A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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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?
- Author: Astrid Scholte
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
- Publication date: February 26, 2019
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: December 13, 2019
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