In the YA Diversity Book Club, we chat about the latest YA books that celebrate diversity. Our book club includes Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks and Kristan @ We Heart YA. Each month we’ll focus on one book with a book review (our discussion chat) and bonus features.
Our May book club pick is Roshani Chokshi’s THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. This YA debut has been getting a lot of buzz. TSTQ’s unique blend of Indian folklore and Greek mythology and dreamy prose made for an unforgettable reading experience. Read on to find out more about the book and I’ll also share some thoughts on the audiobook. Thanks so much to our friends at St. Martin’s Griffin for providing review copies.
Book Club Features:
- Check out a Q&A with author Roshani Chokshi on Teen Lit Rocks
- Read our book club discussion at We Heart YA.
About the book:
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Hardcover, 342 pages, St. Martin’s Griffin, April 26
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.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Star-Touched Queen Audiobook
I read The Star-Touched Queen book a little while ago and to refresh my memory I used an Audible credit to give the audio a spin. I’m familiar with audiobook narrator Priya Ayyar’s work in The Bollywood Bride and A Bollywood Affair and I was glad to get the chance to hear her read something different. I’m not a big fantasy reader but for some reason listening makes the world come alive for me better than it does in print and that was the case here.
Priya Ayyar’s voice has a rich, careful tone that complements Roshani Chokshi’s prose beautifully. The writing itself is quite intricate and Ayyar’s narration doesn’t overpower the words with her narration choices.
The story jumps around a bit in time and with Ayyar as a guide it helped me to keep track of what was going on. Ayyar sounds age appropriate as Maya and conveys Maya’s emotional journey throughout.
There are several characters in the book: men, women, and demon horse included, and Ayyar makes each one sound distinct and believable. The demon horse Kamala becomes Maya’s sidekick and comic relief and Ayyar uses a slightly menacing hoarse tone for her scenes.
Ayyar’s voice is pleasant to listen to and she conveys the humor, drama and romance that the story dictates. I did speed up the narration a bit to suit my taste though. I’d recommend listening to this one if you get the chance – Ayyar’s narration is stellar.
Listen to a sample:
It’s the YADBC’s two-year anniversary and we are cooking up something big! Stay tuned.
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