Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Thoughts: ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! I love the colors, the flowing dress, the girl riding on the horse, the kingdom in the background, the stars. Just overall absolutely beautiful!
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.
Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
WOW… I seriously think Roshani Chokshi just might be my new favorite author! Her writing is exquisite, the world building is lush with beautiful written imagery, the spell-binding. At the end of the book I just held the book and savored the story and her words…
This story is about two people. A girl, “with blood on her lips and fangs in the heart” also known as The ‘Jewel of Bharata.’ Gauri is who she’s fierce because she’s had to become so in order to survive her life with her brother as King. She was raised to use cosmetics as a sort of war paint, to paint herself as an armor in silk as makeup. Her character is brilliant as she tries so desperately to save her people from the cruel tyranny of her brother. But she looses over and over, so her life has hardened her and made her hide her weaknesses and strike out at any and all her enemies.
“Existence is the gift. Life is a choice.”
Then we also have Vikram. Also known as the Fox Prince. In his world he is the heir to the throne but will never be accepted among his piers regardless of how his countrymen praise his mind and foxy slyness. He was adopted and therefore seen as a puppet by those who would use that knowledge to rule through him instead. He is confident in his smarts and never doubts himself. Yet he is also susceptible to hurt and pain which is hides behind smirks and off handed remarks. He wants be seen as someone with potential to rule the throne on his own merits and not by blood.
“Humanity has nothing to do with what runs through your veins or shows up on your skin.”
Here we have these two people who actually aren’t allied kingdoms. In fact they kind of hate each other. But with a chance meeting they’ve both decided to put aside their differences for a time as each decide they want to enter the tournament of wishes in order to get a wish. With everything to lose they had to join forces and help each other out in sticky situations, each having to change and grow in order to survive the tournament.
I absolutely loved the gods involved and how vivid the author painted them. The kingdoms in which Gauri and Vikram have to pass through were amazing and vibrant. I appreciated the backstories and time spent on the history and differences between each kingdom and ruler.
Overall I can’t give this book enough stars I loved it so much. Seriously am in love with the writing style and storytelling by this author and cannot wait to read more from her!
Sexual Content: mild
* A HUGE thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for this ARC which I got in exchange for an honest review*