“Sometimes failure is the beginning of success.”
Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, 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. He 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 both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.
As I said in my April Book Haul post, Four Dead Queens was originally a book that I noticed a friend of mine had recently finished reading on GoodReads and had rated Astrid Scholte’s debut book as 4 stars. After researching a little about the genre I decided to pick it up the next time I did a haul.
I’m very pleased I did! I really enjoyed Astrid’s writing. I tend to read books by authors who write in a certain way; as if they’re retelling a story. I tend to struggle a little more with more “classic” long words and fancy synonyms writers. It’s my personal taste and that’s why I often pick out Young Adult fiction rather than Adult fiction. It does all depend on writing style though, the genre or age range of a book doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t enjoy the book.
I’m trying to write this review completely spoiler free as I know a few of my close friends would like to read the book and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone! Trust me, I’ve been spoiled far too many times with Game of Thrones; I never want to do that to anyone else.
To start off, it was a little slow for my tastes, however, I think Astrid really gave the world, Quadara, a life of its own – she made sure that the reader understands each individual element of Quadara (Eonia, Ludia, Archia and Toria) and the queens who represent each quadrant. Of course, we’re introduced to the main character Keralie, who seems to be quite the typical seventeen year old until you learn that she’s not at all! I did think at the beginning that Keralie would be the typical archetype female main character of the Young Adult Fantasy world, however, I was pleasantly surprised the more I got to know Keralie and the more the story continued.
Astrid’s writing takes you on a journey with Keralie through various situations and circumstances from the very beginning of the book – faced with impossible choices, which seem second nature to Keralie, I was really on the edge of my seat!
As per the title of the book, characters die. However, there are many twists and turns within the book and the ending was a complete and utter shock to me. The big reveal of the assassin at the end still has me reeling; Astrid really pulled the wool over my eyes! I think that’s also why I enjoyed the book so much as I was trying work out who was the assassin at every page and every moment I read further I genuinely couldn’t have guessed who it was at the end.
The only downside to me within the plot would be the love element with Keralie and Varin. I felt like it was almost forced in a way and I think, personally, I would have preferred if there wasn’t that within the book. It’s not that Keralie and Varin aren’t meant to be together, it’s more the fact that their relationship felt a bit stereotypical and, personally, it detracted a little from the plot and overall storytelling.
With that all said, I thoroughly enjoyed Four Dead Queens and I’d highly recommend that you go pick up the book and give it a try! Let me know if you’ve read the book or whether you’re interested in purchasing, I’m really interested to see what your opinions are.
Final rating: 4/5
My very first review on my blog! I also posted part of this on my GoodReads account – I highly recommend following me there or friending me if you’re interested in my future reviews. I’ll also be posting them here, too, so if you’re not too big on GoodReads, don’t worry. Hope you enjoyed this post – it’s been a busy few weeks, so I apologise for not keeping my blog as updated as I would like!