Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

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“Get in quick, get out quicker”

Excuse me while I petition for every YA fantasy world to be a queendom instead of a kingdom because Four Dead Queens is the feminist fantasy murder mystery I never knew I needed. Vivid, fast-paced, and suspenseful with the perfect amount of humor and romance, make me the fifth dead queen because I am trash for this book.

Keralie is a thief and quite good at it, possibly the best, but when one of her assignments from Makiel, her mentor and a Kaz Brekker type who runs a thriving black market, goes horribly wrong, Keralie finds herself in possession of crucial information about the murders of the four queens of Quadara. As Keralie tries to untangle the mystery of what happened to the four dead queens and who killed them, she’ll learn just how little she knows about Makiel, herself, and her world.

Intricately woven with immersive world building, complex characters with hidden motives, and unpredictable plot twists, Four Dead Queens is a standalone fantasy that will keep you at the edge of your seat and flipping each page frantically, dying (horrible pun intended) to know just what happened to these queens. I tried playing detective while reading, and wasn’t able to predict anything that happened. This book is a RIDE that had me gasping at the plot twists and hungry to piece everything together.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Four Dead Queens was how cleverly the story was told. Alternating between the perspectives of Keralie and the queens, the reader gets to see both Keralie attempting to unravel the murders and the events immediately preceding them. I’m particularly a sucker for political intrigue, so getting to see the politics from the queens’ perspectives and the secrets they had was especially a treat—and trust me, there were some wonderfully scandalous secrets.

Of course, I can’t end this review without talking about the world, because WOWZA, catch me packing my bags and moving to Quadara because I’m obsessed. Each region was so unique and well-built with distinct cultures and values, and the author did a fantastic job of making the reader feel as though they knew and lived in each one. I can already imagine the BuzzFeed “Which Region of Quadara Do You Belong In” quizzes. The story was perfect for a standalone, but the world makes me wish it was a series, and I’m really hoping the author will write more books in this universe, because I’m in love.

If this review hasn’t convinced you already, let me put it bluntly, Four Dead Queens is GOOD. I haven’t been this excited for a YA fantasy—especially a standalone—in a long time. Plot twists. Queendom. Political intrigue. Mystery. Need I go on? (Trust me, I can). If you haven’t already, be sure to preorder Four Dead Queens (release date, FEBRUARY 26th 2019) because I need people to obsess over this book with as soon as it’s released. In the meantime, I’ll be chilling in Quadara with Keralie and Varin—a girl can dream, okay?
Preorder Four Dead Queens

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