This is a sequel....well maybe a companion book, kind of, which I reviewed here: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN
While the first book was mesmerizing with some bits of confusion over character development, I absolutely LOVED the second book.
Before I get into it, an amazon summary, "From the author of The Star-Touched Queen comes a beautiful lush fantasy, Roshani Chokshi's A Crown of Wishes.
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.
Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR The Star-Touched Queen; don't read any farther if you don't want anything spoiled.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT FOR The Star-Touched Queen. YE HAVE BEEN WARNED!
So, what I failed to mention in the blog review about The Star-Touched Queen, is Maya's half sister Gauri. Arguably, Maya's relationship with Gauri probably was integral to the story because it truly showcased Maya's humanity, but I significantly glossed over it because I had other priorities in that review. In summary, Maya loves Gauri, told her lots of stories as a child, while Maya was away in Akaran, a lot of time passed in the mortal realm, and Gauri grew up to be one amazing adult. So, A Crown of Wishes starts with Gauri as an adult.
So Gauri is Maya's sister. The story begins with her living in the dungeons of another kingdom after her unsuccessful attempt at overthrowing her brother for the throne of Bharata.
Enter Vikram, the fox prince, aka the soon to be puppet king. Gauri is trapped in his kingdom's dungeon. He is very passionate about his country, but he is the adopted son of the king, not a blood heir. The king does not seem to have other children of any sort, adopted, birthed, or through mythical creation. ...I don't know, I just have to cover all the bases with fantasy stories. YOU'RE WELCOME.
Enter, the Lord of Wealth, who entices Vikram with the tournament of wishes. There's a few catches (which are revealed later), but the first catch is he has to find his partner.
Enter Gauri, an escape from the dungeon, and suddenly a manic adventure through the countryside, myths, and magic.
If the purpose of the first book was to only build the world for the second book, I'm suddenly mostly fine with it, because I loved the second book.
Gauri is a great heroine as she is very balanced between flaws/strengths and is very human.
Vikram is great because he's kind of got the clever, devil-may-care attitude with lots of humor sprinkled in.
There's also a THIRD narrator (did I mention the story switches between three different narrators perspectives? Because it does. SURPRISE) who is unique. I was fascinated with the third narrator, but I loved Vikram's narrations the most, even though we had the most chapters from Gauri's point of view. I also love Gauri, but there's just something special about Vikram.
It was just a great story. The only slight drawback, was when the magic and splendor of the other realm was playing out, sometimes it was a little difficult not to get lost in the details. BUT, that will not deter me from making this a recommended book. Even though the first one isn't. It knows what it did.