First book on the TBR down! *applause*
I have seen this book circulating around for a while. It captured my attention recently when I bought it off of Book Outlet on one of my recent books splurges! Ummm…the thing is is that I read the synopsis once and so going into the book I forgot what it was about completely! I was so in the dark going into this book…save for a few things I had seen on the internet!
SO as an experiment I decided to just not read the synopsis before reading the book. I was going to trust past-Rendz and read a book that I forgot why I wanted to read.
Past-Rendz is good. She knows what I like and yes, the experiment was successful in that I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
I really enjoyed this book. Like A L O T! It was the perfect blend of fantasy, myth and magic that made me feel…otherworldly! Plus, Roshani is just an amazing story-teller and her words just make you feel magical!
What I liked:
The Writing: Boy, oh boy. Can Roshani write? Yes. Can Roshani capture your attention within the first few lines of the story? Yes. Does she write like magic? Y E S! Seriously people, the first few lines of this novel are so utterly beautiful. The sense of wonder and magic that I began to feel as I went along reading this book is incredible. Roshani is such an amazing writer because it is so visual yet not at the same time. There are some sayings I could imagine like:
“I know your soul. Everything else is just an ornament.” (This I can imagine)
There are others that are still so beautiful but I can’t fully wrap my head around them, like:
“I want to measure eternity with your laughter.” (Not very easy to picture, but still so beautiful.)
Honestly, her writing is so amazing, so atmospheric and just blows me away.
The Myth: This book has a lot of Indian myth that influenced it. I know next to nothing about Indian mythology. Let me tell you: I want to know more. It is so interesting reading about all the creatures and legends of myth that are used in the story. Their descriptions and characteristics are fascinating. They enrich the main story further and bring an extra little bit of magic to Roshani’s already magical prose. This is honestly one of my favourite aspects of the novel.
The Characters: This book does not have a huge cast of characters. Despite this I was never really bored. The few side characters that are involved are very entertaining and add humour and drama to the lives of the main characters.
Maya – I really enjoyed Maya’s character. I loved the fact that her strength doesn’t lie in her physical adeptness but in her passion for knowledge and compassion. I really enjoyed her journey as she travels to discover who she is and where she belongs in the world. Her relationship with her sister Guari is one of my favourite aspects of the novel. They are so closely bonded and reading about them together made my heart melt. Maya is smart, loyal and very curious! I did find her a little gullible at times but it didn’t take away from her amazing character.
Amar – He like most YA boys, has his secrets and darker personalities. Still I found him to be very caring and loyal. I don’t want to give too much away, but his journey with Maya was at the same time heart warming and breaking. There were so many times wanted to just hug him and other times I wanted to shake him! He is very poetic in his words. *Courtesy of Roshani, of course* Also, he is 🔥🔥🔥 so that is an extra bonus. I want to know more about him and how he came to be who he is, maybe that will require a little extra reading from other sources though!
The Romance: Swoon, after swoon, after swoon. Just one huge giant swoon. I really enjoyed it. At first I though the story revolved to much around their romance and that things were moving pretty quick…then I read a certain passage…which lead to certain things and revelations and I went:
To be clear, I thoroughly enjoyed their relationship.
The World(s): WOW! Just, wow! There are so many different places that are explored. The descriptions really kept a visual image growing in my mind. The detail in this novel is amazing, I wish I could travel there and see the magic for myself. But to get there would be probably the last thing I do *wink wink*
*Maybe a spoiler…Not really?*
The Fact that AKARAN is NARAKA Spelled Backwards!: This little revelation of mine had me more shocked than Amar’s big revelation!
What I Disliked:
I Needed A Little More Umph: I don’t know if it was the fact that it was 12:30 am and I had had such a tiring day, but going through the final pages didn’t keep me awake and on edge. My eyes were closing and I had to go back and re-read passages I had already read. Perhaps I was just very tired…but I felt that those final pages were missing a little UMPH and pzazz to keep me awake and tentative. It just didn’t hook me like I wanted it too.
I Want More of an After: I really loved the ending, but I want to know more about what happens after. Also, I just really want to read more Roshani’ work!
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I am very upset that I did not go to her signing when she came up to Toronto last year. Honestly, past Rendz is great at choosing books but sucks when it it comes to deciding to go to signings or not. I cannot wait to read the sequel-not-sequel, A Crown of Wishes which follows the story of Guari and the war hero Vikram! I just recently read Mandy’s @BookPrincessReviews review on it and I am so, so excited to get a start on it! Plus there is going to be a prequel novella and I am very excited to read that backstory!!!!
Rating: 4.5 / 5 (A stunning novel!)
Recommend: For those who want to feel magic in the form of written words, read this. For those who want a little myth and legend to touch their bookish souls, read this.
Alright-y people, I’m off to read Caraval! I’m literally so excited! I am finally reading my most anticipated read of the year!!!!