'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Review: Four Dead Queens

Just when you think you’ve unravelled the mystery, you know what’s happening, you’ve got it all worked out, Astrid Scholte throws you a curve ball you never expected and everything changes.

Four Dead Queens is a wild ride. It’s fast paced, thrilling, mysterious fantasy — fantasy at it’s best — with twists and turns you won’t see coming and a rich and detailed world that hooks you from the first page.

The novel follows seventeen-year-old Keralie, a skilled thief who lives life how she wants, taking what she wants, saying whatever she thinks without a care. 

But when she steals an important and valuable message, Keralie gets caught up in a deadly conspiracy involving four grisly murders of the queens that rule the lands. 

Teaming up with the boy she stole the message from, Keralie embarks on a dangerous and risky mission to unravel the truth. A truth I promise you will not see coming.

Scholte is a masterful writer and Four Dead Queens is the perfect example of how multiple perspective, time-hopping stories can tick all the boxes when they’re done right. 

The story dips in and out of a few different characters, including Keralie and each of the four queens. But never does the reader question whose perspective they are reading, and none of the jumps are jarring or awkward. The story plays with time as well, but the movements through time and place are just so flawless, so seamless, so perfect, you’ll close the book smiling because the whole novel is a spectacular puzzle, right to the very end. 

Then there is the world that Scholte has created. Quadara is complex and unique and interesting. Keralie’s story might (or might not) end at the completion of this novel, but I want so much more from this world. It stays with you. You’ll have questions you want answered; you’ll be curious and hungry for more. 

If you like fantasy, if you like mystery, if you like action-adventure, Four Dead Queens is a YA novel you’ll want to check out. It’s fresh, it’s daring, it’s filled to the brim with twists you won’t see coming.

Title: Four Dead Queens
Author: Astrid Scholte
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: March 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760524418
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction