Hiya everyone, it’s Sarah!
I have finally gotten around to reading Schlote’s debut novel Four Dead Queens. I received this as an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The world is split into four distinct parts, but is ruled collectively by four queens. Each queen represents the desires and values of their own section, all working to do what is best for everyone. The queens are kept from visiting their section and world, so that they cannot be swayed in their ruling. However, these queens do not follow all of the rules set forth, though they will never admit it. Each of the queens has her own deep secret and they begin dying, leaving the country without a ruler and certainly without protectors who will champion all parts of the world’s equally.
After causing a devastating accident which severely harms her father, Keralie runs away to the city and becomes the best pickpocket. When she is tasked with stealing something from messenger, Varin, she is thrown into a the world’s deadliest secrets. Varin is desperate to get his memory device back and deliver to the original recipient, but others are also looking for these damning memories. As Keralie ingests the memories and they disappear into her body, she sees the four queens being systematically murdered. In attempt to save their world, Varin and Keralie join together to find the murderer.
This book was difficult to get into, but I did slowly become invested in the story. Not to the point that I would want to read further in this universe, but the taste of this author’s writing speaks of good things to come. I never really warmed to Varin and the four sections. I think the world building that needed to occur with these very different countries, and characters was lofty and difficult. However, for the most part, I think Schlote did a solid job of it. The villain was a bit of a let down because she was so extreme, while other characters lived in the grey area of being flawed, the villain was pure evil.