An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
Why You Should read A Crown of Wishes
“Surviving isn’t just about cutting out your heart and burning every feeling into ash. Sometimes it means taking what ever is thrown at you, beautiful or grotesque, poisonous or blissful, and carving out your life with the pieces you’re given.”
Gauri – my flawed fierce queen who slays 💗 I love her so much, she’s already so dear to my heart and I’m sitting here with hearts floating around me. Gauri is an amazing character, that girl is made out of glares, fight and fire. That girl will cut you if you disrespect her and I love how Gauri is helping her fellow girls in the harem fight. She’s incredibly fierce, tough and determined, not only towards her goals, but also towards helping the people in her kingdom. Gauri has a lot of good intentions, the people love her, but despite all her fight she also has a lot of flaws. Part of it lies in her “fight me” attitude. Gauri is a true warrior, but she’s also always on guard, paranoid even after what happened with her wretched brother who tried to end her. She has closed off her heart, a necessary measure after she was forced to play his political games. Her main struggle is that everything nice she tried to do backfired and hurt people instead. It’s heartbreaking to see that, because Gauri tries her best, but never manages to do good without something twisting things around.
“Guilt accretes. It builds and builds, whittling stairways and spires in the heart until a person can carry a city of hopelessness inside them.
My guilt was building a universe.”
Vikram – A very sassy prince that steals your heart 💗 To perfectly match Gauri we also have a sassy, always smirking prince to annoy her. Vikram has an interesting background story: he’s a prince, but only in title, as he was adopted by the king when he was found as a little child. His mother died in an accident he still blames himself for and not even his adopted father’s love can ease his biggest problem: Vikram fears that everyone sees him as someone who could never become more than a puppet king. The council knows that he’s not of royal blood and definitely let it show, he will only rule with their strings tugging at his hands and Vikram hates that they don’t see his potential. He wants to be more than all of this, showing how much he craves validation. He’s very easy to love too because Vikram is very smart sassy and loves to tease people (like Gauri). He also loves food, so that was very relatable! Unlike Gauri’s brother he is also honorable and always sees her as an equal. Vikram is a very respectful guy!
“It felt silly to say that he couldn’t bear to lose her. He never had her. She was not a thing to be possessed. But her entrance in his life had conjured light. And losing the light of her would plunge him into a darkness he’d never find his way out of.”
An Enemies-to-Lovers slow burn respect build on mutual respect 💗 THIS ROMANCE oh dear it will destroy you, because it’s so well written and doomed to make you feel all the things. Gauri and Vikram are simply perfect for each other, their match was truly made in heaven. There is soo much sass and banter and you all know how much I loved that, so I delighted in reading all their interactions and playful teasing. Both start out as members of the enemy nations, so Gauri isn’t exactly willing to join him in the Tournament of wishes, especially as she was a prisoner in his nation. Vikram on the other side needs a partner, even if it’s a warrior princess who can fight better than him. I LOVED that their roles were a bit reversed. Gauri is a fierce fighter, while Vikram is more of the diplomat – she legit has to protect HIM. I laughed so many times in this book because of those two and their endless teasing. Gauri definitely needs someone who can challenge her and stand his ground, so what better than a sassy prince bent on annoying her? On the other side Vikram also needs someone to shoot down his smirk sometimes. I loved how they were always partners, equals respecting each other. Also: everyone else ships them too … I mean the vetala, Aasha, the Tournament guests. It’s pretty clear to anyone that they should kiss, but both are stubborn, which makes the tension sooo thick.
A list of quotes with the BANTER that almost ended me
- “He turned to me, mischief glinting in his eyes. “How do they celebrate good fortune in Bharata? In Ujijain, we kiss.”
“Are you sure? You spend an awful amount of time looking at my lips.”
“That’s only because I’m horrified at the sheer idiocy of the words leaping out of them.”
- “Vikram’s eyes widened. “What’s this? Praise from Her Beastliness in the morning? Are you under a curse that makes you friendly before noon? If so, how do we make it permanent?”
- “He stared at me. “Are you done? ”
“May I get up? ”
“I see you like your men with their egos gutted.”
“Only when I’m feeling generous.”
- “Beside him, Gauri looked distraught. Chivalry demanded that he should inquire after the Princess’s well- being. She caught him looking at her and frowned:
“You’re heaving like a water buffalo in its death throes.” Never mind.”
