Four Dead Queens (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Four Dead Queens (B&N Exclusive Edition)

by Astrid Scholte

Hardcover(B&N Exclusive Edition)

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This Barnes & Noble Exclusive edition includes a bonus epilogue and an original illustration.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984814128
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Edition description: B&N Exclusive Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 7,428
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Astrid Scholte's fascination with all things fantasy began at the impressionable age of one while on a family vacation to Disneyland. Her desire to be surrounded by all things magical led her to a career in animation and visual effects. She received Honors in BA (Film, Media and Theater) and a Bachelor of Digital Media from the University of NSW. She's spent the last 10 years working in visual effects production as both an artist and an artist 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 lives in Melbourne, Australia with her cats Lilo and Mickey. FOUR DEAD QUEENS is her debut novel.

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Four Dead Queens (B&N Exclusive Edition) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
jjyy 10 months ago
To start, I was really anticipating reading this book bc there was a TON of hype leading up to its release. Immediately, I liked the author’s writing and voice and I did find myself drawn into the different characters in the story. I was rooting for Keralie, who is a highly flawed, morally gray, sympathetic character. The world was simple and easy to understand quickly...which one can take as a strength or weakness...I didn’t mind the simplicity of it. However, I didn’t like the way the author told the story when it came to the big reveals. They felt jerky, sudden, and anticlimactic. Much of it was told in dialogue, like “did you this? Let me tell you (and the reader) what actually happened and how I pulled the wool over your eyes!”. It felt forced and pulled me out of the story. Also, I had a hard time believing the close and intimate history between Keralie and Mackiel, perhaps due to a lack of specific, meaningful history and the extent of his evil. The only reason that this mothered me so much was that Keralie kept harping upon her past with him and the great significance of it. I just don’t think there was enough support for it. I did appreciate how the author did weave the plot points and make sense of everything- all the twists, etc.-it was well plotted out. I just wish it was told better because the writing itself was really nice.
SharSam 3 months ago
Action-packed, mysterious, mystical, exhilarating. Four Dead Queens focuses on a main character Keralie, a young girl that's a thief, finds a comm box with special secret neuro capabilities. She's observes the murder of one of the four queens, and this takes her life into a spellbinding turn. Each chapter is dedicated to a character, each queen, bad guy, and main character is given the proper amount of allotted detail. The world building and character development is fantastic. I enjoyed every chapter in this book all the way to the fantastic ending. I just love great endings. There's quite a bit of twist and turns in this novel, surprising in each of the three parts. The love story is addicting, leaving me wanting to engulf myself more into their future relationship. Highly recommend this to read.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
When Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte was first announced, I jumped right on that bandwagon. I have been hoping that more Australian Authors would write Young Adult novels, as Australia only has a limited amount, and I wanted to support more local authors. So when it was first announced, I was like yes, finally. But that wasn't the only reason this book caught my attention. The synopsis dragged me right into the story, and I NEEDED it. Not only is it a fantasy novel, but it is also (in my opinion) a dystopian novel and a mystery novel. Keralie would have to be one of my favourite characters of the year, as well as Four Dead Queens is in my top five (so far) of 2019! The character progression of Keralie was amazing, and I did not expect the ending of this novel at all.
PaperReader 6 months ago
I was so excited to receive a copy of this book to review, I've seen so many people talking about this book and how hyped they are. The plot twists just felt predictable, it seems like lately all books that are part of a mystery genre just don't have actual twists. The love interest fell flat, our MC barely knew anything about him and yet somehow she knows that they're meant to be together? I always deduct stars from a book where there's insta - love. I was almost finished with this book, when I found out that the villain, wasn't older, he was the same age as our MC, which was not very clear. Overall, I have to say, I just think this book was a little disappointing, I don't know if it was because it was so hyped or what, but it was as awesome as I thought it would be.
OldEnoughForFairytales 7 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! When I first saw the cover, I knew it was a book I wanted to try. After reading the synopsis, I was certainly intrigued. I love a good, twisty book! I was anxious to get my hands on this one. My expectations were certainly met. I loved the unpredictability of Four Dead Queen’s plot. As someone who reads a lot, I’ve found that I can typically see plot twists before they happen. That was not the case for me when I read Four Dead Queens! I’ve never really read a fantasy murder mystery before, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I also really liked the characters. They gave me Six of Crows vibes, which is never a bad thing. Morally grey characters are my favorite!
