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Roshani Chokshi is a brand new author for me, and I was so excited to get the opportunity to review this book before its release. Chokshi is a master storyteller, as evidenced by her unique world-building and the imagery she creates with words alone. I felt like I was there right alongside Gauri and Vikram, seeing the magical gardens of Alaka and the fatal attractiveness of the vishakanya through their eyes.
Vikram is a prince, though one without a drop of royal blood. Adopted by the king when he was a young child, he has grown up knowing he will one day rule as merely a puppet and figurehead. Being adopted has hindered his chances for true freedom to rule. He is offered the chance to gain that which he desires most by competing in the Tournament of Wishes, but he is told he must find a partner, one who is both valuable in skills and equal in desperation. Gauri, a princess and the Jewel of Bharata, is imprisoned within the walls of Vikram's palace. When Vikram offers her a chance to escape in return for helping him on his quest, she agrees, if only to be sure she can get away from the palace. They quickly discover that this quest for wishes will come with much sacrifice and danger, but the potential good from their wishes far outweighs the possibility of death, or worse, being stuck in the Otherworld forever.
Of course, I must first say again how wonderful the descriptions were of the world the author built. It was amazing how easily I could picture everything in my head as I was reading. The chemistry between Vikram and Gauri was jumping off the pages. Their witty banter was comical and made me laugh several times. Both were equally matched in personality and spirit, though it took a while for them to realize it. When they became close, it was sweet to see them find comfort in each other while staying strong in the face of overwhelming challenges.
I am happy to say that this is a book I could recommend to anyone who asked, regardless of age or gender. It has battles, romance, and puzzles that are sure to entrance even the most reluctant of readers. I cannot wait to read more books by this author!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**