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.
Disclaimers: We received an advanced digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (St. Martin’s Griffin). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers you have been warned.
Why we chose it: Impulse.
Review: Thank heavens for wishes being granted!
We wished for this book on NetGalley before reading The Star Touched Queen and it we wondered whether it was a bit hasty of us. We started reading The Star Touched Queen the day after wishing and it wasn’t good. We disliked almost everything about it. The characters didn’t come to life inside us, the writing felt clumsy and rushed and we genuinely thought the plot was just stupid. We gave up before reaching fifty percent.
People say that you must be careful what you wish for. You must know what it is you want and when we were granted the opportunity to read this book early, we realised exactly what it was we wanted.
We wanted a book that was better than its predecessor and we got that.
A Crown of Wishes gave us the story of a prince and a princess. Of a boy and a girl, a scholar and a warrior. It gave us the story of a thousand people even if it focused on only a few.
A Crown of Wishes taught us a lesson in perspective and it set loose stars and art inside us. There are images of wonder and magic and thrones belonging to distant lands that flicker behind our eyelids. It’s all because of Roshani’s writing.
There’s something so ethereal and grounding about the way she organises words into sentences on pages that makes us get lost in our head. Read this book was a vastly different experience.
A Crown of Wishes is bloody brilliant!
We followed Vikram and Gauri as they went from hesitant and in some ways unwilling allies to friends and then to more and we enjoyed every second of it.
Gauri is a warrior. She is a princess and she is a jewel. She knows the value of a blades and armour and she knows the value of a well-crafted face of makeup. She’s a clever woman and we appreciated her chapters. It was interesting to compare Maya’s relationship with Mother Dhina and Gauri’s relationship with her. To Maya, Mother Dhina was a curse, but to Gauri she is a mentor. She taught her how to wield her words, how to hone her body into a silent sort of weapon with pearl dust and kohl.
It was fascinating.
Vikram is a scholar. He’s a prince and he is a puppet. He knows the importance of words just as well as he knows the need for running. For pushing oneself faster and harder until you can run away from the nightmares that plague you to the things you dream of. When we went into this novel we expected the common prince. Arrogant and deadly with a blade. Vikram was neither. In fact, he reminded us of our self. Deep thinking and careful with wants so big you could eclipse the sun.
Something both of them had in common was the desire to make things right in their individual kingdoms. Their desire to rule and take power.
All of it, they came to discover could be granted with a wish. A wish that could be won by playing a special kind of game. One where everyone’s a contestant and where the challenges start at acceptance and not upon arrival.
We were intrigued by the game. It was difficult and nonsensical. There didn’t seem to be any sort of rules and the requirements for winning were many and varied. Only the hosts know what it takes to win and they were odd hosts indeed.
Kubera and Kuveira. A child and a river. They had such interesting takes on stories and on wishes. They made us think and if we could we’d sit down and chat with them.
You guys know our thoughts on books with chapters that alternate in terms of viewpoint. You know what we think if the two voices that the chapters are written in are male and female. What you don’t know, however, are our thoughts on a book that occasionally has a third point of view.
Would this third character create a love triangle of sorts? Would Vikram fall for someone else or would it be Gauri that falls in love with this newcomer?
We can happily say this third person. This intriguing girl named Aasha didn’t come into A Crown of Wishes to create some idiotic romantic tension. Instead she entered the book as an individual wanting something she never had the chance to experience because it was robbed from her.
She taught us something too.
She taught us that wants can be all consuming. They can take your heart and your mind and twist them until the only thing you need is something you can’t possibly have. She taught us that secondary characters aren’t always secondary characters. They are the hero or the villain or the hero and the villain in their own story.
We loved being inside her head, experiencing her doubts and everything she had to offer.
To sum up everything that is this book would be, we think, impossible. Many people will take many different things from it, but we read the last sentence knowing that different perspectives and voices are necessary to have a better understanding of the world. The voices in can come from others or they can come from your heart, mind and soul, but one thing is certain. There is a magic in wishes that cannot truly be captured except inside a book.
AS ALWAYS THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING OUR REVIEW! What is it that you wish for? Do you reach for the stars or do you reach deep inside to shape the world around you? Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:
And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.