BLOG TOUR – ARC Review of Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

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Hi readers and welcome to my blog post for the Star-Touched Stories blog tour. Here you can expect a thorough review of the book, purchase links, early praise, and more. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: August 7, 2018.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press.

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, and Short Stories.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice 

Synopsis: 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?

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Star-Touched Stories. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Star-Touched Stories is an anthology filled with three stories from the world established in The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. The three stories are beautifully written and I was blown away by their excellence, their originality, and the way they made me feel. This book was so much better, so much more than I ever could have imagined. I have decided to review the three novellas separately for you to truly see what makes them magical.

Death and Night

The first novella is about Death and Night and is a prequel to The Star-Touched Queen. This extraordinary story really had me yearning to read The Star-Touched Queen – the only book in the series I have not read – which is the first novel in Roshani Chokshi’s series of standalone novels, connected through the world they are set in and the side characters we get to know along the way. The best part of ‘Death and Night’ being a prequel to the first book in the series is that I could perfectly understand it without having read The Star-Touched Queen first.

And the truth was that I wanted to spend my life with someone who made eternity too short. I wanted a love that time could never erode, a foundation that would grow spires and turrets large enough to swallow constellations. And yet I wanted love like a home, a corner of the universe built for two and snug as skin. I wouldn’t settle for less. Queen or no.

The chemistry between Death and Night is amazing and out of this world. I love the way these two characters are so soft for each other yet each has their own strong individual personalities. I loved the banter between them and laughed several times. As always, Roshani Chokshi’s writing is lush and magical, she writes unlike anyone else.

Poison and Gold

The second story in the anthology takes place after A Crown of Wishes, the second novel in the series, and is about Aasha. Aasha is a side character from A Crown of Wishes and ‘Poison and Gold’ is about Aasha finding her place in her new life with Vikram and Gauri. She does that by meeting the current Spy Mistress and training under her. In the novella, Aasha trains under the Spy Mistress for three months and at the same time finds out who she is as an individual in the space in between being human and vishakanya. With this knowledge, she truly becomes herself and finds love on the way. This is an f/f story and it is beautiful: and yes, there is definitely kissing involved.

Instead, she reached for … herself. The space between her two lives where she existed in moments of stolen peace. A place of curiosity. Questioning.

Ever since I read A Crown of Wishes, I have wanted to see more of Aasha and this story really delivered. However, I want to say I’m greedy for more. There were a lot of great moments with Aasha, Vikram, and Gauri in this story and I love how the three of them all support each other. Their friendship is just amazing.

Rose and Sword

The third and last story in this book is about Vikram and Gauri, who I first met in A Crown of Wishes. As always, the writing is just phenomenal and what also made this story so special was how it was narrated. The way this story is narrated lets you know how it will end and despite that, it will still wreck you. ‘Rose and Sword’ made my heart grow and I want everyone to experience the beauty of this one.

“This is an adventure, Gauri,” Vikram whispered against her hair. “All of it.”

‘Rose and Sword’ is my favorite out of the three stories and it is a tearjerker; you have been warned. When I read it, I cried a bunch – more than I first expected I would. This story is just so beautiful, heartbreaking, happy, and bittersweet in the best way. I could not imagine a better ending for Vikram and Gauri, an ending that is just so them. You will not be disappointed by this story or any of the others seen in this anthology. I want everyone to experience Roshani Chokshi’s words and stories.

About The Author

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ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

Praise for Star-Touched Stories

“Deftly woven with fantastical elements and Indian mythology, the tales reflect and materialize the characters’ internal struggles… Aasha’s and Gauri’s stories explore complex themes of identity, ambition, love, and loss. Chokshi marries sensuous storytelling with kick-ass protagonists in these feminist romances.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Chokshi is in top form with the lush world-building and vivid language fans of the series have come to love. Each novella focuses on an ambitious heroine as she confronts not just her fears but her desires. A must-read for fans of the series and a charming introduction to the author and her works.” —School Library Journal

“Whether read as a whole or in individual stories, this is a sure success that will leave any reader craving more of the fascinating and beguiling prose.” —Booklist

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