A Crown of Wishes

400p. ebook available. St. Martin's Griffin. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250085498.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—In this companion to The Star-Touched Queen, Chokshi returns to a vivid fantasy world steeped in Hindu mythology. After her brother's betrayal, Princess Gauri is awaiting execution in an enemy Ujijain prison. Prince Vikram faces the unhappy destiny of becoming a puppet ruler in Ujijain. With nothing left to lose and everything to gain, this pair of would-be monarchs forge an uneasy partnership and journey to the mythical world of Alaka to compete in the Tournament of Wishes, hosted by Kubera, the Lord of Treasures. Kubera has promised a wish to anyone who wins the competition, but after traveling through dangerous realms and meeting supernatural foes and allies, Gauri and Vikram will have to confront their own desires and fears if they hope to survive long enough to win. Gauri is a ruthless, calculating heroine who negotiates her femininity and perceived weaknesses as adeptly as she handles her swords and battle strategies. Vikram is a perfect contrast; his measured cunning is tempered by his introspection and optimism. All of the characters grasp for freedom and autonomy as they question what power and choice really mean. The lush language and vibrant imagery combine beautifully to evoke the book's elements of magic and legend. This is a novel about fierce want, unmet potential, magic, forged alliances, and the power of story.
VERDICT Careful plotting, multiple viewpoints, high-stakes action, and a slow-burn relationship make this heady fantasy completely engrossing. A first pick for YA collections.

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