A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

“Existence is the gift. Life is a choice.”

Lyrical writing, incredible characters, intricate world-building and diverse themes!

As NJ and Annie embark on international travels, they embraced an international read along – special thanks to Netgalley for approving our Advanced Reader Copy request. This was one interesting read along from different parts of the world!!!

“The Lord of Wealth and Treasures Cordially Invites you to The Tournament of Wishes”… reading this novel is like being invited to a fairyland; it guarantees to be a magical, magnificent and awe-inspiring experience with lyrical writing that sparks your imagination. A Crown of Wishes follows the adventures of warrior princess Gauri and the cunning fox prince Vikram in the Tournament of Wishes to win their deepest hearts’ desires. This story is about so many things from self-discovery to the pursuit of power; vengeance and fear; choices and identity, desires and control, as well as love and sacrifice.  It’s an exciting premise for a YA fantasy novel and pays tributes to Chokshi’s previous novel The Star-Touched Queen. This book can be read as a stand-alone irrespective of whether you have or have not read The Star-Touched Queen. A Crown of Wishes has an otherworldliness feel to it and almost anything can happen in the magical, intriguing world of Alaka – at times, the story can be a little disorientating because of all the intricate stories interwoven into the larger story. The magical world of Alaka also follows a different set of rules than traditional fantasy worlds but adds new dimensions to the story. There’s just so much going on and so much to discover! In terms of characters, I enjoyed the hilarious banter between Gauri and Vikram, and Aasha’s story, they’re all characters that you can fall in love with. Overall it’s a great story worth reading.  I recommend this book for readers who loves books like Daughter of Smoke and Bones, Caraval and The Crown’s Game.

Other interesting quotes:

“Here’s how you kill: You stay silent, you make bargains that peel the layers off your soul one by one, you build a scaffolding of flimsy excuses and live your life on them. I may have killed to save, but I killed all the same.” – Roshani Chokshi, A Crown of Wishes

“The quest for power and treasure is a solitary one. Who else is the true enemy in such a quest but ourselves?” – Roshani Chokshi, A Crown of Wishes

“Humanity has nothing to do with what runs withough your veins or shows up on your skin.” – Roshani Chokshi, A Crown of Wishes

– NJ

NJ really sums this up nicely, to be honest I am not a fan of iBooks however I enjoyed this story during my plane ride and during extensive road travels. “A Crown of Wishes” is an intricately written, magnificent story that follows the journey of the heroine, Gauri who is in a world full of magical wonders and creatures of the deep. Lush world building and very imaginative, I was excited to read this after reading this author’s debut novel “The Star Touched Queen”. I found you can still read this as a stand alone regardless of some of the referencing to the first book. This book takes you into a whole new world with a very unique story line.. This is a really enjoyable and intriguing read that I recommend to all fans of YA Fantasy Fiction.

-Annie

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore

“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?” – Graceling, Kristin Cashore

5 stars! Heart pounding and heart warming read! 

Graceling is a dynamic, action-packed read. I liked the concept of a medieval fantasy world containing individuals born with special abilities known as Graces, which is both deadly and exploited. I feel that the author has put a lot of thought into the world and the main character Katsa, who had to come to terms with her grace (the grace of killing) and her identity. I loved all the elements in the story from world building, the quests, characters, dialogue, plot and themes about individualism and independent choices. The story had the right mix of pace, interesting abilities and unforgettable characters that stays with you until the last page. I enjoyed the coming-of-age aspects of Katsa’s character, the highlight for me was seeing her character grow and confidence in making her own choices. For the romantics, the romance element was endearing, heartwarming and memorable – Po is a charming, incredibly caring and courageous character deserving of our protagonist’s love, read it and tell me if you feel the same! I also didn’t see all the twists and turns, but for the few that I did see – I had to read on and see if my theory held. I want to thank Jacky who told me about this marvellous novel. 

– NJ

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads

Other interesting quotes:

“Katsa sat in the darkness of the Sunderan forest and understood three truths. She loved Po. She wanted Po. And she could never be anyone’s but her own.”

“How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people – girls, women – went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.”

“It seems better to me for a child to have these skills and never use them, than not have them and one day need them,” she said.