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Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Young adult

Four Dead Queens

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Astrid Scholte, on your first book!

by Astrid Scholte

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Following the brutal murder of four queens, an accomplished pickpocket attempts to track down the culprit.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy

    Buzzy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical

    Magical

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Murder

    Murder

Synopsis

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.

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Free sample

Check out a preview of Four Dead Queens.
Four Dead Queens

Chapter One

Keralie

The morning sun caught the palace’s golden dome, flooding the Concord with light. While everyone halted their business and glanced up—as though it were a sign from the four queen themselves—we perched overhead like sea vultures, ready to swoop in and pick them apart.

“Who shall we choose today?” Mackiel asked. He was leaning against a large screen atop a building that displayed the latest Queenly Reports. He looked like a charming, well-dressed young man from Toria. At least, that was what he looked like.

“Choices, choices,” I said with a grin.

He moved to drape his arm heavily around my shoulder. “Who do you feel like being today? A sweet young girl? A damsel in distress? A reluctant seductress?” He puckered his lips at me.

I laughed and pushed him away. “I’ll be whatever makes us the most money.” I usually picked my targets, but Mackiel had been in a good mood this morning, and I didn’t want to tip the boat. He submerged easily into darkness these days, and I’d have done anything to keep him in the light.

I shrugged. “You choose.”

He raised his dark eyebrows before tilting his bowler hat to further survey the crowd. The line of kohl around his lids made his deep-set blue eyes stand out all the more. Nothing escaped his scrutiny. A familiar smirk played at his lips.

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Why I love it

When it comes to books, there is nothing better than unexpected plot twists, good intentions gone wrong, and characters who are both flawed and charismatic. Throw in a petty thief, a nation divided by values, and queens who are hiding gossip-worthy secrets, and I’m hooked.

After a reckless mistake leaves her father fighting for his life, heartbroken Keralie turns to crime, serving as a master thief for a childhood friend. But when she’s ordered to steal a comm chip that happens to contain a plot to kill the nation’s four queens, Keralie finds herself at odds with her employer—and running for her life. Now Keralie, who’s always relied on her ability to lie to survive, must place her trust in the messenger she stole from in order to catch the culprit.

This book is an epic fantasy with elements of science fiction, but at its core it’s about seeking truth and questioning long-held rules and traditions. Even in a world like Quadara, divided by its differences and core beliefs, Keralie discovers that it is love and sacrifice that truly matter. I love getting lost in worlds that are nothing like real life—and if you do too, you’ll love this book about a magical nation and the four endangered rulers fighting to uphold the values of their people.

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Member ratings (670)

  • DesiRae J.

    Spokane Valley, WA

    I read this book the month it came out but never left reviews back then. I truly enjoyed this book. I generally read series so it was a nice break from that, but I'll be honest, I wish there was more

  • Brenda H.

    Archer, FL

    I loved this book. It was written from the view point of the different main characters. So each chapter would be a different character. I was surprised to find out the assassin was & who was behind it

  • Lisa C.

    Mesa, AZ

    This book was a very fast read for me. It is definitely geared toward the young -adult readers, and as such isn't very complex. But, if you works like a light, read with a new story, this is for you.

  • Selena R.

    Albuquerque, NM

    This book reminded me that I'm super gay. Read this book if you want a mystery to solve. If you hate corrupt power. If you love female hero with character so vibrant you could pluck her off the page.

  • Brittany L.

    Oakdale, PA

    This was a fast read that I really enjoyed! I liked a book packed with complex and powerful female characters, that I think the author could expand upon and add to each queens story. POVs were great!

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