Hello friends! Today, I have a really exciting post ^_^ I am part of a blog tour!!!!! I am super grateful to #Hearourvoices for kindly giving me this opportunity to be a host for this tour <3 I truly admire the work they do to give own voices reviewers a chance to read upcoming own voices releases. Do check out their twitter where they will be updating about other blog posts and support the other hosts! You can check the directory out to find out more about the creators too.
Before I begin my review, let’s learn about the gorgeous book that is Star Daughter and more about the author, Shveta Thakrar! I seriously adore the cover, it is definitely my favourite cover of the year.
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.
The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.
Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.
Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.
The author, Shveta Thakrar
Shveta Thakrar is a part-time nagini and full-time believer in magic. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies including Enchanted Living, Uncanny Magazine, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, and Toil & Trouble.
Her debut young adult fantasy novel, Star Daughter, is forthcoming from HarperTeen on August 11, 2020. When not spinning stories about spider silk and shadows, magic and marauders, and courageous girls illuminated by dancing rainbow flames, Shveta crafts, devours books, daydreams, travels, bakes, and occasionally even plays her harp.
(Shveta is represented by Beth Phelan of the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.)
When I read the synopsis, my interest was immediately piqued! A story inspired by Indian mythology involving stars?! A half-star, half-human main character?! Court intrigue?! I was sold. After reading the book, I can confirm that this book was AMAZING! I rated it 5 stars!
Here are 4 aspects that I loved about this book:
Wonderful cast of characters
The characters were so well-developed. They each had their motivations. The bad/evil characters in the story were well fleshed out and they were not evil for the sake of being evil. Sheetal, the main character is incredibly precious. I love her, okay? She cares so deeply for her parents and her best friend, Minal. Reading about her relationship with her parents and friendship with Minal felt so heartwarming. (Especially that scene when she was visiting her father in the hospital T.T) Sheetal was also not afraid to question things. She did not blindly follow along with everything, especially when it came to the competition. She undergoes a lot of growth throughout the story. This made me root for her even more. Minal is such a cinnamon bun too. She is incredibly supportive of Sheetal and stood through thick and thin with her. She did so much to ensure that Sheetal would not feel alone in the Star court. Sheetal’s father was such a good father. Usually in YA, parents are absent so it was refreshing to read about the parents. He had a heart of gold and always looked out for his family. His love for Sheetal’s mother was beautiful, pure and everlasting. I love that we were given insights into the other competitors’ lives. We get to learn about their reasons for entering the competition. They were definitely an interesting set of characters.
It has been a while since I have connected with romance. I was pleasantly surprised by the romance in this book. I really loved Dev and Sheetal’s relationship. I felt like it had the perfect amount of angst (the miscommunication aspect was understandable and made sense) and cuteness/fluffiness. I really felt that they were meant for each other. The growth in their relationship was beautiful to read. Also, the romance did not feel like it was overshadowing the plot which a lot of fantasy tends to do. I don’t know if this is a spoiler but there was an adorable sapphic romance too. Their relationship was so sweet and heartwarming.
Gorgeous, luscious writing
The prose was beautiful!!! I felt myself pausing to highlight so many of the beautiful descriptions and metaphors. There were a lot of wholesome moments that made me tear up. Here are a few of my favourites:
“Magic isolates you. You’re this misfit who doesn’t belong anywhere, and you want to make it all go away, but at the same time, you crave it, and you can’t help craving it. You’re just stuck.”
“Even Sheetal could feel the disquiet altering the starry melody.”
“People had to grow on their own, make their own decisions, good and bad. It was those mistakes and the choice or refusal to learn from them that gave life-“
The writing had the perfect blend of humour, metaphors and descriptions. The descriptions were easy to understand yet sophisticated. The story moved at a good pace and I did not feel bogged down while reading. It was an enjoyable ride! I loved learning about the various Nakhasatras.
An ethereal world
The world-building was exquisite. I loved the mystical atmosphere of the Night Market- you can find mythical creatures roaming about, magic and charms as well as strange concoctions amongst many things. I could vividly imagine myself at the market, following Sheetal and Minal along. Finally, the Star/Celestial court was out of this world. The descriptions of Stars were so gorgeous! I could feel the emotions that they were feeling. The magic system were really interesting too, especially the aspect of inspiration and expressing emotions in their “melody”. If you would like to explore an unique world, this book would be a great start!
Lastly, along with my review, I am doing an #ownvoices reflection.
I am Bengali so I identify as Desi. Being Desi, it is not often that I see Desi representation in Fantasy, let alone Bengali representation. I was so overjoyed when I found out about this book this year. However, I did not know when I would be able to read it. Sadly, being in Singapore, not all books are available in the libraries and I cannot afford to buy books all the time 🙁 When I was selected for this tour, I was over the moon :”)
I grew up watching a lot of Hindi shows inspired by Indian mythology so reading about it made me so happy. I felt seen by so many aspects of the story such as the Desi aunties comparing their children’s career paths/education/grades, (HAHA XD) an overprotective dad and the delicious descriptions of food! This is personal but when Sheetal was playing the harp or there was any mention of the stars playing musical instruments, it took me back to the days when I played the harmonium. The mentions of the various Hindi songs hit close to home too as I grew up listening to the songs.
I feel blessed to have experienced this beautiful world. I hope that the book industry would uplift more authors of colour as stories such as this are very important to us.
Thank you so much for reading this review! Once again, I am so happy I got a chance to be a part of this tour. I hope I have convinced you to read Star Daughter 😉 If you have read/are reading Star Daughter, let me know so we can fangirl together! Till next time, take care!