When Keralie is sent on a task to steal from a messenger, she had no idea what she was actually taking. To stop her boss from getting the info she obtained, she inadvertently found herself in the middle of a conspiracy that could cost the kingdom it's queens. Can Keralie get to the truth as well as save her own life?
My favorite part of Four Dead Queens was how Astrid was able to create a book that is such an interesting mesh of genres. The biggest part of the book would most certainly be mystery, but there was also science fiction and even a hint fantasy and romance. I would have a hard time picking one category to fit this story into and I feel like that makes this a unique read. One random comment though is that this is categorized as YA but there was nothing YA about the book (nothing inappropriate, just not YA really either) and most of the narrators were adult age.
I also found the delivery of the story to be unique, not like any other book I have read. The story is split into four parts, each with a different focus of the overall plot. But not only that, the chapters alternate between Keralie, a con-artist/thief who I would call the main character of the book, and the four Queens of the region. The Queen's chapters alternate between all four of the queens, telling snippets of their lives and court intrigue- and sometimes their murder. I will admit that the chapters narrated by Keralie kept me more engaged than the Queens, I cared more about her than anyone else so I kind of wished the first two parts of the book did not include the queens.
I had a hard time getting through the first half of the book since the plot did not move very much, more world building and death plotting than any real action. Once the third section began, the pacing of the book picked up and I was able to speed through the rest of the story. There were some nice surprises that took place at the end that I never anticipated and overall the story wrapped up just about perfect. Astrid was able to create an entirely new story and developed a world that existed within a single volume (which makes me happy since I hate waiting for answers!). I look forward to more from Astrid to come- what a great way to debut!