Four Dead Queens

Author: Astrid Scholte

Publisher/Year: Allen & Unwin/2019

Publisher Description

Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington is one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves, but when she steals an unexpectedly valuable package from a messenger she is soon entangled in a conspiracy that leads to all four of Quadara’s queens being murdered.

With no other choices and on the run from her former employer, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, and together they race to discover who has killed the queens. But when dark secrets threaten their reluctant partnership and put everything at stake, Keralie and Varin must use all their daring to stay alive and untangle the mysteries behind the nation’s four dead queens.

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.


Judges: Karina Kilmore, Philomena Horsley, Bec Kavanagh, Pauline Meaney, Debbie Stephen and Moraig Kisler

Judges’ Comments

Four Dead Queens is an action-packed journey into the world of Quadara where four queens jointly reign over its quadrants of agriculture, technology, commerce and the arts. Keralie Corrington is a feisty, resourceful young thief who is shadowed by the guilt of past deeds. She finds herself in a dangerous race against time when she uncovers a plot to assassinate all four queens.

Astrid Scholte enhances the gripping narrative by offering rich insights into her characters and the cultural tensions that exist between the diverse quadrants. Her story culminates in a genuinely shocking twist. An outstanding debut and inventive world-building at its peak.