Whenever you think of Wonderland or Neverland or just anything stupid-beautiful, this book should be the first thing that comes to mind. Actually no, anything Roshani Chokshi has written is stupid-beautiful. It feels like a poem had a baby with a fantasy and out came Chokshi’s books. The way she makes you see things is something you will get completely lost in. I found myself wanting to read more of the magical place she pieced together.
Caraval and The Night Circus are two other books that I would compare to this marvelous book. If you loved The Star-Touched Queen, just know that this was written a little differently. I myself had a little bit of a hard time piecing things together in The Star-Touched Queen because I was so distracted by how much description and beautiful sentences there were. But, I did end up loving it, and you can see my review for it here. You should know that the writing is different between these two books, so you may find yourself in love with it.
You technically don’t even have to read The Star-Touched Queen in order to read this book, since it was a companion novel, though I highly recommend that you do. I learned the hard way with Leigh Bardugo’s books that even though you can technically read a series (Six of Crows) without reading the previous series (Grisha), doesn’t mean that you should. There are hints about The Star Touched Queen through out the book that will make you smile, but the fixed-content itself is completely separate.
So the characters in this book are what made it so much better to me. You have two royals thrown together in a quest to win a wondrous price. Both have completely different ideas on what to do with the price, but that doesn’t stop them from regrettably working together. One is a princess named Gauri that is being held captive by the country that Prince Vikram will rule. They are polar opposites not only in country but in spirit too. Where Vikram has wit, Gauri has has determination and strength. Where Vikram has spur of the moment, Gauri has ponder and thought out. Gauri is more serious and Vikram loves that (because how else is a prince going to stay entertained on a quest?).
You meet different types of beings in this book and just learn a lot more of this beautiful land Chokshi has brought before us. She deserves all the publicity and praise she is going to get with this book. It will blow you away.