Title: A Crown of Wishes
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Star-Touched Queen, #2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes is a dazzling display of masterful storytelling with three-dimensional characters and a setting that will leave you breathless. Chokshi’s writing shined bright in her debut A Star-Touched Queen and continues to do so in this sequel. Though A Crown of Wishes can be read as a standalone, reading the first book will help give you a foundation for this world and the character of Gauri. At the beginning of the novel we meet two vastly different people who are brought together for the mysterious and magical Tournament of Wishes. If they have any hope of surviving and finding a way to take control of their own fates, they must learn to work together. Vikram and Gauri’s journey is one heart-stopping trial after another and with a capricious Otherworld lord in charge of the tournament, winning the game may not be as straightforward as they thought.
I was really intrigued by the small glimpse we got of Gauri as Maya’s younger sister in A Star-Touched Queen and was ecstatic to hear that this novel was going to follow her story. Gauri, known as the Jewel of Bharata, is many things. Princess. Warrior. Monster. Gauri’s spent her life living for the people of Bharata, fighting and sacrificing for them. Her brother Skanda’s cruelty has forced her to compromise her own morals and guilt is a hard thing to outrun. When she meets Vikram, she is at her lowest point. Her plan to overthrow her brother has been thwarted, someone she believed she could count on betrayed her, and it is only a matter of time before her best friend is executed. At first she intends to use Vikram and his invite as his partner for the Tournament of Wishes as an excuse to escape her imprisonment in Ujijain, but she finds a worthy ally and friend in Vikram. Gauri has always had to be strong, she’s learned to hide any weakness and shut down any feelings that may interfere with her goals. Being vulnerable does not come easy for her, but she learns risking her heart may be worth it in the end.
Gauri and Vikram are two sides of the same coin. Where Gauri’s strength lies in her ability to wield a weapon, Vikram wields a different kind of weapon: words. Appropriately called the “Fox Prince”, Vikram is both perceptive and cunning. His intelligence is his greatest asset, though his natural charm goes a long way. But Vikram has carried a secret on his shoulders for most of his life, a secret that threatens his entire future as the next ruler of Ujijain. Though adopted, the Emperor of Ujijain has always regarded Vikram as his true son and intends for him to succeed him, but the Council of Ujijain, also aware of Vikram’s illegitimacy, is not so convinced of his competence. Destined to rule in name alone, Vikram jumps at the chance to change his fate. Instead of ordering the execution of an enemy princess, he offers her the chance to change her own future and in so doing, alters both their lives forever. Despite his better judgment, Vikram finds himself drawn to Gauri, not just to the girl with murder in her eyes, but the one who has been carrying the responsibility of her people upon her shoulders for years.
From the lush setting of the Otherworld to an enchanting but deadly population of mythical creatures, Roshani Chokshi beguiles readers with her world-building from start to finish. A Crown of Wishes will leave you with a heart full as you follow the rewarding journey of two young souls desperate for a chance to take control of their lives.