Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi – ARC review

I received a copy of this lovely book from Wednesdayreads and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

Ever since I read the Star Touched Queen, I have been utterly in love with the worlds Roshani Chokshi pens. Her writing is so lush and vivid, and her characters are just as beautiful. A friend of mine described this series as “a fairytale with dark undertones” and that is the perfect way to describe it. Her books are truly classics of our time, and Roshani has made her way to the top of my favorite authors.

I was absolutely thrilled to a receive a review copy of this book, and it was a wonderful addition to the rest of the series. As The Star Touched Stories is a collection of Novellas, I will review each story individually and then the collection as whole at the end.

Please note that this review is spoiler free in regards to the content of this book alone. It will however contain spoilers to The Star-Touched Queen and Crown Of Wishes, as they are the first books in the series.

Death and Night (5/5)

This was the most beautifully written novella I have ever had the pleasure to read. I actually listened to this as an audio book first, as it was previously published before this collection was compiled. The world building is just as lush as the first two books in the series, and the story filled me with such a calm and warm sense of nostalgia as we got to revisit some of the characters we know and love.

My favorite part of this story was the banter. I loved the relationship between Death and Gumpta, and then that between Death and Night. It was also interesting to see Night (later known to us as Maya) interact as a sister to the same woman who would later become a villain in the series. Chokshi did an AMAZING job with the character development between these connecting stories, and I love gaining insight into some of the events that took place before the events of the first book in the series.

The only issue I had with the novella was a continuing theme throughout the collection- pacing. The end seemed very fast and sudden, while the rest of the story had been a bit more slow burning. I would have like to see more consistency with the pacing of this book, but overall I still loved this short story.

Poison and Gold (2/5)

This was certainly my least favorite of all the stories in this collection. The biggest reason being, as mentioned above, the pacing. Because Chokshi’s writing is so deep and beautiful, this story would have been soooo much better as a full novel rather than a short story. With the other two stories in the collection, the characters were already established. In this book, we still don’t know Aasha as well, and we are introduced to a very important but new main character, the spy mistress. With such a quickly paced story, I wasn’t able to enjoy Aashas development as much or the rest of the story. There were chunks that seemed to be missing out of the story, and long lapses of time were briefly surmised when they could have been shown in more detail.

The relationship in this book felt forced, and a large part of that is that the feelings seemed so sudden. We weren’t really given the time to get to see why Aasha falls for who she does, or what is so appealing about the love interest.

I did really like one thing about the book, which was the message of gaining trust and confidence in yourself. As Aasha has such a unique situation, she battles between who she was raised to be and who she is trying to be. She straddles the line between two worlds, and I love that throughout the story she learns to trust in who she truly is.

Rose and Sword (5/5)

Taken from the alternating points of view from one of our favorite characters and one of their descendants, this book was delectably nostalgic and made me want to reread the whole series again.

I can’t describe the story too much without giving away major spoilers, so I will shy away from reviewing that too heavily for now. However, I will say that I LOVED the adventure and the motivations behind the quest in this story, as well as how the alternating points of view spun the tale so eloquently.

My favorite part about this story (aside from being able to see one of my favorite characters and how the fare after the events of their story) is the message that relationships aren’t perfect. Throughout the story, the main character must see the less appealing but just as real negative parts of a relationship. Communication issues, as well as personality issues are addressed. I love that, and it is so rare to see in works of fiction. I love how a YA author is helping readers to see by means of this story that love isn’t perfect, and it can require a special kind of bravery to work through the challenges of relationships and marriage.

The Star-Touched Stories (4/5)

As a whole, I loved this addition to the series! I love seeing what happens to the beloved characters after their tales have “ended”, as well as gain insight into what shapes them into the people we meet in each book. The pacing was at times very strange, but I loved the themes of faith, trust, and upholding your values even in the hardest of times that were woven throughout the story.

Be sure to grab a copy of this novella collection as soon as it releases tomorrow, August 7th!

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