WELCOME TO MY MOST ENTHUSIASTIC REVIEW IN A LONG TIME.
Title: Four Dead Queens
Author: Astrid Scholte
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: February 26, 2019
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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
GUYS… this book is good.
I’ve said before that I’ve been searching for a fantasy book that I LOVED for a long long time, pretty much since I read An Ember in the Ashes for the first time in 2015. I’ve just had terrible luck with recently released YA fantasy and found they’ve all been decent, but fall short of their potential.
Four Dead Queens is a book I saw hyped up A LOT since book con last year, but I never really saw any reviews for it. I went into it thinking I would have the same luck that I have had with fantasy novels recently and boy I was wrong. Very early into reading this book I could tell I was going to adore it, and I did.
I don’t even know where to start because I’ll just start rambling if I don’t organize this review, so let’s start with the characters:
Astrid Scholte pulled off the multiple POVs SO well. I will go on and on about how multiple POVs in YA books are often poorly written and confusing. I find they are commonly unnecessary in a lot of novels but are implemented just for the sake of saying it has multiple POVs as it seems to be a popular narrative strategy right now. That said, Scholte did it in the best way possible. She kept each character clearly defined. I NEVER was confused about who was who (and that is very rare for me in novels like this). I really appreciated this, It makes the readability of a book so much better when I can actually easily remember the characters and their personalities, rather than each character feeling like the same person. Each character that is given focus in the novel is well rounded and well written, as well as the villains having really interesting intentions and motivations. Their personalities are clear and I was able to connect with all of them, even if they didn’t survive very long 👀
This is also the first book I’ve probably ever read that really uses the timeline to its advantage. It fully plays with what you think you know and what order you think everything is happening in. It keeps you guessing, and when reveals are shown, even if you saw it coming it’s exciting and/or shocking. It plays a bit with the unreliable narrator (which is one of my all-time favourite narrative conventions) so that it really feels like you can trust much of what you are reading.
World building? oh yeah, we have lots of that. The world is set up beautifully. It’s not overly complex just for the sake of being “different”, and it excels in its straight forward, yet interesting concepts. There are 4 quadrants each with different specialties, focuses and beliefs. Each of the titular queens rules over their respective quadrant from the beautiful and extravagant palace.
Also, let’s talk about the two main POVs, Keralie and Varin, because oh boy their arc. Although this is enemies to lovers, I really loved the enemies to friends aspects. The romance aspect itself is very brief and not overbearing so I really came to love their friendship. I had tweeted that this book made me realize that one of my favourite tropes was enemies to friends hahah.
Truly, I adored everything in this book. I spent all the time reading it yelling over snapchat to one of my friends. Its so much fun, so excited, and a such a breakthrough in multiple POV storytelling.
Definitely check out this book and pre-order a copy/get yourself a copy on release day! If for any do it for the cover, because WOW its a beauty.
I’m going to stop myself there, I hope it wasn’t too much of me rambling on about how much I loved this book, but sometimes those are the best kind of reviews I think 🙂
p.s sign me tf up for more books featuring two queens in love thank u v much
Thank you SO much for reading!