*Chosen as a 2020 Kids’ Indie Next pick * A Locus Reading List recommendation * An Andre Norton Nebula Award Finalist*
“Shveta Thakrar's prose is as beautiful as starlight.”—New York Times bestselling author Holly Black
This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.
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.
Thakrar's Hindu mythology inspired fantasy debut centers on Sheetal Mistry, a brown-skinned, silver-haired 16-year-old from Edison, N.J. Sheetal's mother a star named Charumati returned to the heavens nine years ago, leaving Sheetal with her Gujarati astrophysicist father, Gautam, and his overbearing sister, Radhikafoi. Both insist that Sheetal conceal her half-celestial heritage an edict she doesn't fully understand until she learns that humans once hunted stars for their healing blood and muse-like abilities. The older Sheetal gets, the harder it becomes for her to control her burgeoning inner fire. When an unchecked burst critically wounds her father, Sheetal and her best friend, Minal, ascend to request a drop of Charumati's blood; however, Sheetal's grandparents Esteemed Matriarch and Patriarch of the constellation Pushya will only allow Charumati to assist Gautam if Sheetal wins a musical competition that will crown her grandparents the sky's new rulers. Inventive worldbuilding, ebullient prose, and kind, hopeful messaging buoy Thakrar's somewhat simplistic plot. The entire cast is brown-skinned, and although some characters and relationships lack nuance, Sheetal and Minal's steadfast friendship rings true, grounding the tale. Ages 13 up.