Current Favourite

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar // Night Markets, Star Courts and Desi goodness

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.

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman's Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

  (A huge thank you to the HOV Tours and HarperTeen for the eARC and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. 

~When a book sees you~

     Yes I am absolutely going to start this review by screaming about just how desi this book was! It's not everyday I come across a book in which I can see myself. Star Daughter gave me stories from my childhood, it gave me apsaras and naginis, aloo matar and rasmalai, nakshatras and svargalok.

     Right from the beginning, I was grinning like a monkey because I felt so represented. This book is brown girl magic, steeped in Hindu folklore, filled with overbearing desi aunties and delicious Indian food.

~Lets talk about friendship~

     Sheetal and Minal's friendship is to die for. I absolutely adored how fiercely loyal they were to each other. I'm so here for positive female friendships with the sweetest moments! Sheetal couldn't have gone through her quest without the bubbly, ever optimistic Minal by her side. And can we talk about Minal? Where can I get the ever optimistic, bubbly Minal for a best friend?

     I also loved the other friendships that sprang up. The friendship between Sheetal and Kaushal is adorable, both of them bonding over the feeling of not quite belonging and stories from their completely different worlds.

     Also I have to mention that the casual queer rep in this book was so wholesome!

~Even in the court of stars, there be politics and scheming~

     The plot albeit a bit predictable, plays out wonderfully. I loved getting to know how the court works and why the competition Sheetal was being thrust into was needed in the first place. It was so intersting seeing the different Star Houses compete, vying for the throne for reasons of their own.

     The politics of the court is an important part of the story and I enjoyed every bit of it. The ending was a bit rushed but I still enjoyed the adrenaline rush towards the end when things were clicking into place and starting to make sense.

~A world spun from the night sky and embedded with stars~

     The world building was my most favorite part of it all. And the author describes it all so beautifully I couldn't help but fall in love with it all. The night market where people sell fruits like geodes and barrettes shaped like clouds; where you could also get perfumes that let you walk on cloud. the Star Court with it's flower shaped palaces and the Hall of Mirrors.

     The mythology and the little fairytale stories the author added here and there added so much to the magical world. Star hunters and Naginis who wore the stars in their hair added to the breathtaking beauty of the world.

~And there was a boy~

     While the romance wasn't my favourite aspect of the story, I liked how Sheetal and Dev had such a realistic relationship. They had their ups and downs, their moments of misunderstanding and those of tenderness.

~Souls for a sequel and a spinoff~

I would gladly sell my soul to get a spin-off of Minal. It would be absolutely amazing shopping with her at the night court while she flirted with a star.

~#OwnVoices Reflection~

Dear Star Daughter,, ⁣

Thank you for the cloud barrettes and geode fruits. Thank you for stories of apsaras and nagini, for the overbearing desi aunties and the allure of svarglok. For dilrubas and ghararas. For skyberry cordials and aloo matar. ⁣

Thank you letting me see myself in you ⁣

Star Daughter has been my most anticipated read for 2020 even before I knew what it was about. I saw the cover and I saw a brown girl who looked like me except for her silver locks and who wore clothes I would wear to a party. And then I read the synopsis and I remember messaging the lovely author thanking her for writing a book in which I could see myself even before I read it. (She replied ever so sweetly to my crazy fangirling by the way!) ⁣

It's not everyday that I come across a book that makes me feel "This is for me" and Star Daughter made me feel that. Thank you for this piece of Brown girl magic.


~Spotify Playlist~

What is the last book you read dealing with stars and moons? I'm on a celestial night sky high! Tell me in the comments below!