Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar, hosted by Hear Our Voices tours.
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.
Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.
– My Thoughts –
I didn’t yet know how to find our light.
Star Daughter is a starry, Ownvoices story where a half-star half-mortal teen has to journey to the stars in order to save her dying father.
Sheetal, our main character, is the daughter of a human father and a star mother and she has always tried to hide her half-celestial origins from the world. She’s dyed her silver hair black, ignored the starsong that consumes her every moment, but there comes a time when she becomes unable to control her powers and harms her father in the process. To save her father, she must ask her mother’s help; her mother who has returned home among the stars.
Reaching Svarglok, Sheetal is starstruck. Overwhelmed at meeting her mother again and her Nani and Nana(grandparents) for the first time, she’s both joyous and anxious to get to her father’s side. The decisions she makes are flawed, but realistic and relatable. Every day spent among the stars is a revelation, as she learns what it means to be one of them. Soon, secrets buried in the past are uncovered and Sheetal has to choose her allegiance between heavens and earth.
The setting is mesmerizing. There are immortals roaming with flawless skin, hair, and stunning kurtas, saris, and salwar kameezes, and there are Indra and his Indrani lounging on jeweled thrones. Versailles‘s got nothing on svarglok– heaven in Hindu mythology- where each room, hallways are painstakingly designed to rightly earn the moniker ‘heavenly’.
Sheetal, however, is not alone as she has her best friend Minal who always has her back, cheers her up when she needs it the most and is never afraid to tell her friend if she’s wrong about something. Dev, Sheetal’s love interest is also present but their romance is not central to the story. Besides Minal and Dev, there are a host of characters who hold the reader’s attention until the end.
She breathed her family, sang their story. Their flesh was her flesh, their skin her skin.
Family is the central theme to the story and we see it in the way Sheetal gazes at the sky and yearns for her mother. She wishes she didn’t hate her mother, she wishes her mother hadn’t left them. As more familial relationships come to light, we see how Sheetal grapples with all this newfound ancestry and of course, the true reason why her mother had to leave her. Her relationship with her father, is another cherry, on this delicious cake of a book.
The music wound itself into her heart, unlocking its passageways, searing away her defenses.
Music is intertwined in the narrative like when Sheetal is in Svarglok she’s told to control her starsong- an astral melody that can travel through the sky and within a star’s heart. Besides the reference of Dev singing a Kishore Kumar song at a party, there are mentions of musical instruments such as dilruba, bansuri, bhajan, and gandharva.
An Ownvoices reader might get hungry too, with mentions of indian food like samosa, naan, bhajia, aloo mattar, dal, and rasmalai. Hindu culture is married with Hindu mythology, as witnessed by mentions of nakshatras, deities like Ganesh Bhagavan and Durga Mata, and customs like pressing a grain of raw rice on the forehead in blessing.
Overall, I would recommend this if you love standalones, mythology-inspired fast-paced fantasy, starry worldbuilding, and found familial relationships.
Thanks to the publisher and Hear Our Voices tours for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and for including me in the blog tour!
– About the Author –
Shveta Thakrar is a writer of South Asian–flavored fantasy, part-time nagini, and full-time believer in magic. Her debut novel Star Daughter is coming 11 August 2020 from HarperTeen, and her short fiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. When not spinning stories about spider silk and shadows, magic and marauders, and courageous girls illuminated by dancing rainbow flames, Shveta crafts, devours books, daydreams, travels, bakes, and occasionally even plays her harp.
Blog Tour Schedule
Hear Our Voices – Intro Interview
The Fine Art of Reading – Journal Spread + Book Aesthetic
The Enthusiast – #OwnVoices Reflection + 15 Thoughts While Reading
The Word Glutton – Review in 5 Gifs + #OwnVoices Reflection
Little Fly Leaf Reads – #OwnVoices Reflection
The Anatomy of a Bookworm – Review
Sleepydoe Reads – Book Recs + Cosplay + #OwnVoices Reflection
Bookstagram Represent – Playlist
Read With Ansu – Review
Endless Pages – Dream Cast + Review in 5 Gifs + 15 Thoughts While Reading
Miss Maddy Chats – #OwnVoices Reflection + Book Recs
A Book Trotter – Mood Board + #OwnVoices Reflection
Bookshelf Life – Review
Vee Reading – #OwnVoices Reflection
Bee Reads – Dream Cast + Movie Recs + Reading Vlog
Paperback Bex – Blog Interview + #OwnVoices Reflection + Book Aesthetic
Wilted Pages – Reading Journal Spread
The Baroness of Books – #OwnVoices Reflection + Cover Recreation
Personal Opinions of a Fangirl – 15 Thoughts While Reading
Jupiter’s Solo Bibliophile – Video Review + 15 Thoughts While Reading
Diary of a Bookgirl – Favorite Quotes + Look Book + #OwnVoices Reflection
PJwale Baabu – Book Recs
Tasting Pages – Dream Cast + Favorite Quotes
Fanna for Readers & Writers – Blog Interview
Wilder Girl Reads – Dream Cast + #OwnVoices Reflection + Look Book
Flipping Through The Pages – Desi Fantasy Recs
Tea.Books.Magic – Review
Avni Reads – 15 Thoughts While Reading
Cracked Spines – #OwnVoices Reflection + 15 Thoughts While Reading
Mis Hashmi – Video Interview + #OwnVoices Relection + Playlist
Star is All Booked Up – Mood Board + Look Book
Celebrity Read Shush – Reading Vlog
Ma Book Yard – Mood Board + Review in 5 Gifs + #OwnVoices Reflection
Words With Wings – #OwnVoices Reflection + Favorite Quotes
BookRiot_Anjedah – Mood Board + Review in 5 Gifs
Book Rambler – Review
Paperbacks and Pen – Favorite Quotes + Mood Board
Thindbooks Blog – Review
Waiting In Stars – #OwnVoices Reflection
Books.Bags.Burgers – Mood Board + Playlist + #OwnVoices Reflection
Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Star Daughter? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!