Published: 28 March 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Category: Fantasy/Young Adult/Romance
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.
Rating: 4 Stars
Roshani Chokshi returns to her beautifully cultivated world with the tale of two royals fighting for the right to rule their kingdoms in A Crown of Wishes.
A companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen, you should be able to read this book even if you haven’t read the previous one, though there are a couple of characters and connections that you might not be familiar with. Gauri, for example, one of the main characters, in the younger sister of Maya, the main character from The Star-Touched Queen.
Told in the alternating perspectives of Gauri, a princess that wishes to save her kingdom from her vicious older brother, and Vikram, a prince who wishes to take true control of his kingdom rather than allow a council to rule it, the story begins in a bit of a heavy handed fantasy method. Vikram’s perspective felt a little more fanciful to me and required more work, taking me out of the story whenever it cropped up.
Gauri was vastly more interesting to my mind. Her fierceness was present from the first moment we met her as a prisoner of war. She’s been in a dungeon for six months, but her cunning mind has used this time to beguile her jailers into thinking her weak while in fact she’s gathered knowledge that will, hopefully, help her regain her strength and mount a force to take back her kingdom from Skanda, her wicked brother.
Both characters share similar motives, though if I had to choose which one I believed in more it would have been Gauri without question. She might have made slightly foolish decisions, but they were never more foolish than those of any person going to war, fighting for a kingdom. If anything, she trusted too much and that caused her plans to falter, lead to her temporary imprisonment and potential execution. However, it also lead to the opportunity to collude with Vikram and go to the Tournament of Wishes.
The quality of writing was maintained from Chokshi’s previous novel, perhaps even improved a bit now that she’s had the experience of writing a novel. The descriptions were not overly flowery, which I appreciated, because it let the wonder of the individual events shine without being overpowered. Easily pictured and easily sunk into, this novel takes you on an adventure of peril, of discovery, of battles not only for kingdoms but for one’s true self. Vikram and Gauri must fight not only for what they believe is right for their kingdoms, for their people, but for their futures.
While there are no future books planned in this world, I anticipate more books from Roshani Chokshi being highly anticipated. She demonstrated to me with The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes that her knowledge of fantasy is well in hand, as is her writing ability. The future is bright for this author and for those of us lucky enough to read her books.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.