The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1)

All through the night, he smiled daggers into my heart.

A memory is a fine legacy to leave behind.

Come with me and you shall be an empress with the moon for your throne and constellations to wear in your hair. Come

Father once said the real language of diplomacy was in the space between words.

I am a nightmare to most, and a dream for the broken; who am I?’ and the answer to that is death.” “Correct.

I know emptiness. I know the taste of blood against my teeth. I know what it is to fill your belly with iron. I know hunger. I know pain. I know memories that won’t stay. I know the ghost of life and the perfume of souls.

I know your soul. Everything else is just an ornament.

I loved the feeling of discovery, of not knowing how much I wanted something until I had discovered its absence.

I love you," he murmured into my hair. "You are my night and stars, the fate I would fix myself to in any life.

In my experience , big words ornament bad news.

I promised you the moon for your throne and stars to wear in your hair," said Amar, gesturing inside. "And I always keep my promises.

I see only night and smoke, dreams and glass, embers and wings. And I would not have you any other way.

It is nice to be nice," said Kamala with a sage nod. "And it is also nice to eat people.

It’s bad to be a dragon.”
“Says who? Nothing wrong with a little bit of viciousness. Would you rather be a dove or a dragon?

I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.

I will not let us be beings of regret. I know my past. What I want is my future.

My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.

No matter where we are, we’ll always share the same sky. We can always find each other in the same constellation.

Show me a dream unrealized. Don’t show me unchangeable paths.

The moment he touched me, my universe constricted to the space between our lips. We were a snarl of limbs and bright-burning kisses.

The Night Bazaar had ensnared me. I could smell its perfume on my skin—of stories and secrets, flashing teeth and slow smiles.

Then what do you want form me?"

"I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams," he said, brushing his lips against my knuckles. "I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars." He moved closer and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies.

"I want to measure eternity with your laughter."

Now, he stood inches from me; his rough hands encircled my waist. "Be my queen and I promise you a life where you will never be bored. I promise you more power than a hundred kings. And I promise you that we will always be equals.

There is no romance in real grief. Only longing and fury.

The truth,” said Amar, taking a step closer to me, “is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way.

The worms do not take heed of caste and rank when they feast on our ashes," the Raja said. "Your subjects will not remember you. They will not remember the shade of your eyes, the colors you favored, or the beauty of your wives. They will only remember your impression upon their hearts and whether you filled them with glee or grief. That is your immortality.

Trust is won in years. Not words.

What I wanted was a connection, a shared heartbeat that kept rhythm across oceans and worlds. Not some alliance cobbled out of war. I didn’t want the prince from the folktales or some milk-skinned, honey-eyed youth who said his greetings and proclaimed his love in the same breath. I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.

Who wanted to be smiled at by the girl that trailed shadows like pets, conjured snakes and waited for Death, her bridegroom, to steal her from these walls?

Will we see each other again?” she asked softly.
“Yes.”
Gauri fell silent. “In this life?”
I turned to face her. “What do you mean?”
“Mother Urvashi says that if I’m bad in this life then I’ll come back as a goat in my next life. Which means that there is another life.” Gauri didn’t look at me, focusing instead on tightly twisting the hem of her gown. “So will you see me again before I’m a goat?

Wouldn’t it be easier keep your victim faceless?”
I shuddered. “Not a victim.”
“What else do you call one hemmed in by fate?”
“Human,” I said, bitterness creeping into my voice.
“What about guilt, then? Why open yourself to pain?”
“Guilt is what makes you accountable.