Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
March 1st 2019
Keralie Corrington is a talented pickpocket in the kingdom of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can't get in their own quadrant. For Quadara is a nation divided into four regions, each strictly separated from the other. Toria, the intellectual quadrant values education and ambition. Ludia, the pleasure quadrant values celebration and passion. Archia, the agricultural quadrant, values simplicity and nature. Eonia, the futurist quadrant values technology, stoicism and harmonious community. Four queens, one from each quadrant, rule as one. When on Mackiel's orders Keralie steals a particularly valuable item from a messenger, what seems like a routine theft goes horribly wrong. Keralie discovers she's intercepted instructions to murder the queens. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit-valuable information that she can barter with-Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the messenger she stole from, to complete his delivery and uncover the would-be murderer. But with Keralie and Varin each keeping secrets-and the lives of the queens hanging in the balance-everything is at stake, and no one can be trusted.
This does feel like it has echoes of several other books, but I'm a sucker for fantasy world building, thievery, and murder plots, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how this one stands up to my excitement.
The Queen's Resistance by Rebecca Ross
March 7th 2019
Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’s just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier Evariste, a wholly separate factor in her new life. Now known as Aodhan Morgane, Cartier is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as fond of Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander – what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone? As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep-seated love.
Finally! I feel as though I've been waiting for this one for ages! I absolutely adored the first book in this series "The Queen's Rising" and it went straight onto my favourite reads from the year, with a very impatient and excited need to get hold of the second book immediately. Finally the time has come - read this series!
The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton
March 7th 2019
Camellia Beaureguard is a Belle. She can make you beautiful. Though there is always a cost. With a price on her head, the evil Queen Sophia out for blood, and no idea who to trust, Camellia must race against time to find the ailing Princess Charlotte, who has disappeared without a trace. Sophia's imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep Camellia, her sister Edel, and her loyal guard, Rémy, from returning Charlotte to the palace and her rightful place as queen. With the help of a secretive resistance movement called the Iron Ladies - a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely - and the backing of underground newspaper the Spider's Web, Camellia must use her powers, her connections, and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orléans.
The Belles was one of my surprise loves of last year, and it left me on a desperate cliff hanger needing to find out what happened. It's stuck with me for a year, and now it's nearly time to see what happens next. I really recommend picking up The Belles if you haven't yet.
Are any of these catching your eye? And are there any you think I should pick up this month? Let me know in the comments below!