Hi guys! Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you choose a book for each of these three categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that hasn’t been released yet. This week all my picks are #OwnVoices books by Indian authors.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Maya’s cursed a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, earning her only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father arranges a wedding of political convenience. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: compassion, protection, desire But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust?
I absolutely adore this Indian fantasy novel inspired by the myths of Hades and Persephone and Cupid and Psyche. It’s so beautifully written and has the most magical and mysterious setting – populated with creatures from Indian folklore.
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
No one knows what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything to save her people, but it’s not enough. When the unthinkable happens Amrita finds herself a fugitive, alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
This was one of my most anticipated releases in 2017 (and not just because of the pretty cover), it came out in July – and I don’t understand why I still haven’t read it. The plot sounds amazing, I love books inspired by non-Western myths and folklore and hold your horses guys – it’s actually a standalone. I need to make this one a priority.
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, March 27th
Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off on exotic vacations, she’s spending her break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture. Is it any wonder she makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed and dare her to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.
I’ve read everything Roshani Chokshi has published so far, I think her writing is absolutely beautiful and though I only have two books to go by – she’s already earned a spot on my list of auto-buy authors. So far all her books have been YA, so this will be her middle-grade debut and I think the genre will suit her storytelling, which is always full of magic and wonder, perfectly.
Have you read any of these books? Are there any other books by Indian authors you’d recommend?