Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Sam says:


This book left an impression on me. It deviates from the typical fantasy plot, taking the reader along the route of a murder mystery that is reminiscent of Murder On The Orient Express. Secrets are abundant, and as you move through the book carefully crafted facades crumble and true natures emerge. I was captivated by the subtle unraveling of the plot, each twist and turn had me holding my breath, each reveal was met with a gasp. 
The world building is clever, a masterfully crafted landscape that is divided among the four unified nation states that make up the mythical land of Quadara. The dramatized cultures of the quadrants explore the balance of a nation, showing that all sides of life are integral. Overall it is a story I won't forget anytime soon.

From the publisher:

“Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead. 

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets 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.”