***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
Death and Night
He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.
Poison and Gold
Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram's new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.
Rose and Sword
There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?
What I Liked:
I'll be the first to admit that I don't typically like short stories or novellas, and so I avoid them most of the time. I hate feeling like a story was cut short or could have been longer. Usually that's the feeling that most short stories and novellas leave. However, I will say that the three star-touched stories in this book are 100% worth the print bind-up that the publisher is publishing.
Roshani Chokshi's storytelling and masterful prose are on full display in these stories. If you've read any of her books, you know how creative and colorful her writing is. She likes comparisons and imagery and a good amount of detail, and she ties everything together so neatly and with a flourish. I really enjoy her prose, and I know some won't, but majority will.
And per her usual, her storytelling was wonderful. I did NOT feel like any of the stories were too short or ended with a sense of lacking. Perhaps it was because she had the room/page space to write freely? Regardless, each story felt full and complete. This is what short stories and novellas should feel like. No reader should feel like what they read wasn't enough, from that story.
There are three stories in this novella bind-up, and while I won't talk about each of them (that would take too long and this review would be entirely too boring), I will state that each story is unique and engaging in its own way. Each story has a lovely tale, a sweeping romance, and a wonderful, complete ending.
I love the Indian rep! These stories are written with so many dashes and dips of Indian culture. From the food to the lore, Chokshi has woven Indian culture into her stories seamlessly. These stories are great #ownvoices rep and just plain great.
Can I talk about the amount of food references? Each story had multiple mention of some sort of Indian food and well, yum. I'm Indian and am familiar with most of the dishes and it was gratifying to see Indian food in the stories. I couldn't help but feel a little hungry!
Definitely pick up this book if you want to experience more from Roshani Chokshi. The stories are so wonderful and engrossing. You won't regret it!
What I Did Not Like:
I have no complaints! This book is gorgeous, inside and out.
Would I Recommend It:
If you've read Chokshi's debut and sophomore novels, you'll want to pick up this one. Regardless of your feelings on short stories/novellas - remember, I don't usually read them. (I find that they are a waste of time.) I do recommend you read this book after you read The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes. You'll appreciate the short stories so much more. Especially Poison & Gold! So many Vikram and Gauri appearances.
4 stars. This is a masterpiece! The world, the writing, the storytelling, the romances. Roshani Chokshi is talented and deserves the success she has received and will receive. I can't wait to read more from her. Might I also recommend A Thousand Beginnings and Endings? Chokshi wrote an #ownvoices Filipino-inspired tale in that anthology. I loved it!