Anonymous 10 months ago
This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it let me down so much. The disappointment is strong with this one, fam. With confusing timeline and world-building, Four Dead Queens leaves many questions unanswered and a lot to be desired. It's a murder mystery told from six points of view with different timelines. Keralie's POV is the main one, and the other five are the four queens and a character that appears later in the story. Keralie is your typical YA protagonist: a ruthless 17 yo anti-hero with a dark secrets but a bright mind, and skillful fingers that like to steal all things her little teen hands can carry. She gives off strong Kaz vibes when we meet her—though somehow not in a good way—and it only goes downhill from there. Throughout the book we're often reminded what a mastermind she is, when, in reality, she's just a street thief who pickpockets naive-looking suckers and does it with without any elegance or tact. The author does very little to portray her as dangerous as we (and Keralie's love interest) are told she is. Speaking of Keralie's love interest, Varin... Varin is a bit bland, but overall an okay character with disability the story doesn't really handle very well. The biggest problem with his character is that he doesn't have his own story, but is pretty much tied to Keralie and the cliche insta-romance of theirs. All in all, it's an average YA fantasy with poorly handled mystery and bland characters, but still quick enough of a read to be worth picking up (if it sounds like something you might enjoy and you don't mind tropes)
Scarlett Gauthier 11 months ago
This was such an awesome idea for a book! A murder mystery in a fantasy/sci fi setting, combining two of my favorite genres. As soon as I heard the premise I knew I had to read it and I definitely enjoyed it! Going in I was actually expecting it to lean a little more towards murder mystery than fantasy, focusing on the murders of the queens and uncovering who was behind them. But I felt like it really held it's own in the fantasy genre, creating this super creative and well thought out world that felt like a real place. So many details about the world and the culture and the laws and the people, it was SO well done. I also didn't expect to CARE so much about the victims, the queens Iris, Stessa, Corra, and Marguerite. In most murder mysteries the victim is just a body and a problem to be solved, but there was so much characterization and backstory that you kept hoping the title was a lie and somehow they would be saved. The storytelling was really great too. Although there were a couple plot holes and the big reveal wasn't totally unpredictable, I still was surprised by the way everything played out overall and really enjoyed the ride. I think the world and the characters make up for these small small complaints so much that it was not even an issue for me. I loved the whole thing. I really enjoyed this debut and hope that Astrid Scholte writes more books! She's an awesome storyteller and so creative! This one was really well done and I'll be looking forward to her next one.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and I'm at a loss for words, let alone a review. My mind is still spinning and I haven't quite left Keralie and Quadara yet. It takes a lot to really wow me as a reader anymore, mostly because it feels like everything we read has been done before in some way with authors adding their own touches. This novel blew me away. It's wholly unique and original with everything I love in a good story. Unforgettable yet realistic characters, a story with lots of twists, turns, and surprises that will get you up until the very end, and beautiful writing to top it all off. I can't believe this is the author's debut novel! I never would have guessed in a million years. The entire story is so well thought out, written, detailed, and original - there's seriously nothing bad I have to say about it. There were so many things I loved about this book, but I don't want to ramble on forever. I'll attempt to keep it as concise as possible, but I will say that this is one of my favorites so far this year. Keralie (Kera) is a fantastic main character for the book. She's incredibly realistic with strengths (although some of them involve stealing) and flaws just like everyone else. I immediately connected with her from the beginning of the story. I loved getting to know all about her - her backstory, current life, family, friends, feelings and thoughts, all of it. Kera's portion of the story is told in the first person point of view, from her perspective, so it made it that much easier to identify with her. I really liked getting to see her grow and change throughout the course of the story. The secondary characters were also very well written and realistic, especially Varin and Mackiel. Then we come to the four queens themselves and I'm not even quite sure what to call their characters. Main? Major? Each queen gets her own part of the story, told from her own perspective (but in the third person). In