Four Dead Queens, by Astrid Scholte
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Release Date: February 26, 2019
Length: 432 pages
Times Read: Once
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.
What I Liked: Praise be these women who decided to overthrow their king and make their Kingdom a Queendom forever and ever amen.
♥ Keralie. A thief who ultimately wants there to be justice in the world, Keralie is an unreliable narrator whether she means to be or not. The stories and memories she relays to us aren’t always accurate, but readers have no way of knowing what might not be true. Throughout the book we’re on a journey right along with her as she tries not only to find out what happened to the queens, but also learns how much she didn’t know about herself and the man who helped make her.
♥ Varin. I love Varin, and I wish that we had chapters from his POV. So many times I wanted to know what he was thinking, though it was generally easy enough to figure out. His quadrant was supposed to make him stoic and practical, but of course things didn’t end up that way. He’s quiet and controlled, but he loves art and he’s emotional.
♥ How skilled the storytelling was. There are multiple POVs (one of my fave plot devices), and most of them come and go throughout. But we’ve also got SO VERY MANY plot twists, SO MANY of which I did not see coming! To be honest, for most of them I thought I had it figured out. Like when A was acting like he didn’t believe B in front of everyone? I thought for sure A was just pretending, and that A had a secret plan. Guess what? NOT AT ALL WHAT’S HAPPENING. I thought I figured out a big reveal only to be completely blindsided by the actual truth.
What I Didn’t: I anticipated this being more fantasy than it was fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi. That didn’t make it bad, but it threw me the first time I read something that didn’t fit in a fantasy world.
⊗ There is a little bit of romance. I could always do with more romance.
Favorite Quotes: “Get in quick. Get out quicker.”
‘No one said you looked good.'”