Four Dead Queens

432p. Putnam. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525513926.
Gr 8 Up—Quadara is a divided but united nation with each of its four quadrants ruled by a different queen. The four rule a matriarchal society with absolute dominion over their area but work together to unite Quadara for common survival. Keralie is a skilled thief in one of the quadrants who steals memory chips from Varin, a messenger. Their lives are entwined when Keralie consumes the memories, therefore experiencing them for herself. These memories are of the violent deaths of each of the queens, leaving Quadara without a single ruler. Yet no news of these brutal murders has left the palace and the people are unaware. Keralie and Varin race to solve the murders with the hope of helping their nation somehow and bring what little information they have to the advisors. When they arrive however, they have audience with a queen. One who was murdered, adding more questions than answers for Keralie and Varin. At first glance this book is reminiscent of the Veronica Roth's "Divergent" series mixed with "Red Queen" books by Victoria Aveyard. However, the story takes unexpected turns, has complicated characters who develop over time, and ends unpredictably.
VERDICT A recommended addition to young adult fantasy/dystopian collections, particularly where regal sagas are popular.

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