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In this luminous debut, celestial courts and messy coming of age twine together in a duality of harmony and discordance. Sheetal is the daughter of a star, but feels very human: trying to escape the scrutiny of strict aunts and navigate her father's grief with her mother gone. But the star side of her is breaking through and it's getting too hard to hide--especially when she doesn't exactly know what is happening.
When her ignorance of her own power goes deeply wrong, she seeks help from the heavenly side of her family. The opulent heavenly realm glitters--and reminds her of all that's been withheld from her. She's thrust into a contest where mortals compete, inspired by stars--and realizes that something is at stake for the whole mortal world in the competition. Sheetal has to figure out how to defy powerful immortals and still obtain the favor she desperately needs.
This quest is driven by a keen mix of guilt and love. Her need to discover her potential while integrating both sides of her identity is also intensely relatable. How do you choose to belong to both and see both the wonder as well as the flaws in homes that seem set against each other?
In the end, Sheetal must trust her loved ones (friends and family) while still holding to her own convictions. Her future between these two communities isn't sewn up neatly, but she has come into her own. I loved the way Thakrar portrayed Sheetal's ambivalence and longing for both of her worlds, and the course that brought her to deeper friendship and community with those she loved.
“Star Daughter follows Sheetal, a half-star, half-mortal girl. When her star power injures her human father, Sheetal must seek the help of her mother, a star who returned to the heavens long ago. Sheetal soon finds herself representing her family in a magical competition that will decide the next ruling house of heaven. A standalone fantasy, Star Daughter reads like a diverse version of Stardust that is all its own, taking inspiration from Hindu mythology. With prose the likes of Laini Taylor and Margaret Rogerson, Shveta Thakrar has a bright future in YA literature.”
— Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY
*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.
Shveta Thakrar’s debut novel, Star Daughter, is a standalone YA fantasy perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Laini Taylor, and Margaret Rogerson. Shveta's work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Enchanted Living, Uncanny Magazine, and Toil & Trouble. You can find her online at www.shvetathakrar.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @ShvetaThakrar.