The King is Dead

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Pub Date 21 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2022
Simon & Schuster (Australia), Simon & Schuster Children's UK

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Gossip Girl but make it royal – a Black LGBTQ+ royal reimagining full of scandalous secrets, rollercoaster romances and one hell of a mystery, from the award-winning author Benjamin Dean. 

‘Scandalous, funny and deliciously compelling!’ Catherine Doyle, co-author of Twin Crowns
James has been a prince all 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 dies unexpectedly, James is crowned king at the tender age of seventeen, and his life irrevocably changes. 
When James’ boyfriend suddenly goes missing, threatening envelopes appear in the palace, and gossip and scandals that only he knows are leaked to the public. As the anonymous informant continues to expose every last skeleton in the royal closet, James realises even those in his inner circle can’t be trusted.



‘A moreish mashup of scandalous thriller and royal intrigue combines with smart observations on race and power, underpinned with real heart.’ The Guardian

‘All hail this exquisitely twisty, delightfully queer mystery.’ Chelsea Pitcher, author of This Lie Will Kill You

‘Benjamin Dean has written a royal triumph.’ Juno Dawson, author of Her Majesty's Royal Coven
‘A compelling thriller that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading.’ Kathryn Foxfield, author of Good Girls Die First
‘A scandalous peek behind the royal curtain, with more jaw-dropping, OMG-twists than even the most salacious tabloid journalist could create.’ Erik J. Brown, author of All That's Left in the World
‘One page-burning scandal after another. Benjamin Dean is YA royalty.’ Femi Fadugba, author of The Upper World
‘A scandalous, twisty mystery that had me on the edge of my seat gasping for more.’ Kate Weston, author of Diary of a Confused Feminist
‘A twisty thriller that kept me guessing until the very end.’ Lex Croucher, author of Reputation
‘Addictive, compelling, and utterly delicious.’ Simon James Green, author of Noah Can’t Even
‘The scandal of the season!’ Abiola Bello, author of Love in Winter Wonderland

‘A delicious royal mystery.’ The Bookseller
Gossip Girl but make it royal – a Black LGBTQ+ royal reimagining full of scandalous secrets, rollercoaster romances and one hell of a mystery, from the award-winning author Benjamin Dean. 


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ISBN 9781398512542
PRICE A$17.99 (AUD)

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Featured Reviews

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When Prince James' father, the King, dies, he is unexpectedly thrown into the burden of ruling, but secrets he was used to keeping while he was still prince threaten to see the light of day, when a particularly curious reporter is intent on dragging out all the skeletons in James' closet for the world to see. But when his boyfriend disappears, and the secrets leaking are more and more severe, James begins to suspect someone around him might be a traitor.

Firstly, what attracted me to this book was the main character, and the author did not disappoint. So rarely do we get to see black, queer men as royalty, and this definitely provided a fun, exciting read. The mystery was interesting, and I hated the reporter with a burning passion, but what I loved the most was the slow deterioration of James' life as his private life became public. I thought the author did a great job showing that emotional vulnerability. Also, there's a really great scene in the book, which I won't spoil, but does really well with the intersection of race and monarchy, and I thought it was written so well! That being said, I didn't really find the overall plot compelling enough to be able to give it more than 3 stars.

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