this way, we get to know each of them personally - their likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, and secrets. All of the differing stories intertwine to give us the overarching plot of the story, which sends the reader on one heck of a ride. I loved the multiple narrators and points of view, it definitely kept me on my toes and fully engaged the entire length of the book. This story itself is masterfully told with tons of detailed descriptions and vivid imagery that brings Quadara and it's four quadrants to life in front of your eyes. I could easily envision each of the quadrants as I read and learned about them. It was like I was beside Kera throughout the story, seeing through her eyes at the madness going on around her, which is another thing I adored about the novel. There's so much happening all the time - with the four queens and both their political sides and personal sides, so many different secrets being kept by everyone, not to mention the events that happen outside of the palace in the four quadrants and among their people. We learn about it all and then some, but it's never confusing or overwhelming. The author did a fantastic job keeping things fascinating and full of intrigue - and murder! - without losing any other details or the reader along the way. That's another thing I loved about this book - it's nothing short of genre-breaking. You can't label it as one particular genre. It has elements of fantasy, science fiction, action and adventure, mystery, suspense, thrillers, and even romance. There's literally something for
JMBS1212 More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up this book, the title and summary caught my eye. Four dead queens was such a great, entertaining read, it did not disappoint! First I loved the cover and it grabbed my attention! I enjoyed the story line and loved how the different “quadrants” or how the four queens stories were told, how does one attempt to assassinate four of the most powerful ladies in the country? This follows the story of Keralie who is caught up in the palace intrigue and above her ‘station’, Keralie is a wonderfully unexpected “hero” – that at first I was not to fond of but she really came into her own. There was a lot of twists and turns to actually hold my attention in the book. And some surprises along the way! I would recommend this to friend and family!
lostinmegalpolis More than 1 year ago
I just hate leaving negative comments, and put this off for so long because this book I looked forward reading it. The more I read, the more I realized, it just was not for me. I think maybe one of the main issues was that it was a standalone book when there is A LOT going on. I want to know more about everyone and I want to learn more about the world. I wasn't quite able to connect with the characters or the events that were happening to truly engage with the narrative. Again, this isn't because the book is necessarily bad, it just wasn't quite for me. Also, it's a debut novel. I know I'll look forward to reading more by her though in the future because the idea was interesting and I look forward to seeing how Astrid grows as an author.
BookFreakOut More than 1 year ago
The story structure of “Four Dead Queens” pleasantly surprised me. Rather than solely seeing the aftermath of the murders, it follows two timelines in close proximity. In addition to Keralie and Varin’s hunt for the truth, readers meet the queens while they are still alive. Within pages of their introduction, the first queen is dead, kicking off a frantic palace investigation to forestall what readers already know is inevitable. We aren’t told how much time has passed between the final murder and Keralie’s discovery of the crime, which builds a layer of suspense - after all, how long could such a secret be kept? There were several times I thought I knew what was coming, only to be surprised when the story's twists did not take the predictable route. The second half in particular was wholly unexpected; saying anything more would be a serious spoiler. That said, I have very divided opinions about "Four Dead Queens" overall. The book's chapters are largely split 50/50, with half going to the Keralie/Varin duo and the remained from the perspective of a host of supporting characters, including the queens. The leading duo were my least favorite characters, but my high interest in the secondary perspectives kept Keralie and Varin from completely dragging the book down.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
