Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Magical Realism
Length: 304 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: February 14th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales–the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.

Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after–and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.

But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.

Combining the lush, haunting atmosphere of Mexican Gothic with the dreamy enchantment of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ALC.


Audiobook review: LOVED the audio. I thought the narrators (hello Steve West, I love you) were great. I didn’t have to switch audio speeds between them and thought it did enhance the story.

I wish I had more to say, but I am feeling completely MEH about this entire book. I have no distinct feelings and that’s saying something on it’s own.

I’m not sure where this book got the idea it’s a romance? But it is not. There’s some undertones and there is a marriage, yet that’s kind of it. This mostly focuses around one POV (that takes place in the past) and how that is affecting the bridegroom in the present. There was kind of a Narnia quality to this with a dark and fairy like overtone.

The writing gives an atmospheric vibe. I can see the gothicness with the spooky house that seems to know all. I didn’t have any complaints about the writing itself, more so, the execution of the plot.

A super toxic friendship that clearly goes predictably south didn’t bring anything new to the table. The set-up leads you to the inevitable conclusion.

Overall audience notes:

  • Magical Realism
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: multiple vague to closed door; low innuendo
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: adult predation of a child, grooming, bullying, murder

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Book Review

Book Review: The Bronzed Beasts (The Gilded Wolves #3) by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 21st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


In love they breathed. In destiny they believed. In the end, will divinity be their demise?

After Séverin’s seeming betrayal, the crew is fractured. Armed with only a handful of hints, Enrique, Laila, Hypnos and Zofia must find their way through the snarled, haunted waterways of Venice, Italy to locate Séverin.

Meanwhile, Séverin must balance the deranged whims of the Patriarch of the Fallen House and discover the location of a temple beneath a plague island where the Divine Lyre can be played and all that he desires will come to pass.

With only ten days until Laila expires, the crew will face plague pits and deadly masquerades, unearthly songs and the shining steps of a temple whose powers might offer divinity itself… but at a price they may not be willing to pay.

Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with the final riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever. 


Do you ever sit on a review because you’re not sure what to write?

That’s how I feel here.

I wanted to love this desperately because I’ve enjoyed the whole series, but something ultimately did not click for me here. I didn’t feel as connected to the characters, the story seemed repetitive and very slow moving, and the ending? *sigh*

I missed this groups usual nature around each other. I know things have changed. So much changed though that I felt like I was looking at a new cast at times. I wanted more puzzle solving and quiet antics. I needed more of them together and working together too.

The ending left me really shrugging my shoulders. Since my emotional connection had dissipated I found I was more vexed than anything about what happened. It left a few things open and another thought or two that I think would spoil if I said. The epilogue was incredibly generic and I’m still in a twist about it.

It was nice being back in this world and getting to read the last tale of The Gilded Wolves. The interesting historical fiction + fantasy combo worked for me (even if it didn’t always make sense). I’m hopeful to read whatever Chokshi writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Historical Fiction + Fantasy
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, murder, explosions, some blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 342 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned 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, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. 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? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.


I’ve been sitting on this review for a few days because I don’t know what I want to actually write. I’m sad to say this was not a hit for me, and even on audio where I listen to it at a fast pace (and it’s only 9 hours) I found myself bored.

Things started off on a good foot with our main character, Maya and her curse. I liked the initial set-up, then some insta-love got thrown in. But later you find out it’s not insta-love? Sort-of? I feel like I was taken on this convoluted journey that only made sense at the very end. And by then, I had already decided I didn’t want to read the sequel.

There wasn’t much depth to anybody. New characters showed up and didn’t make a name for themselves. So much so, I can’t give you any names of any other characters. I don’t remember them and that’s the crux of this entire novel.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexism, sexual assault by coercion, child abuse, domestic abuse (recounted), forced attempted suicide, stillbirth mentioned, death of loved ones, captivity, bullying, war themes

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Book Review

Book Review: Once More Upon A Time by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance Novella
Length: Audio: 3 hours, 26 mins
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Audible
Release Date: June 4th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


A dazzling fairy tale about falling in love again by the New York Times best-selling author of The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded Wolves.

Once upon a time, there was a king and queen in a land called Love’s Keep who once loved one another, but alas, no more. Without love, they were doomed to be ousted from their kingdom at the end of a year and a day.

A year and a day passed.

This is where their story starts.

Imelda and Ambrose can’t remember why they got married. A year and a day ago, Ambrose consulted a witch, trading their love to save Imelda’s life – and they’ve been stuck with one another ever since. When that same witch pays them a visit on the day they lose their kingdom, she promises to make their deepest wishes come true in exchange for a simple favor and a short journey. With nothing left to lose, Imelda and Ambrose agree. But, over the course of their enchanted road trip peppered with a delirious cloak, cannibals, and at least one honey badger, something magical happens…little by little, step by step, they regain what they had forgotten.

They remember why they fell in love.

When the end of their journey nears and they confront parting ways forever, a new decision faces them. Will Imelda and Ambrose choose their deepest wishes, or will they choose each other – again?


No really, this was legit one of those books where everything screamed a fairy tale. A King and Queen, an evil witch, a daring adventure, a noble steed, you think it should be there, it is.

Which was its goodness and its downfall.

I listened to this on a whim because it was available through my Audible account for free (who can pass up free?). I wasn’t expecting much of a little novella. This was cute and sweet and made me laugh a few times while listening to it.

There’s a lot shoved in for a 3.5 hour audio book which was nice. I felt like I still got enough background and information on characters to care what happened and it was a nice story to listen to in-between bigger books. I enjoyed how Ambrose and Imelda remembered how the had fallen in love and got a chance to start anew. Plenty of good tid-bits in here. Some pieces were definitely silly, but I feel if you go into this knowing that and knowing how much of a fairy tale it is, you’ll find the enjoyable pieces too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fairy tale romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses, one closed door scene
  • Violence: physical, poison

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