Four Dead Queens – Astrid Scholte (Advanced Reader Copy)

fourRATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

SYNOPSIS:

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, 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. He 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 both 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.

REVIEW (Spoiler Free):

I was fortunate to receive an advanced uncorrected galley copy of Four Dead Queens from Penguin Teen at Book Con 2018. I had only heard a little about this book, but I was thrilled when I was able to get a copy from Penguin Teen’s “secret ARC drop”. Can we talk about THAT COVER!?!?! It is stunning! It’s also super cool because it has a sticker on it that says “~Exclusive~ Book Con 2018 Edition~” which I thought was an awesome touch to make the cover even more special.

And now for the story…I was blown away by this book! Four Dead Queens is a combination of my favorites genres. It’s fantasy, mystery, and action-adventure within a dystopian-esc world! The world of Four Dead Queens is extremely interesting! Quadara is a nation made of four quadrants. These four quadrants are physically separated by walls, but also divided by different customs, values, and cultures. Each quadrant is ruled by one queen who together are the four queens of Quadara. The four queens must follow Queenly Law, prioritize their own quadrant, and also rule together to ensure their society is successful. This world was so fresh and unique! It’s very hard to create new worlds today because there is so much content out there. However, Astrid Scholte was able to do this extraordinarily well. I am very impressed with this book and I look forward to hearing more from her in the future. There is a quote in Scholte’s author bio that I think described her writing perfectly…”She’s a visual writer and aims to capture the vivid stories that play like movies in her head.” I can say with 100% confidence that Scholte accomplished her aim with Four Dead Queens. I was swept away in the world of Quadara.

I normally do not like when books have more than two or three POVs. Four Dead Queens has SIX! However, this did not bother me at all. We get perspectives from our protagonist (Keralie), the four queens, and another that I will not spoil! Too many POVs can feel overwhelming and make the story difficult to follow, but this was not the case here. Each POV was well done and added to the story. It did not feel overwhelming at all. I loved all of the POVs, but I especially enjoyed the four queens’ chapters. It was fascinating to see their perspectives and insights.

Four Dead Queens is NON-STOP! The action is constant and completely engrossing. Every single chapter was full of twists and turns. There were so many clever plot twists and surprises! I couldn’t believe how many skeletons these characters had hidden away in their closets! The last twist was absolutely incredible! I had some inkling of who I thought was responsible, but I had no idea the extent of the plot.

The ONLY reason I gave four stars instead of five is because I thought the ending was very neat. It seemed almost too clean and easy, but I still loved it!

I loved this world that Astrid Scholte created. I am not sure if Four Dead Queens is going to be a series, but I actually hope that Scholte writes companion novels as opposed to a sequel. I loved Keralie and Varin, but I want to explore more of this world!

FINAL THOUGHTS:

  • Absolutely GORGEOUS cover!
  • Quadara is a fresh, unique, and interesting world.
  • Six point of views can be overwhelming, but Astrid Scholte did it in a way that was beneficial to the story. I think that the story would not have been nearly as good without all of the POVs.
  • Twists! Turns! Surprises!
  • I would love to explore the world of Quadara more! There is so much more I want to know!!

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