I don't think I've ever read a fantasy/ murder-mystery novel before, and apart from the intense positive buzz and brilliant reviews from other authors I DEEPLY ADMIRE, I think the genre-bent element of the Four Dead Queens was what made me NEED to read this book. I'm not the biggest murder-mystery fan, but SFF is my FAVOURITE genre and I'm always looking for new twists to it. Four Dead Queens in a nutshell: I loved the fast pace of the book, and the alternating viewpoints and learning about the quadrants and the queens, but I feel like the structure of the book was lacking THOROUGHLY. IN MORE DETAIL: 1) So, OBVIOUSLY going into a book with one country divided into four different parts with four queens, four mottos and four personalities/ ways of life AND SOME OTHER VIEWPOINTS was disorienting. For the first 50+ pages, I was frantically flipping back from the page I was currently reading to the one where it was all broken down to make sense of the story. I don't enjoy ANY fantasy very much when I'm in the nervous/ what is this world stage and it was the same for Four Dead Queens. 2) After the initial 50-75 pages, I got a little more comfortable with the world and started enjoying the pace and the story. Filled with short, action-packed chapters in which there was almost always a twist, development or a shocking revelation which was enjoyable. 3) I LOVED learning about the queens and seeing the quadrants through their viewpoint. As the story (and their secrets) unraveled, the book got more and more interesting. 4) I did not, however, enjoy Keralie's viewpoints much, and she had A LOT of book-time. --a) Her backstory was filled with holes in reasoning. If she destroyed the boat (and her family business) because of which they were struggling, wouldn't they be left with nothing at all and then would REALLY DEFINITELY BE STRUGGLING? Isn't that why it's called a livelihood? It was this event that made her leave and become a thief and enforcer and I JUST STRUGGLED TO WRAP MY HEAD AROUND THE REASONING OF IT ALL. --b) She, really, didn't seem like a master thief. No cunning, no drive, just luck and a plot with holes. I guess I just didn't understand her character motivations and that was quite important to me. 5) MY GOD THE STRUCTURE MADE NO SENSE. And also, the device used on the assassin to carry out the murders. I found the science, or at the very least, THE EXPLANATION NOT AT ALL SOUND. I know it was intended to shock, but it just left me confused. Would I recommend this book? Honestly, I'm still hung up on the fact that it was a fast-paced, twist-filled novel that is also genre-bent and YES, I would recommend it despite its faults.
KindleLady More than 1 year ago
A thrilling, fast paced story with twists and turns enough for anyone. I found the main character, Keralie, to be extremely interesting as she wasn't exactly heroine material because she was an unrepentant thief, but you come to understand her so we'll that you realize she is more than she initially seems. This book is well worth reading, in my opinion. I was given a "sneak peek" of this book by Netgalley, and found it so interesting that I got the book when it debuted.
alyssayuri More than 1 year ago
Keralie prides herself for being a skilled thief. So when she was tasked to steal something, she never knew the importance of it because it ended the lives of the four ruling queens of Quadara. I am not a fan of fantasy. But I did take on this book because there was a lot of buzz for this book and I happen to get my hands on an ARC. Here are some non-spoilery good points: - the world is pretty well made - it's a stand-alone, and you barely see a fantasy book that's a stand-alone - the story is freaking amazing! - the twist will get you off your seat - it'll keep you guessing And here are some non-spoilery not-so good points (and why I only gave it three stars even though I have good points above): - too dragging, especially in the beginning - although the switching of point of views are nice, I am not a fan of it. It gives too much cliff hangers that you just want to get it over with, and the progress of the story keeps stopping - this book prides itself with the romance, but it fell short for me - too many flashbacks by different characters, that makes it dragging There you have it. Those are my pros and cons for this book. But overall though, it was still a good read. * I received an ARC of this book
LaurenBooks More than 1 year ago
A story that kept me hooked! It's an amazing YA Murder-Mystery novel. This story. The characters. The setting. The world of Quadara is one of my favorite places I've read about! I wanted to dive into the world to help Keralie and Varin on their investigation to find out who killed the Queens. I was stressed reading, but it was worth it! Loved it!
Candace_L More than 1 year ago
Four Dead Queens could be categorized as a sci-fi murder mystery with a fantasy style political system. It has 6 separate perspectives, but that does not seem to bog down the pace of the plot. The timeline of the was well done and unique to other books I have read. The romance felt a bit like 'insta-love' since the plot happens only over a few days. I liked the main character with her competence and confidence. I was surprised by the twist that happens about halfway through the book; I was expecting it to go in a different direction. With it being a stand-alone, the ending did feel a bit rushed and similar to older murder mysteries where everything is explained in a detective's monologue. I would recommend this book to other YA fantasy or murder mystery lovers. Actual rating 3.75.
