Star-Touched Stories

336p. Wednesday Bks. Aug. 2018. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781250180797.
Gr 8 Up—Chokshi returns to the world of her first two novels in this collection of novellas. Fans of The Star-Touched Queen will appreciate its prequel novella "Death and Night," which follows the Dharma Raja throughout his unlikely courtship of Night incarnate. In A Crown of Wishes, Aasha, a vishakanya whose very touch is deadly, earned her own wish in the Tournament of Wishes—the chance to choose to live as a human. But making a place for herself in that world is harder than Aasha expected. As Gauri and Vikram prepare to unite their kingdoms in "Poison and Gold," Aasha has to embrace both her humanity and her vishakanya side. She trains under the fierce but fascinating Spy Mistress in an attempt to make a place for herself. Set after both novels in the series, "Rose and Sword" recalls a well-known story in the Empire of Bharat-Jain where, long ago, a bride was poised to become a widow before her wedding henna had even dried. She has to travel through Death and back to reclaim her husband's last breath. Chokshi is in top form with the lush world-building and vivid language fans of this series have come to love. Each novella focuses on an ambitious heroine as she confronts not just her fears but her desires.
VERDICT A must-read for fans of the series and a charming introduction to the author and her works.

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