3.5 stars, actually.
Gosh, this is a hard one to quantify. The language in this story is breath-takingly poetical and lovely. “I was lost. I leaned into his kiss and the world around us peeled into nothing. I felt like I could stand over chasms empty of time, and this moment, like a chain of soft-blooming stars would still be ours.”
All the way through. Each scene is a dreamy, haze-laden fantasy ranging from Maya’s home country of Bharata where she is one of the Raj’s many children in the harem, to the Night Bazaar where demons sell unimaginable treasures, to the illusion-bound Underworld.
Maya ranges across these different scenes enveloped in beautiful and terrifying mysteries.
And that’s great for a while. About halfway through, the beautiful and vague language became less of a sensual pleasure and more of a burden through which I had to pick to follow the evasive threads of the narrative. I was just never quite sure what was happening when I would pick up the book the next day.
So this is a gorgeous, and ultimately for me, slightly confusing book.