“Stories are boundless and infinite, ever-changing and elusive[….] They are the truest treasure and therefore my dearest possessions.”
So confides a character in Roshani Chokshi’s sophomore novel before urging, “Give me a tale worth telling.”
In A Crown of Wishes, Chokshi has done exactly that. This story is sweet and multi-layered, a companion that surpasses its predecessor. Even if The Star-Touched Queen wasn’t for you, this book is worth your time!
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.
As soon as we met fierce, no-nonsense grown-up Gauri in the latter half of The Star-Touched Queen, I was dying to tear into her story. I am not at all disappointed. This is a longing, loving story of heroes, tender romance, and figuring out who you really are and what mark you want to leave on the world.
Chokshi’s writing is just the right amount gorgeous. Her sentences conjure lush, illuminated scenes of the Otherworld around you like she did in her debut, but her style and vision are greatly refined here. I didn’t find myself lost or disoriented when following the setting or action like I occasionally did in The Star-Touched Queen. Instead, I was pulled effortlessly through this book by the winning cast, intriguing plot, and heartwarming entwining of so many tales into one.
Gauri and Vikram are characters I want to hug. Each of them is phenomenally written, but together, they shine even more. Gauri is stubborn, loyal, and guarded, always burdened by worry that she won’t be able to protect the people she loves and guilt that she has failed far too many of them. Vikram’s wit and inventiveness mask his worry that he will never be given the chance to fulfill his potential. They both recognize and own their flaws, growing by accepting and learning to live with their shortcomings, not shoving them into the past and forgetting them. They also fill the pages of this book with some of the best banter I’ve read in a long time and an aching, adorable, wistful romance.
They aren’t the only ones here with a story worth telling. Their quest is epic, filled with page-turning twists, engrossing developments, and plenty of action. But they also weave through so many other tales of wishing, regret, and redemption. A Crown of Wishes is not only a compelling story about myths, magic, and monsters of all varieties. It feels whole in a special way, with its own pulse and life: a book about choosing to write your own story, and not just live it.
All in All…
- 5/5 sea stars
- Published March 28th, 2017, by St. Martin’s Griffin
- 352 pages
- For fans of Laini Taylor, mythology, Howl’s Moving Castle, Maggie Stiefvater’s Books of Faerie, Graceling