Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Format: ARC provided by Penguin Teen Canada
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, Fantasy
My rating: Set it on fire/If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Pre-order: Amazon • Bookdepository
Add to: Goodreads
Hello little dragons! Back on this SUPER snowy day to tell you some of my thoughts on Four Dead Queens, a book coming out by the end of this month (the 26th to be precise) and that you do not want to miss!
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.
An unexpected world
When I started reading Four Dead Queens, I was expecting this kind of medieval fantasy world… and if this is part right, it is also not a complete description of Quadara. This queendom is ruled by four queens, each taking care of a part of it. And if some of the parts are indeed on the medieval side, like Archia and Toria, one of them is fond of technology! In Eona, you can find microchips, enhanced humans and powerful weapons. I was really surprised by this twist, and it added a very interesting element to the story! Without spoiling you too much, we see the murder of the Queens through these chips! And it is this vision that will lead the entire story!
The fact that four Queens rule also brings interesting questioning regarding politics and how to best rule in unity while also separated. What to keep and what to share? Should you take the risk to alter your land and maybe damage it, or refuse all change, before knowing if it would be good or bad? I liked the questions the author put in our mind through the story, going beyond a fictional world.
From bad to worse
We follow our main character, Keralie, from her very unfortunate theft of a comm case containing very important chips, to her discovering what is on these chips, and trying to decide what to do with this vital information. At her side, Varin, a not so cold Eonist who is decided to do the right thing..but not sure what that is.
In parallel (and I always loved these chapters), we follow the story of each Queen, and slowly uncover their secrets, as well as witness their death. It was a sort of double timeline that kept the story very interesting!
Everything was well woven together in this book, even if I thought some elements, like the HYDRA cure, where not really necessary or fitting well with the rest. I also thought some intense situations were too fastly resolved. But all in all, it did not prevent me from truly enjoying this book!
In a few words
An interesting and unusual world-building, characters always on the run and murders to solve… Astrid Scholte offers us a very interesting and unique book not to miss out this year!
See you for a cup,