Four Dead Queens

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Four Dead Queens Book Poster Image
Strong teen girl powers fast-paced fantasy mystery.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

It's a fantasy meant to entertain. Shows corrupting influence of political power.

Positive Messages

You should tell the truth, even in difficult situations. Political power can be a corrupting influence.


As title suggests, it does contain violence, including a throat-slitting, a drowning, and a poisoning. These scenes convey the victims' surprise and fear but don't dwell on gruesome details.


Though their interactions are prickly at first, Varin and Keralie develop a romantic relationship that entails a few passionate embraces.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Four Dead Queens is a fantasy mystery by Astrid Scholte. A professional thief and a messenger boy team up to save the royalty of four different regions after they learn that an assassination plot is afoot. The level of violence is fairly low but includes a drowning, a poisoning, and a throat-cutting. The two main characters are attracted to each other but have a prickly relationship that precludes romance until the end of the book. Other couples are more direct in acknowledging their romantic relationships, without going into detail. No swearing or substance use. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStudiousStudent March 30, 2019

Not for Young Teens but Great

This book is not for young teens. There is way more sexual content and especially more language than what is mentioned in the review. The book is obviously quit... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 and 13-year-old Written bykylieck May 27, 2021

Reading it now - some initial thoughts

I will update my review when we're done with it. I knew this was meant for kids, but didn't look into the ratings before I started reading it to my 10... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 24, 2019


Personally I think it depends on the maturity level of the kid. I say this due to the fact there is cursing in the book, and on pages 30 and 31 it says an I quo... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 3, 2019

Awesome book

I'd recommend it for anyone who likes murder mystery and fantasy.

What's the story?

As FOUR DEAD QUEENS opens, 16-year-old Keralie Corrington steals a valuable package from Varin, a messenger from neighboring Eonia. Keralie winds up ingesting the package's contents, a set of edible communication chips that give her visions of four murders. The victims are the four queens of Quadara. Keralie and Varin must use all their skills and brainpower to figure out how and why the queens are meeting such an early demise.

Is it any good?

Some fantasy authors get bogged down in the details of world-building, but the creator of this unusual whodunnit sets the scene gracefully while keeping the narrative moving at a steady clip. Debut novelist Astrid Scholte mixes fantasy and mystery elements in Four Dead Queens, and the result is a clever, suspenseful adventure, with plenty of surprises. Keralie and Varin prove to be an appealing couple, and Scholte provides a satisfying resolution while leaving the door open for future installments. Teen readers should find this novel extremely likable and promising.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Four Dead Queens combines elements of fantasy and mystery. Why do writers mix together aspects of different genres? 

  • Keralie takes pride in being a professional thief. How do criminals rationalize their bad behavior?

  • Do female politicians act differently than their male counterparts? What types of issues do women leaders focus on that men don't?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and mystery

Themes & Topics

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