27 March, 2017

{ARC Review} A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
The Star-Touched Queen, book 2 [companion book]
Publishes March 28, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
e-ARC provided by Netgalley
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

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My Review

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ 

Note: I'm probably going to be using the word magic a lot. Does it have any synonyms?

Anyway.

I loved this book.

I loved this book a lot.

Look. I didn't even expect for that to happen, but I'm glad it did because this book took my expectations out of the wind and just left me reeling. And I'd been expecting a lot from what early reviewers were saying, the #BBTC chat for the book, all the teases Chokshi posted... Like, come on. 

And yet, despite all that, I was still astounded.

I wasn't the biggest fan of The Star-Touched Queen. Don't get me wrong, the book was good and all, but it felt a little aimless, with a lot of gorgeous prose but not a lot happening. And what's a book with beautiful writing but no plot? I was sort of worried the same would happen with this book, but I can easily say it doesn't!

Let me just start off--well, not start off but you get what I mean--with saying that Chokshi's writing is just as beautiful here. It's lush and vivid and enticing--it's the kind of writing that makes you want to tattoo most lines onto your skin, or, in the least, make a laminated poster out of and hang over your walls.

Anyway, the writing was in tip-top shape. The story, while not fast-paced, necessarily, still moved along at one that fit both the writing and the story. Throughout it, Chokshi provided tons of humour and banter between my new, lovely OTP--Vikram and Gauri--as well as tests that, well, tested both protagonists. 

She has a way of testing both of the characters, and not just by having one of them poke the other with a verbal stick or something. No, Chokshi makes them suffer, makes them go through dark things, like, y'know, their pasts. Fantasy characters don't have to freak out over their future or college because most of the horror is in leagues I can't even begin to imagine. But still! I love that the author pushed them constantly because the way both Gauri and Vikram grew throughout the book was amazing and extremely well done. 

And everything was super magical, which I guess you can assume from the writing, but the actual magic part of this book totally felt like magic. From the food, to the whimsical hosts, to the other contestants, and to the tournament itself--it was unique and strange and out of this world and I loved every bit of it. Chokshi has this beautiful, magical adventure created in A Crown of Wishes series and with her amazing writing, you can't help but actually feel some of it within you.

I loved Gauri. She was fierce in two ways: on the battlefield and in the court. She knew when to use her weapons, be it a sharp knife or blood red lips; a strong punch or eyes darkened with kohl. She knew when to use her battle armor and when to use her salwar kameez. I loved Gauri in her entirety--she was everything I didn't even realise I needed in my life up until I read about her. Gauri's fight and her humour was definitely one of my favourite parts of the book.

And another favourite part was Vikram. He was just perfection. I don't knoooow, I want to say Vikram is different than most other guys in fantasy but that's like saying "you're not like other girls" which is such a stupid liiiiiine. But, like, Vikram is such a dork. I can't think of any guy from a fantasy novel that's such a dork like him! Frankly, I found him to be such a breath of fresh air--here's a dude who actually kinda sucks with a sword (so hello, I'm down for Gauri doing all the butt-kicking) and likes to use his cunning more often than not. I mean, he's known by the moniker, Fox Prince, so there's that. (On a side note, I'm starting to absolutely love anything fox like because wow.) Anyway! Vikram was amazing. He was funny and joked around a lot and provided much of the banter in the book and swoooooon

So it was so easy to say I loved them together. Like I mentioned before: new OTP right here. They go from a hate (sort of?) to love romance and every single thing in me was like YES YES YES YES YES throughout the novel, especially at the subtle hints the two of them were putting out. Anyway, I don't want to say too much about the romance beyond what I've already gushed about because, really, this is the type of thing you need to experience for yourself. To help you, here's a little swoon to tide you over...

I'M DONE. I won't go on anymore, lorde knows this is a mess of a review already. Basically, tl;dr: THIS BOOK IS GREAT. IT'S OUT TOMORROW. YOU NEED TO BUY IT. ASAP. 

4.5 stars and I so can't wait to see what Roshani Chokshi publishes next (cough, I know it's The Gilded Wolves but still. Much need). 

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