In the ancient city of Ujjayani, the planets align to decide the fate of two starcursed lovers. Born under the curse of Mars, brilliant and beautiful Leelavati, daughter of the famed astronomer Bhaskarya Acharya of Ujjayani, knows she can never wed. But when her childhood playmate, the handsome and rich Rahul Nagarseth, returns from sea, their attraction is rekindled under stormy monsoon skies. As Leela, forced by fate to relinquish Rahul, tries to find solace in teaching at her fathers observatory, a fleeting alignment of the stars is discovered that can help overcome her curse. But Rahul is called away on a war to defend his kingdom. Can he return in time or will she lose him forever to the will of the planets?
Set in turbulent twelfth century India, against the backdrop of the savage wars waged by Muhammad of Ghor and his band of Turkis, Starcursed is a sweeping tale of science, romance and adventure that will transport its readers to another world.
I haven't read that many young adult historicals yet so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading Starcursed. Starcursed is the story of two star crossed lovers Leelavati and Rahul. Leela is the daughter of Bhaskarya Acharya of Ujjayani who was a scholar and an astronomer. There is actually a note in history which says that Leelavati was cursed by the stars for love. I found it all very intriguing.
In the book, Leelavati as a character was lovely. She was a sweet and intelligent girl. The way women were treated in those times was shown really well. Leela just wanted her freedom. I also found all the other astrology theories which were shown really interesting. Leela's love for Rahul was also really sweet and pure and she just wanted the best for him even if it meant denying herself.
We don't get to see that much of Rahul in the book but he does play a pivotal role. I liked how determined Rahul was. His devotion never once wavered from Leela and the bond they shared. He was ready to do anything for his love despite the differences in their castes and their astrological chart.
The romance was really sweet mixed in with some angst. You know Leela and Rahul are destined to be together but there are just so many things standing in their way. I liked how it was shown that some things we can leave up to fate but we do have the power to change our fate as well.
Nandini Bajpai is a really good author. I think it may be a little hard for others to understand how the times were in twelfth century India with all the traditions and stuff but I enjoyed reading about it. Starcursed made for a good read.
*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.