krlga More than 1 year ago
When Keralie is sent on a task to steal from a messenger, she had no idea what she was actually taking. To stop her boss from getting the info she obtained, she inadvertently found herself in the middle of a conspiracy that could cost the kingdom it's queens. Can Keralie get to the truth as well as save her own life? My favorite part of Four Dead Queens was how Astrid was able to create a book that is such an interesting mesh of genres. The biggest part of the book would most certainly be mystery, but there was also science fiction and even a hint fantasy and romance. I would have a hard time picking one category to fit this story into and I feel like that makes this a unique read. One random comment though is that this is categorized as YA but there was nothing YA about the book (nothing inappropriate, just not YA really either) and most of the narrators were adult age. I also found the delivery of the story to be unique, not like any other book I have read. The story is split into four parts, each with a different focus of the overall plot. But not only that, the chapters alternate between Keralie, a con-artist/thief who I would call the main character of the book, and the four Queens of the region. The Queen's chapters alternate between all four of the queens, telling snippets of their lives and court intrigue- and sometimes their murder. I will admit that the chapters narrated by Keralie kept me more engaged than the Queens, I cared more about her than anyone else so I kind of wished the first two parts of the book did not include the queens. I had a hard time getting through the first half of the book since the plot did not move very much, more world building and death plotting than any real action. Once the third section began, the pacing of the book picked up and I was able to speed through the rest of the story. There were some nice surprises that took place at the end that I never anticipated and overall the story wrapped up just about perfect. Astrid was able to create an entirely new story and developed a world that existed within a single volume (which makes me happy since I hate waiting for answers!). I look forward to more from Astrid to come- what a great way to debut!
hufflepuffilicious_books More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I was really looking forward to and was excited about, and then was totally disappointed in. There are several reasons why. The four queens are probably the most interesting characters in the entire book, and they are basically all dead by the end. Keralie, the main character, is boring, unlikeable, and stupid. She has the chance to save all the queens by telling them what she saw on the comm chips, and what does she do? She keeps that little detail to herself. Like an idiot. Varin was such a stiff and brooding character and their romance just did not work at all. I kind of wish that had been left out. It would have been a better story. This book jumps around a lot, but you don't realize it until you get to the middle. Keralie's chapters first take place before the queens are dead, but that alternates with chapters from the queens POV as they are being killed. So by the time the middle of the book comes, all three queens are still alive from Keralie's perspective. It was so confusing. Quadara sounds like the worst place ever to live. I mean, it's supposed to be dystopian I guess, but it's not like they really do anything to fix it. There's a lot of stupid rules and the way the queens are treated is also kind of dumb. You don't even meet the mastermind behind the murders until 3/4 of the way through the book. And then the way things ended was how the murderer wanted it to be, but with a different person in place. I just felt like they did a whole bunch of stuff to try and solve these murders, but ended up back in the same place. I'll be honest. I got halfway through this book and then skimmed the rest of it. I just didn't care anymore, especially about Keralie, the worst character ever. This might be exactly the kind of book some people like, but it was just not my cup of tea.
Amy Smith Carman More than 1 year ago
Title: Four Dead Queens Author: Astrid Schotte Release Date: February 26, 2019 Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mystery, Dystopian LQBTQ?: N/A only partial read People of Color?: Yes Bechdel Test: Yes Trigger Warning:s: None in the first 7 chapters or so. Disclaimer: I received a sneak peek of Four Dead queens in exchange for an honest review. The first several chapters vacillate between Keralie and the Queens of Quadara. These chapters are heavy on world-building of Quadara and its history to catch the reader up to speed. It is a lot to take in but I feel like the stage is set and the narrative can begin to move with much more fluidity. Schotte gives us a view from above and a view from below. Karalie is one of the best "dippers" (pick-pocket) on the streets. When we initially meet her she is stealing a package from a royal messenger and Mackiel, her friend/boss, congratulates her on the achievement. That night at the black market auction, things go very wrong when the messenger shows up to retrieve his stolen package and Mackiel turns on them both. Meanwhile, in the palace that the four queens reside together in, the unthinkable happens - a queen is murdered. The remaining three are left to decide what to do her the throne without an heir apparent. The sneak peek ends here, but I suspect we'll end up with three more dead queens. Quadara's society is highly rigid and structured and with each empty throne, the world seems on the brink of chaos and a possible war. Four Dead Queens reminds me of Divergent and Six of Crows so far. I would recommend it for fantasy, YA, and dystopian fans. So far it is suitable for teens and up. I cannot wait to read the rest of Four Dead Queens! I've already preordered the book and look forward to staying up way too late reading it!
