When Gauri, the princess of Bharata, meets Prince Vikram while being held captive by his people in Ujijain, her life takes a magical turn. Invited by the Lord of Wealth to participate in his Tournament of Wishes, the two flee Ujijain and make their way into a land of magic to compete for the opportunity to win a wish.
I believe this book is based around Indian mythology, which was a fresh and interesting genre for me. I love the world the book is set in, with unusual magical beings and fantastic world-building. The game-style story was very reminiscent of books like Caraval, so it was really nice to see this one done in an entirely different setting – it made the story a bit different from others like it.
I liked the characters – Vikram and Gauri are both sweet and relatable – and I loved Roshani’s writing style. For a while, I felt Aasha’s storyline was a bit irrelevant, but she did start to fit into the book better towards the end. For me, the book could have been longer: the story felt a little rushed. Gauri and Vikram had barely arrived in Alaka before they’d completed their tasks and the tournament was over. It could have contained a lot more detail and slower pacing without becoming too long or too descriptive.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I was expecting. It’s creative, well written, and the romance between Gauri and Vikram is lovely (not too angsty or forced like so many YA romances are). I would definitely read more from Roshani Chokshi.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.