Last month I ordered my very first Owlcrate–a monthly young adult book subscription service. Each month’s box includes a new hardcover Young Adult novel along with 3-5 bookish goodies. The contents are kept a secret and only a theme is announced beforehand. Basically if you like reading YA novels and receiving a box of secret goodies in the mail every month, you should definitely check it out!
I’d been wanting to order one FOREVER and finally jumped at the March theme called Murder & Mayhem. Here’s what came in it:
The novel, Four Dead Queens, has a special Owlcrate cover and is signed by the author, Astrid Scholte. But now let’s get to the book review. 😉
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.
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.
What I liked:
Overall I really enjoyed this novel! The story has elements of all my favourite genres: murder mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. It’s fast-paced and combines a third and first person narrative allowing you to bounce between Keralie’s perspective and the four Queens. Something I loved.
I liked the idea of having a world with four separate quadrants ruled by four Queens, each striving to maintain their own culture but ruling as one. It’s a unique concept. One that hooked me in right from the start.
As a fan of Agatha Christie, I loved how Scholte infused that classic who-dunnit vibe into a fantasy story. But the true test of a good murder mystery is when you guess, and fail, to uncover who’s behind everything. And this novel definitely kept me guessing right to the end.
Varin quickly became one of my favourite characters. His Eonian stoic nature was a perfect compliment to Keralie’s Torian passion. I’d love to see additional novels set in this world, perhaps featuring these or new characters too!
You can pick up a copy of Four Dead Queens on Amazon.
Because I enjoyed the Owlcrate SO MUCH I’ve gone ahead and subscribed for April too. I’m excited to see which novel and goodies will arrive in my mailbox. Maybe I’ll even write another quick review. 😉
The April theme is The Dark Side!