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
Title : The King is Dead
Authors : Benjamin Dean
Format : eARC
Page Count : 367
Genre : YA Contemporary LGBTQ+
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Release Date : July 7, 2022
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★
Micky’s 3 star review
Queer black protagonist
Lots of drama
The King is Dead is an unusual choice of read because I am the opposite of a monarchist but in the same breath, a queer, black young King was a bit too interesting a characterisation to ignore. I did like the LGBTQ+ focus, the parentage twists, the recognition of the inherent racism in the UK and the complicated family and friendships.
There’s a lot of drama in this read and I had to remind myself that James was only 17 and his flitting between attraction, allegiances and risky outings was due to his immaturity. I had to fully suspend realism to get behind this story. I could really see some mirroring in some of the current royal family and racism they’ve experienced and how Jame’s position was viewed by the public and press.
The mystery was a bit far fetched but this was a quick thrilling read which kept a good momentum. I definitely see the Gossip Girl analogy in relation to this book and I think it will appeal to many.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the eARC.