WeezieL More than 1 year ago
Won Paperback ARC from! I'm struggling with what to call this book. A murder mystery it is. A fantasy book it is not. A dystopian it doesn't feel like but I guess that's the closest it is. There's nothing fantastical about the world Scholte has created. The Eonists don't have magic, they have highly advanced technology. But since it's set in an unfamiliar place, it feels less dystopian. It's very foreign. Also, the cover is killerrrrr!! The unique crowns piled haphazardly is very intriguing even if the title already tells you what happens. I enjoyed this book a lot. There was murder, there was intrigue, there were a lot of unique aspects like having four queens and four quadrants make up a kingdom. Each quadrant has something they make or do that is different from the other quadrants. Ludia for art and music, Eonia for technology, Archia for agriculture, and Toria for...I don't remember. lol. There's a lot going on. The history is a little muddled and confusing. There once was a king with four wives. He was bad. The wives killed the king (I think?) and decided to rule together but separately over each quadrant and to make Queenly Laws, which don't always make sense. The queens aren't allowed out the palace for fear of being influenced? People can come in and petition them but once the queen becomes the queen, she is forever kept isolated within the palace with the other queens. What? I really liked Keralie, our thief extraordinaire. I was quite suspicious of her for most of the book. I mean, if you're the best thief and liar in Quadara, no one is going to trust your truths. The timeframe got a little confusing in the book and jumping around to 6 POVs. Also, *pet peeve*, where is the Oxford comma?! There are lesbian couples in this book. This is not a spoiler nor is it a pivotal point in the book. It's just a normal occurrence,as it should be in life. I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Astrid Scholte. And am kind of disappointed that this is a standalone.
Cait63 More than 1 year ago
Kept Me Guessing! I received an ARC of this book through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte! It promised me a "fast-paced murder mystery" on the back blurb and I feel like it really delivered. The book is set in the nation of Quadara which is divided into four quadrants and ruled by four queens. The queens rule "together, yet apart" and work to preserve the culture of their individual quadrants. It's interesting how different the quadrants are and the contrast in important values and levels of technology between them. The story is told from its main character Keralie's first person perspective interspersed with third person perspectives for each queen (Iris, Corra, Stessa and Marguerite). Keralie, a professional thief (or "dipper"), is an interesting character and I enjoyed learning more about her and her bigger role in the murder plot. Honestly, this book kept me on my toes far more than I was really expecting. It kept me guessing with all its twists and turns right up to the end, and kept my nose glued to the page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a promising start and I want to read more. Some wordbuilding seems tired and familiar (quadrants, for example) but it is not so much of a problem if the rest of the book delivers. This excerpt offers the first five chapters. Based on this, I want to continue reading. Three and a half stars for now.
QuirkyCat More than 1 year ago
Four Dead Queens is Astrid Scholte’s debut novel; though she’s not new to the world of writing. Before she decided to dive headfirst into books (which I can already tell you was a brilliant decision) she was a writer for film and television. What first caught my attention to Four Dead Queens had to be the cover. I love the bright turquoise over the dark background, with the silver font. Having all the crowns be in different styles was a nice touch as well. Though I’ll confess that for the briefest moment I thought this was another book by Kendra Blake thanks to all of the crowns on the cover. That misunderstanding didn’t last long though, I can promise you that. The novel is based on a nation divided into four. Thus the need for four queens. Each queen rules her district, and there’s very little crossing that happens between each one. The districts are; Toria (the intellectual quarter), Ludia (the emotional quarter), Archia (the agricultural quarter), and finally Eonia (the futurist quarter – not to be mistaken for Toria). Naturally the nation is named Quadara – nothing else really would have made sense, now would it? The queens all rule from the same throne rule, also split into four, but they don’t make joint decisions. At least not about the individual districts. Warnings first: There are some scenes, both ones that actually occurred and those pictured or described that are fairly graphic. They all pertain to the plotting and murdering of the four queens. For the record, you can usually tell when one of these scenes is about to happen, so if it is disturbing to you it could be easily skipped. I’ll confess that I was somewhat hesitant to read a book titled ‘Four Dead Queens.’ While I’ll admit that I could tell, from the title alone, that it could have a lot of potential for intrigue and fascination…I was worried that it’d be a heavy tale. I’m sure that’s understandable, since the title sort of implies that four queens will be dying imminently. But then I went and read the except over at BookishFirst, and I was immediately enthralled. I just knew I had to read all of it, and sooner rather than later. My favorite part about Four Dead Queens is that I walked into it with an assumption being made; that four queens were dead or going to die, only to have that thrown into question. For a while nothing was clear, not even the accuracy of the title. And I really liked that. Scholte managed to throw some surprises at us with what seemed like the only part of the plot set in stone. That I couldn’t predict how the rest of it would go from there was wonderful. It was all masterfully done. I was pleasantly surprised by the choices made for perspectives in this book. While I would have assumed that the queens would be shown in their own perspectives (and I was right on that count) I wouldn’t have expected Keralie at all. She’s seemingly uninvolved in any of it, but somehow ends up in the center of the mess before the end. I really enjoyed Keralie’s character in particular, though there were one or two queens that I was fond of as well. Keralie absolutely had the most character growth during the course of the novel. She took some blows, both emotionally and physically, and she came out stronger for it in the end. I love it. I can’t wait to see what Scholte does for her next book. Hopefully we’ll get some hints soon! I don’t think it’ll be a sequel to Four Dead Queens, but then again I could be wrong. Regardless I’m looking forward to hearing
acuneo More than 1 year ago
Thank you to BookishFirst and the publisher for providing me a copy to review. My opinion was in no way affected by this. *minor spoilers* Since this is a murder mystery, I don’t want to spoil anything so I will split this review into two sections to prevent any spoilers. First thing first, I am not sure what genre this book goes in. It is a murder mystery with science fiction and fantasy elements. I enjoyed this blend of genres and it was interesting to see both of those genres mixed. Before I got to the first plot twist of the book, I will admit I was not enjoying it. I actually debated about stopping because I was not enjoying it, though I am glad that I did stick it out until the end. .Keralie was a pretty forgettable character. I actually forgot her name when I was reading, though I think that partly me being exhausted and also the book being not really intriguing me. I feel bad saying this but she felt standard. I did not see any qualities that made her stand out from other characters. My favorite characters was the villian and Varin, Keralie’s companion, was a close second. I absolutely loved the villain. Their reason for killing the queens was so they could change the way the government was run. They were also ruthless and knew what they wanted and how to get it. As for Varin, he was just sweet and dorky. I loved his character arc. As for the queens, whose chapters are interspersed into the story until they are killed, really did grow on me. I wish we got to see more of Iris because she was a fireball. When she was killed, she thought “I am the Archian queen! How dare someone cut my throat,” which I felt really summed up her personality. Corra was my favorite because she reminded me of myself; loving but an intellectual. The government was flawed to say the least. The quadrants could not share freely with each other because it was believed that sharing ideas and goods would ruin the ideals of each quadrant. The best way I can describe is like the factions from Divergent, each quadrant had their own schtick, such as entertainment, technology, agriculture, etc. But unlike the factions, there was no sharing between them. All fruits and vegetables had to be imported making them weeks old before people outside of the quadrant received them. Any technological advances, such as electricity, or medicine were strictly controlled or not allowed at all. One thing that I thought was weird was that people could travel between each quadrant, which is strange because there is such a tight control on the interactions between the quadrants. Also, the queens had to devote their whole lives to their positions and could have very little in the way of personal connections. A queen could not marry or keep her own children and this caused a lot of tension in the book. If you didn’t guess there are going spoilers, though I am going to give the barest of details so even if you do read it there are at least some surprises. CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THOSE PLOT TWISTS!!!! For the ending, I was satisfied with it. But because I hate myself, I wish that it had not gotten wrapped up so nicely. I was so mad, but it was also satisfying, to see The Villain winning and Keralie paying for the deed that she did but not something that she was willingly apart of.