Title: Four Dead Queens
Author: Astrid Scholte
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Murder Mystery, Science Fiction
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but in fact, she’s one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. Varin runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.
With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.
An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.
Four Dead Queens is a fast-paced murder mystery-fantasy-scifi hybrid with an intricate plot, manipulative characters, great writing, and crazy plot twists! I absolutely loved it!
The writing style was great. There were two different perspectives—a first person point of view by Keralie, and third person point of views about the queens. This mix of perspectives provided more mystery and anticipation for me, and allowed me to know more about the queens even just for a short amount of time.
Also, I have to say that the author was great at foreshadowing. There were hints about the characters, about the plot, about big reveals. It was great seeing all of these little details make sense at the end of the book.
The characters were alright. I have to be honest though, I didn’t like Keralie for the first half of the book. I didn’t fully connect with her as a reader or a person, and I just didn’t like how she acted. Fortunately, I started to warm up to her in the second half. Her character development was great, and I loved seeing her evolve.
Varin was nice but I’m a bit upset about his character arc as I feel like it wasn’t fully developed. He was too precious for this world.
I think, perhaps, my favorite character, or should I say characters, in Four Dead Queens are the queens themselves. They’re all different, yet so alike in many ways. I can’t help but feel attached to them with every chapter, and hold onto them until their dying breaths.
Also, the antagonists (I’m not going to name them, since it may be a bit of a spoiler haha!) are such jerks. Like wow, they really irked me, and that just made me more invested to this book.
The plot was so intricate and well thought out, I am amazed. Just when I thought I’m finally grasping what was happening in the book, I am bombarded with a crazy plot twist or a shocking detail or secret. Yes, even a small detail about the characters or the world-building is enough to affect the the story and I loved that. I have to applaud the author for this because she really succeeded in keeping me on my toes.
Four Dead Queens is also fast-paced, which I really loved because I’m already hanging onto every word since the first chapter. It’s captivating, it’s frustrating, and I swear, this book will play with your emotions and thoughts.
Loved the world-building in this book! Quadara, along with its quadrants, is a very interesting nation and I loved knowing more about it from the different perspectives. There is a perspective from our main character, Keralie. And there are also perspectives from the various queens, allowing us to peek into the various quadrants they represent.
There was also a great significance directed towards the Queenly Laws. I loved how these laws were tackled and incorporated in every chapter with the queens, and how these laws serve as the guide to ruling Quadara.
Quotes from the book
“And love was a powerful thing. But as Marguerite knew, it could also be terribly painful.”
“The longer you go without feeling, the less you feel.”
“Let love guide your heart and everything else will fall into place.”
“I like how art captures not only the exterior, but also the feeling and the mood of the artist. Like a memory.”
“I want to be worthy of you.”
I give 4.5 stars to Four Dead Queens! Wow wow wow. That was an awesome read! How about you guys? Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?