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Book Review: The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean (ARC)

"Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Inheritance Games in this Black LGBTQ+ royal romp full of heart-swooning romance, scandalous secrets and one hell of a mystery.

James has been a prince all of his life, and since he was born, he's been thrust into the spotlight as the first Black heir to the throne. But when his father unexpectedly dies, James is crowned king at seventeen. Now, the secrets he could keep as a prince with no real responsibility - namely, his sexuality and hidden relationship - are rocked as his life irrevocably changes.

When his boyfriend suddenly goes missing, the royal secrets and scandals that only he knows start to leak online. And when it becomes clear that whoever is behind the messages isn't going to stop anytime soon, James begins to question everyone around him."

Pages: 368


I received The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Pride Book Tours & Simon YA Books for my advanced copy and for having me on the tour!

Before we get started, I have a couple of questions for you…

Do you love twisty stories where you don’t know who can you trust?

Do you also love the idea of Red, White & Royal Blue mixed with Gossip Girl?

And do you also love brilliant writing, fantastic characters and mind blowing mysteries?

Then you are going to LOVE The King Is Dead!!

This book had me lost for words, I loved the entire experience of reading this. It was immediately engaging and keeps your attention hooked throughout - I didn’t want to put it down for a second! The writing was brilliant and I really enjoyed how the mysteries were set up and how the twists were revealed at the perfect moments. I was so proud of myself because I guessed one of the twists which turned out to be a really minor one because Benjamin Dean then hit me with the MOTHER OF ALL TWISTS! I was so shocked, it was heart racing and just so bloody incredible.

The story includes a great cast of characters and I loved our main character James. The author portrayed his grief and vulnerability versus the pressures of having to be unbreakable so well. I also really enjoyed how as a reader you get to form a special connection with the protagonist as you only know as far as they know. I had a great affinity with James because as a reader I also didn’t know who to trust and I could feel the time running out as though I had the countdown on my head. It was such a clever and immersive form of storytelling, I love it when stories do this! The author also perfectly captured the viciousness of UK newspapers and there were so many points where my heart was just breaking for James and there were so many times where I wanted to give him a massive hug.

The King is Dead is an outstanding story and hands down one of the best YA mystery thrillers that I’ve ever read! It was stunning in every regard!

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