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A Crown of Wishes

Review

A Crown of Wishes

A CROWN OF WISHES is set in the same world as THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, Roshani Chokshi’s first novel. The novel follows the story of Princess Gauri, a minor character in THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, and Vikram, the adopted prince of Ujijain, a neighboring kingdom currently at war with Bharata, Gauri’s home.

"Perhaps the only way to describe Roshani Chokshi’s novel A CROWN OF WISHES is vivid --- the story is rich in description, rich in characters and rich in plot."

Captured and facing death at the hands of the Ujijain government, Gauri’s only chance of returning home to help her people is to ally with Vikram, who sees her as the partner he needs for the Tournament of Wishes, a magical contest in an otherworldly realm that grants the winners a wish. Vikram’s offer of freedom if she agrees and a wish if she wins tempts Gauri to join forces with him. While Gauri sees a wish as a chance to claim the throne from her malevolent brother Skanda, Vikram wants the recognition that he has never received from the Ujijain government because of his non-royal blood. The desire to change their circumstances and their kingdoms brings Vikram and Maya together, and they travel into a magical realm outside of their world --- a place full of mysterious creatures, magical lands, and twisted rules and promises. From there the games begin. Although the Tournament of Wishes promises a wish for the winner, it makes no guarantees of safety or security, and Maya and Vikram gain and lose much in their fight for the chance to gain a wish to determine their futures.

Perhaps the only way to describe Roshani Chokshi’s novel A CROWN OF WISHES is vivid --- the story is rich in description, rich in characters and rich in plot. The layers of world-building are unlike any seen in a young adult novel --- Chokshi describes the magical realm of Gauri and Vikram’s world so well that the reader may wonder if she has even been there herself. The novel practically breathes with life and vitality that comes from the details and images filling the story. Unique creatures, magical items, wishes and tales enliven and enrichen the plot beyond the basic line of a contest with a prize.

Chokshi’s characters stand out too --- Gauri and Vikram feel real in a genre where many authors easily fall into the trap of creating characters with heroic, yet unrealistic personalities, as each has their talents, but their fears, faults and quirks as well. The banter between the characters is one of the strongest examples of their realistic qualities, and the humor itself adds moments of levity and simplicity, though still elegant, to a story packed with detail and action.

The characters’ personalities contrast nicely as well --- Gauri’s fierceness makes Vikram all the more determined to make her laugh and blush, while his decisiveness in turn helps to fuel her determination and courage. Critics of young adult romance will celebrate, as the attraction between Gauri and Vikram builds slowly and, most importantly, naturally over time; it is not rushed or tacked on to the story, and the reader will appreciate this element.

The entire plot is balanced excellently, with quieter moments between scenes of high tension, allowing for detail and character development to shine through. Also, small moments earlier in the novel return in later scenes, creating satisfactory yet intriguing twists and turns that demonstrate a well thought out story arc. Every moment of the novel is perfectly proportioned --- no scenes are rushed, but the plot does not drag either.

Overall, A CROWN OF WISHES should be the next novel for fans of fantasy, and the riddles and challenges that Gauri and Vikram face make this story one for readers who like stories with a sense of adventure as well, such as CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber. Chokshi does not just write A CROWN OF WISHES --- she weaves a tale full of detail, action, character and powerful themes, fitting together the threads of the novel into a story that stands out as one of the highlights of the young adult genre.

Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member on March 13, 2018

A Crown of Wishes
(The Star-Touched Queen #2)
by Roshani Chokshi

  • Publication Date: March 6, 2018
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250100216
  • ISBN-13: 9781250100214