Monday, March 4, 2019

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Title: Four Dead Queens
Author: Astrid Scholte
Genre: High Fantasy, Mystery
Source: A&U

A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

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.
Review by Nara

Four Dead Queens was a high fantasy novel centred around a thief named Keralie, and her connection to the murders of the four Queens of Quadara.

One thing I was pretty impressed by was the world building, which was pretty good overall, especially with the various scenes we have from the Queens' perspectives, showing us how the nations' values and points of view differed. I felt that each of the quarters was well fleshed out.

I did feel the only downfall of the novel was the difficulty I had getting more depth from the characters. They were a bit archetypical for the high fantasy genre (although there were definitely some aspects of diversity included, which was great to see).

FDQ is a book that I've seen quite a lot of press about, and it is well deserved. I look forward to seeing any other books Astrid Scholte has to offer in the future.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Cover: 3/5