TITLE: Four Dead Queens
AUTHOR: Astrid Scholte
TARGET AUDIENCE: Young Adult
The publisher kindly provided me with a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.
Get in quick, get out quicker.
These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:
Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious community
When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks, Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.
This book is one I have been anticipating for quite a while. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the premise is super intriguing. I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint me. While it’s certainly not the best fantasy I’ve ever read, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Four Dead Queens follows Keralie, a quick and feisty thief. The nation she lives in is ruled by four Queens, each who represent a particular quadrant. Each quadrant specializes in something such as technology or agriculture. Keralie sees the Queens murdered and we follow her attempt to try and stop it.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely a fantasy and a world I enjoyed. But it’s also a weird murder mystery. I certainly enjoy murder mysteries and the whole “who did it” aspect, which was something that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the book.
The characters in this book are super enjoyable. I liked Keralie quite a bit. She’s super confident and feisty. She certainly holds her own. But she’s also fragile (for reasons you find out in the book). At the beginning, Varin is very guarded but he loosens up as the book continues. I enjoyed the banter between these two! The Queens are also interesting characters. They’re not my favourite, but they add to the story.
The only reason this book isn’t a five star for me is I just didn’t feel like the reveal was big enough. I felt like there was this suspense throughout the first third of the book. But then the last third comes around and it was just kind of blah. Also, I feel like the ending was a bit of a rush.
Overall, I do recommend this book. It’s an interesting fantasy with a mystery twist which I find refreshing. Scholte’s writing is really enjoyable, especially for a debut novel. I’ll definitely be looking out for any future books by her!
”For a moment, I forgot where I was and what I was doing.Favourite Quote
About The Author
Raised on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas and Disney, Astrid knew she wanted to be surrounded by all things fantastical from a young age. She’s spent the last 10 years working in film, animation and television as both an artist and manager. Career highlights include working on James Cameron’s Avatar, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tin Tin and Happy Feet 2 by George Miller. She’s a visual writer and aims to capture the vivid stories that play like movies in her head. When she’s not writing, she’s painting her favorite fictional characters and obliging her furry overlords, Lilo and Mickey.
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