gif of me while reading this:
I’m not sure if it’s meant to have hints of the original Beauty & the Beast and the Hades/Persephone myth, but it feels like that to me. I remember reading some description from the publisher that said it had hints of Greek and Indian mythology. So maybe check this out if you like those stories or Alice in Wonderland and The Wrath and the Dawn? But it’s really something completely original on its own!!!
I feel like trying to explain the plot ruins the magic of how everything unfolds, so I’ll just say that it’s totally not instalove in the end. Nor is the romance the main focus. It’s just a really sweet, powerful story and I thought Maya was one of the strongest MCs I’ve seen in a long time. And the demon horse Kamala was hilarious… I usually get annoyed by talking animals but pretty sure Kamala was my favorite character in the end.
I didn’t realize that I’ve been sort of reading on autopilot lately, but this story is so gloriously imaginative that I got SO into it. And I’m not sure if some of the scenes were supposed to be as deep as I made them by reading various world religions and myths into everything, but I had fun.
I’m really looking forward to the next book about Gauri now! And absolutely anything else Roshani Chokshi writes.
Ok I know this whole review has really said nothing specific about the book and I’m so sorry I can’t stop gushing about my love for it enough to actually shut up and say something useful. Apparently when I really love books this much all I can do is post gifs, so: