- A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-250-08549-8 $18.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-250-08550-4 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 8-12
Princess Gauri, now the prisoner in a Ujijain jail, wants nothing more than to reclaim [End Page 260] her kingdom from her devious brother, Skanda. Vikram, the prince of Ujijain, wants nothing more than to be allowed to govern his realm rather than merely serve as a figurehead. An invitation to the Tournament of Wishes by the Lord of Wealth and Treasures brings the two strangers together in the otherworldly land of Alaka, and they must work together to fulfill the Lord’s given tasks; only one of the pair, however, can win the prized wish, and certain death will be the fate of the other. Chokshi revives the luscious and strange setting of Alaka from The Star-Touched Queen (BCCB 4/16), pulling in further elements of Indian folklore for creatures both charming and terrifying, such as the poisonous vishakanyas and the beastly vanaras of the Night Bazaar. Set against this vivid backdrop is a story with two skillfully drawn protagonists: Vikram’s cunning matches Gauri’s fearsomeness to make some serious crackling chemistry, but the two are just as interesting individually as they are together. Knowledge of the previous book is helpful but not necessary, and this gem will likely send those new to Alaka back to the companion story as its fans wait for another invitation to Chokshi’s luminous world.