Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte | book review

This review is spoiler-free! Four Dead Queens (9780525513926): Scholte, Astrid: Books

Title: Four Dead Queens
Series: standalone
Author: Astrid Scholte
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Published: Feb. 26, 2019
Category: YA
Genre: dystopia, fantasy
Pages: 413
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Goodreads page

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Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but in fact, she’s 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. Varin 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 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.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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Four Dead Queens is about Keralie, a thief, and Varin, a messenger, trying to figure out and stop the murder of the four queens of Quadara.

Before I get into my thoughts, I wanted to preface this review by saying that this wasn’t a bad story. I enjoyed most of it, but I had a few problems with how the story was structured and some of the choices that were made.

This book is a quintessential YA dystopia fantasy novel. Quadara feels like a combination of the districts in The Hunger Games and the factions in Divergent. You have Eonia, which is the technology/science/logic-without-emotion quadrant (kind of like Erudite/District 3). You have Archia, which is the agricultural quadrant that is all about hard work and simplicity (like Amity/District 11). Then there’s Toria, which is the intellect and exploration quadrant (kind of like Eurdite again). Lastly, there’s Ludia, which is the art/luxury quadrant (like District 1). The quadrants of Quadara aren’t exact copies of the worlds of The Hunger Games and Divergent, but they’re similar enough that my eyebrows were raised.

Eyebrows Raise GIF - Eyebrows Raise Eyebrow - Discover & Share GIFs | The  rock gif, Dwayne johnson, Wwe the rock

The story jumps from past to present (or present to future, depending on how you look at it), but since there is no clear indication that the story is jumping back and forth, it can get a little confusing at times. It doesn’t help that the story is told in six different perspectives. I didn’t even realize that the chapters were switching timelines until I was practically done with the book.

Also, the explanation of how the queens all ended up dead was… lackluster. There were a lot of convenient plot devices involved. Again, my eyebrows were raised.

raised eyebrow gifs | WiffleGif

Other than a few minor things that I can’t talk about because of spoilers, this was an okay book. If you’re looking for a stereotypical YA book, this might be for you. If you liked the worlds of The Hunger Games and Divergent, this book is also for you.


✅ okay story and characters
➖ the world feels unoriginal
❌ the switching between past and present is unclear and confusing

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I give Four Dead Queens 3 stars!

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Stay awkward and amazing!

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