This week's episode is all about The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, narrated by Priya Ayyar. Let me tell you... it is BEAUTIFUL. Remember a couple of months ago when I was talking about The Night Circus and how it was full of magic and whimsy and I loved it? This is the same. It's so gorgeous and so delightful in every way. Here's a summary from the author's website:
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.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.
What's not to love about this story? It's gorgeous. BUT! IT IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVEN THAT DESCRIPTION. Why? Because there is a hilarious demon horse named Kamala that shows up halfway through the book and wants to eat everyone, including the main character, from the moment she's introduced. She's perfect in every way, and she's definitely my favorite character. She's constantly whispering snide comments to Maya, which Maya often responds to, drawing odd looks from people because, oh yeah, they can't hear anything that Kamala says. Even though she wants to eat Maya, she becomes her protector and friend and I love everything about her. She delivers some perfect lines, but one of my favorites is a great life lesson: "It is nice to be nice. It is also nice to eat people." I think everyone should live by that.
Here's a recording picture for this week. I'm pretty sure we were posing for our Bonus! tier Patreon game that we play in which we hide a secret on our bookshelves and ask our Bonus! tier member to find it. Did you know you can watch our recording videos if you join our Patreon Bonus! tier? You can get special things in all our tiers, but that one is the most fun. You should join our Patreon today!
"Go stalk a peacock!"
(That's another great quote from this amazing book. Seriously, go read it. Or listen, because the audiobook is fantastic.)