Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.
Astrid Scholte's debut novel is an enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences.
Keralie Corrington is a talented pickpocket. She steals for the black market in her quadrant. Her nation is divided into four regions, each strictly separated from the other. Four queens, one from each quadrant, rule as one.
When Keralie steals a particularly valuable item from a messenger, she discovers she's intercepted instructions to murder the queens. Hoping to find the culprit, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt. But with Keralie and Varin each keeping secrets, everything is at stake. And no one can be trusted in a world full of ruthless thieves, black markets, a golden palace, daring heists, royal intrigue, noble messengers, forbidden love, four queens - each with a secret, and, of course, murder.
What an impressive debut! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reading copy and upon seeing the cover and synopsis was instantly excited; devouring this wondrous story as fast as my eyes could take me. My imagination worked overtime attempting to create accurate images in my mind of the vastly different quadrants, all the while failing to truly grasp how these sectors are so geographically close together yet feel like they are from completely different worlds. I was taken from period costume with corsets and bonnets and a quadrant with no electricity to dermasuits and comm chips and technology so advanced it blew my mind! I was introduced to characters I immediately wanted to know more about and as the story progressed, was constantly surprised to discover new things about them I wouldn't have guessed.
This was a pretty cruise-y novel to begin with, an easy read that wrapped me up in the stunningly creative world Astrid has created until just past half way when the rugs started ripping out from under me with twists I never saw coming- much praise for an author who can still do that so successfully! I truly loved this book, a standing ovation from me as I (not so) patiently wait for Astrid's next masterpiece (please!)
~ Taegen , QBD Loganholme