A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (28th Mar 2017)
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #2
An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
I’d like to thank Macmillan USA International for a copy of A Crown of Wishes for review.
After reading and loving the absolutely stunning debut by Roshani Chokshi, I was on tenterhooks waiting for A Crown of Wishes because it follows the story of Maya’s beloved sister, Gauri, who I simply adored in The Star-Touched Queen.
If you’ve not read The Star-Touched Queen, it’s fine! You could think of A Crown of Wishes a companion novel, but I’d definitely recommend you to read Maya’s story first as it would make more sense—in terms of Gauri and Vikram’s backstory—and it does give you a better understanding of the world. And you have the reason to read another book, not that you need reasons to read, mind!
“People always think killing requires a force: a cup of poison tipped into a mouth, a knife parting flesh from bone, a fist brought down repeatedly.
Here’s how you kill: You stay silent, you make bargains that peel the layers off your soul one by one, you build a scaffolding of flimsy excuses and live your life on them. I may have killed to save, but I killed all the same.”
A Crown of Wishes, as I mentioned, is Gauri’s story. Determined to overthrow her cruel, tyrannous brother and save her dear friend from a life of torture at his hands, Gauri meets Vikram, the Fox Prince who teams up with her in the Tournament of Wishes. The winner of the Tournament of Wishes will be awarded a wish and Gauri has a mission: win the tournament so she has her wish granted.
“What do I call you? ” he asked, turning to me. “The ‘Jewel of Bharata’ just seems too modest, don’t you think? ”
“Call me Gauri.”
I glared. “Enjoy it, because that’s as intimate as this will ever get, Fox Prince.”
Hands on deck, because I need someone to hold me up. The writing is just stunning. The reason I loved The Star-Touched Queen was because of Roshani Chokshi’s writing and it was one of the things that I looked forward to before reading A Crown of Wishes!
Roshani Chokshi’s writing is sublime in A Crown of Wishes, if not more refined and polished. I was thoroughly in awe with her beautiful, poetic writing in The Star-Touched Queen and it was no different in A Crown of Wishes as every word was strung together to form such beautiful, sensuous pearls of prose that amazed me endlessly.
“In that moment, he looked like mischief and midnight, like a temptation that always slipped away too fast and left you at once relieved and disappointed.”
Unlike its predecessor, A Crown of Wishes had a faster pace and I was completely swept away by the magic and mystery that is the Tournament of Wishes. I loved how Roshani Chokshi incorporated different Indian folklore into the story and she did such a fantastic job in expanding the universe where the story is set in.
I would say that A Crown of Wishes is different compared to The Star-Touched Queen because the story is written from multiple POVs, where the narration is not only focused on Gauri’s POV, but also Vikram’s and some fantastic side characters as the story progresses. I thought this was a clever way of expanding the story and introducing sub-plots, which made me love the book more.
From reading The Star-Touched Queen, I knew that I liked Gauri the moment I met her and she was just amazing.
I loved her spirit, her drive, her sassy ass mouth and of course, send badass heroines my way because I need to get together with them and bake cookies and talk about cute boys and destroying empires and routing evil rulers.
“I donned my armor, lining my eyes with kohl until they were dark as death and patting crushed rose petals on my lips until they were scarlet as blood.”
I had thought that Roshani Chokshi made me swoon with Amar, the King of Akara, but little did I know, I was head over heels with Vikram—if you’ve read The Star-Touched Queen, Vikram was briefly introduced when Maya was brought to Akara—his shameless flirting with Gauri, his wittiness, his craftiness. And I can’t believe I missed out the best part: his banter with Gauri.
“He turned to me, mischief glinting in his eyes. “How do they celebrate good fortune in Bharata? In Ujijain, we kiss.”
“Are you sure? You spend an awful amount of time looking at my lips.”
“That’s only because I’m horrified at the sheer idiocy of the words leaping out of them.”
Roshani Chokshi has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with, as she is on a roll, writing back-to-back favourites of mine. A Crown of Wishes is a dream, it weaves a story that you’ll lose yourself in for a few hours as you are immersed in an adventure that is filled with magic, romance and intrigue—but it could also be a nightmare as it haunts you with its beautiful prose and lush descriptions long after you’ve read it! Dark, magical and utterly spellbinding, I loved A Crown of Wishes!