Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

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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.

oh my god omg GIF

That. Was. Brilliant.

That was so smart. I am REELING!

There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming at all!

I though for sure that I kinda knew where the story was going. There were a few things I wasn’t sure about but was still super excited for the reveal. BUT THEN ALL MY THEORIES GOT THROWN OUT THE WINDOW ENTIRELY!

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So many twists! So many turns! THAT heart stopping revelation! The ACTUAL HEART STOPPING!

No joke. My heart literally stopped at the “big reveal”. I had to read it again. And I swear my brain made that grinding gears noise and then all I could think was “Wait…… WHAT!”

I almost cried. For a split second I almost sobbed. Our little precious characters had so much going for them. So much life ahead of them.

Let me try and break this up a little.

World Building

I really enjoyed being immersed in the world of Quadara. Although we spent most of the book in Toria, and the palace (though Eonia is briefly visited too). I loved how different all the quadrants were and that, even though we only visited two, it is easy to imagine what the others would be like based on their descriptions.

One thing I always love about a book, is when the world building creates such a vivid image of a place that it seems more impossible for that place not to be real.

Characters

I LOVED the cast of characters in Four Dead Queens. So much.

I loved all the queens. I loved Iris, Stessa and Corra all equally buuuuuut I think Queen Marguerite might be my favourite. She is a literal queen. Literally. I loved her. She always turns up when you least expect her too *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge* I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t read it, so I won’t elaborate on this winking and nudging. But you will know what I mean when you read it.

With Queen Corra, what I really did love was the portrayal of her grief. Again, I don’t want to give anything away (even though it’s literally in the title), but I was close to tears every time I read anything from her perspective. She’s supposed to be unfeeling and Eonist (focused only on technology and improving) but she felt everything and was so broken with loss and reading about her losing the one she loved was truly heart breaking.

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BUT ON TO OUR MCs’!!!

Keralie and Varin. The two beans. Boy do they need a NAP! and some cake.

Keralie was such a vicious little bean, always wanting to steal stuff and what not. Bless.

This is made even better by Varin.

Precious bean Varin. A law abiding citizen in every way, who should have been an emotionless, walking, talking danger. But he wasn’t. He is the most precious of beans and must be protected. He just wants to live and do art. #toopreciousforthisworld

What I loved was that when Keralie stole with his knowledge of it, he wasn’t all “NO! DON’T DOOOO IIIIIT!” He was just, “I’m not helping, and I’m not watching.”

I LOVED THE WAY THEIR RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPED! From “How dare !!!!!” to “Am I blushing or is it hot in here?” to “YOU HAVE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SOUL AND YOU DESERVE THE WORLD!” Bless their souls. For a second at the end I thought my ship was destroyed. Almost cried. But they were so cute through out the book with Varin doing most of the blushing. Their interactions had me all:

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Honourable Mention: I really liked Mackiel as a character too. He was real sneaky that one. You never knew what he was going to do. It was just a game of: What’s he gonna do? What’s he gonna do? What’s he gon- NO DON’T DO THAT! STOP IT! TOO FAR! BAD BEAN! PUT IT BACK! 

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Pace

While I felt like the overall pace was pretty good, admittedly as it got towards the end, the story seemed to go a little faster. But I kinda liked it!

I liked that it was slow in the beginning and middle as you drank everything in. Sitting there like, “Hmmmmm. Now who could be the murderer? Hmmmmm.”

And then at the end everything gets revealed and you get whiplash from the uncontrollable outburst of “WHAT?!?!?!” as you question everything you thought you knew.

In GIFs:

Beginning and middle:

Monsters Inc Mine Disney GIF

End (the reveal!):

monsters inc disney GIF

Overall

I loved this book. It’s definitely one of my top favourites of the year so far! I feel like the world needs more standalone fantasy, less terrifying commitment = more fun and squealing!

I loved the whole murder mystery aspect and how it was literally impossible to figure out.

This book was pure genius. Absolutely brilliant!

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars!!

*flails*


Have you read Four Dead Queens? What did you think? How do you feel about HUGE plot twists that make you fall out of your chair like “WHAT!”??

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