“The four thrones, and their respective queens, sat in a circle around the dial. While the quadrants remained divided, the queens ruled from the same court. Together, yet apart.”
Keralie Corrington is a thief. And she’s definitely a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is honest. He is an upstanding citizen from the most enlightened quadrant. Normally, their paths would never cross. Normally, they would never talk to each other. Normally, packages don’t hold the fate of an entire realm inside.
When Karelie steals this package from Varin, they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a nefarious plan that finds all four Queens dead. Forced to work together, the pair must try to unravel the deadly secrets surrounding the Queens murders while staying alive themselves.
“Friends? Enemies? I shrugged. “Who can tell the difference?” Apparently not me.
This book has EVERYTHING I love in a novel! Royalty! Treachery! Conspiracy! MURDER!!! But my absolute FAVORITE thing about this novel, is how Scholte forced me to step back and reevaluate my entire perspective at several points during the novel. Every time I thought I knew what was going on, or predicting what was about to happen, I was absolutely DEAD WRONG! Every! Single! Time! And that skill in writing (not to mention story-telling) makes my black heart swoon in all the best ways!
Scholte has created a fantasy world that feels magical, yet actually doesn’t have any magic. The technology is fantastical but rooted in science. It’s just a science far more advanced than anything we know. The result ends up being a blend of fiction that pushes the bounds of neatly defined genres. It is fantasy flirting with science fiction, but it is also a thriller rooted in a solid murder-mystery. I think that this blending of genres will end up finding a wide appeal in a huge range of readers.
“But I knew that wasn’t the real reason. I wanted Varin to break free of the cage he’d put himself in, because I couldn’t break free of mine.”
This story is told through a variety of perspectives. Keralie is the main voice, but we also get a chance to hear events unfold through the eyes of each Queen. This unique twist allows for Scholte to both allow the reader to develop sympathy for each Queen and their respective quadrants, but also to give us a glimpse into world building in a seamless and unencumbered way. Very quickly I felt immersed in understanding how this world worked, not just as a whole, but within each quadrant. We also got to learn some secrets that honestly only kept me guessing as to their importance all the way up to the end.
I’m going to keep this review short and fanatical. Four Dead Queens doesn’t come out until February, but you do not want to miss this! It’s hard to see a hyped book and think, yeah sure, it’s all hype. I have fallen for that train many times myself. But this book is not one of those! This book will ACTUALLY DELIVER!!! Put this on your wish list and add it to your TBR. Seriously. Do it now.
I was lucky enough to manage to find myself in line for this gorgeous debut at BookCon, and it was worth every single security filled moment! Thank you Penguin Teen for giving these gems out!