- “You’re welcome, by the way, for dragging you back here. I had a couple offers to sell you and almost considered it.”
“Intriguing. For how much? ”
“A bag of gold, the ability to make thunderstorms go to sleep. Something else. Five goats? ” “Just five goats? I’m worth at least ten. Plus a cow.”
- “You’re certain that rakshasi fruit is out of your system?” asked Vikram. “Yes?”
“Good.” He took a deep breath. “Because, once more, I told you so.”
“You do realize that I don’t need the enhancements of demon fruit to knock you to the ground?”
So many lovable minor characters 💗 Roshani Chokshi is very good at always creating lovable minor characters with their own goals and characteristics that stand out! I especially adore how often she uses animals/creatures as funny companions, it always warms my heart! In this book we have got:
- Aasha 💕 a Vishakanya, a former human who’s now a creature of desire. Her touch is poisonous and she has spent a lot of time not being happy with her ‘gift’ like her sisters are. She yearns for more in life than being who she is, as she was never given a choice. Aasha wants to be free of her touch who only poisons, she wants to be human and is very curious about them. I loved that she became an unlikely friend to Gauri, it was so beautiful to see both women bonding and becoming allies even though it went against the rules of the Otherworld!
- The Vetala 💕 a creature who helps Vikram and Gauri out of a difficult situation, but does so to escape as well. The Vetala is incredibly annoying, delighting in adding snarky comments, being carried, patting people on the heads and shipping Gauri and Vikram. Even the Vetala knows they are meant to be,
- Vikram’s father 💕 he’s a super kind, precious old man who just wants to have his animals at court (even though they are dangerous and could eat a few council members). He’s got a pure heart and is also 100% convinced that Gauri should be Vikram’s queen.
- The Serpent King + his wife 💕 They gave me soo many Hades and Persephone vibes with their story and how no one believed them that they actually loved each other instead of the King being a horrible kidnapper. They were a minor couple but totally touched my heart, because you can see they care about each other!
- Vikram’s snake 💕 I cannot say how or when, but Vikram gets a magic snake and it’s trying to outsass him. The snake is a lie detector and is having none of his nonsense and whining, that was glorious to watch!
The Star-Touched Queen CAMEOS!!! 💗 You will only get them completely if you’ve read The Star-Touched Queen so that’s why I put them under spoilers, because I wanted to talk all about them. WE SEE MAYA AND AMAR AGAIN!!! I loved my babies from the first book and was so glad to see them again, especially as Gauri often talked about her sister Maya and the stories she told her. I can’t tell you how but they meet briefly and it was heartwarming! Finally they are reunited after Gauri not knowing what happened to her sister for so long. Also: Gauri and her brother-in-law Amar where sooo cute!!! I was sad that their meeting was over so soon, especially when Maya told her that they won’t see each other for a long time. It’s highly hinted at that they will reunite when Gauri dies and comes into Amar’s realm. MY POOR HEART CAN’T TAKE IT. Oh: also the most important character returned – the human eating, demon horse!
The amazing vivid world and the fitting writing 💗 I absolutely love Chokshi’s writing and the world, because the way she writes full of metaphors and details totally reflects in the world and vice versa. I’m a bit jealous that I cannot write like her, because the writing is just plain beautiful, there is no other way to describe it and it’s breathtaking how vivid it makes the Otherworld appear. Magic is a central theme in the story and I actually loved how whimsical the setting was. We get a lot of Indian mythology with different creatures and stories that appear in the Otherworld, where the Tournament of Wishes takes place. There are a lot of interesting creatures and spells that totally caught my breath. We also see the Night Bazaar and the Glass Garden from The Star-Touched Queen with their magic and danger. I also loved the plotline of the future of the magical and human world.
IN CONCLUSION: A Crown of Wishes was a delightful read for me, full of whimsical worlds, magic, complex characters and a heart-melting romance. The two leads of the story are unique in their own way and I couldn’t help but root for Gauri and Vikram on their quest to win themselves a wish. They confronted a lot of their own fears and it was great to see them working as equals. Their romance totally made me swoon and so did the banter and all the humor. I had the best reading experience! This is a companion novel that can be read separately, but please read The Star-Touched Queen a well!
Have you read A Crown of Wishes? What is your favorite book with Mythology? 💗