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.
I absolutely loved the first book of this series The Star-Touched Queen (check out my review here) and my favourite minor character was Gauri, so I knew I had to get A Crown of Wishes. This book is a companion novel and a standalone. You don’t have to read The Star-Touched Queen to read this one.
It’s #ownvoices for Indian representation.
The writing style here is totally different to The Star-Touched Queen and this threw me off at the beginning, as did the fact that it was truly a standalone. I kept expecting the characters of the first book to play a bigger role. However, I soon got used to it and started to approach it as a standalone (which I should have done from the beginning).
This story is told in three perspectives: Gauri (a warrior princess), Vikram (a warrior prince) and Aasha (a vishakanya). I enjoyed reading from all of their persectives, as I obtained interesting insights into the Tournament of Wishes and also learnt more about their motivations and their personality.
Roshani Chokshi has created a beautifully intricate world again. It’s seriously so wonderful to read about and you will wish you could be part of it. The Tournament of Wishes is quite intriguing and the tasks are fascinating. Once again, I was in awe of her descriptions which were vivid and enticing. Some examples: “Across the silk of her sari, a thousand rose-gold mornings bloomed and retracted.” and “[…] wore a sari made of a frozen river where parchment-thin sheaves of ice floated across her garb.”.
Aasha is the only main character that was not mentioned in the previous novel, and I thought her story was the most fascinating. It was an amazing addition to the other two perspectives as it allowed for the reader to receive an outsider’s view to Gauri and Vikram’s actions, and also showed the reader the view point of a person with magical abilities and their thoughts of the Tournament of Wishes. It was interesting to read about how she feels about choice as a vishakanya, a topic that Roshani Chokshi has also discussed in more detail in her novella The Vishakanya’s Choice (my review is here), which follows the story of a different vishakanya.
The romance is truly wonderful in this book. I loved how it slowly picked up momentum from one scene to another and how they didn’t push each other.
The ableist word “insane” is used in the text.
Once again, Roshani Chokshi has wowed me with her writing. I love how magical and beautiful her writing is and her stories are a joy to read. A Crown of Wishes is a lovely companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen. I highly recommend it. If you read it, please don’t expect it to be written similarly to the previous novel as it is most certainly not written similarly.
Have you read A Crown of Wishes? How did you like it? If you’ve read A Star-Touched Queen, what did you think about both of the books? Did you find it confusing that the two books were so different?