About the Book:
Title: Castles in Their Bones
Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: Castles in Their Bones #1
Page Length: 528
Publication Date: Feb. 1, 2022
Synopsis: Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.
Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides—because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal—to bring down monarchies— and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother’s grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vesteria.
The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans—and their mother hasn’t told them all of hers.
Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can’t trust anyone—not even each other?
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Castles in Their Bones follows Princesses Beatriz, Sophronia, and Daphne, triplets who are each sent to different kingdoms and their betrothed. Their tasks are to initiate their mother’s plan to drive the kingdoms to war with each other so that she can sweep in and take over. However, nothing goes according to plan, and as the princesses become more ingratiated in their new worlds, political intrigue, lies, betrayal, conflicting feelings, and harsh leaders and societies prove problematic. Will Daphne, Beatriz, and Sophronia complete their missions, or will they go against their mother and face her wrath?
Power is an illusion, and the more of it people think you have, the more determined they will be to tear you down.
The story is told from each of the sisters’ points of view, which I liked since they spend much of the book in different kingdoms. Daphne, Beatriz, and Sophronia are well-developed, layered, morally grey characters, and they each go through so much throughout the story. The sisters were raised to take over the kingdom, and they were trained in espionage, poisons, coding, fighting, seduction, and more. They each have special strengths but quickly realize that it will take much more than that to enact their mother’s plan.
I like how Daphne, Beatriz, and Sophronia grow and change and start to think for themselves once they are out from under their mother’s clutches. They begin to question and think about how their actions and the actions of their mother will affect the kingdom. Though their mother shows an immense thirst for power, the triplets look beyond that. They develop relationships in their respective kingdoms, and these connections change them and influence their actions. They also don’t seem to have the excessive ruthless immorality that their mother exudes, though this varies with each sister. I also like that, even though the triplets are very different, they still share a deep connection and are very close. That’s not to say that there isn’t rivalry and tension between the triplets, but their bond remains strong. The themes of sisterhood and sibling love are strong throughout the story, even though the sisters are not together for most of it.
We’re three stars of the same constellation. Distance won’t change that.
The three kingdoms that Beatriz, Daphne, and Sophronia journey to are vastly different from each other. They are each so vivid and detailed with their own unique landscapes, customs, lore, and beliefs. The kingdoms stand in sharp contrast to each other in many ways. However, there is a lot of political maneuvering, backstabbing, and secrecy in each, which is fascinating. This story has so many twists and turns and surprising revelations, and the ending is intense and shocking! I was on the edge of my seat for the last chapters of the book and was stunned on more than one occasion by what happened. And the ending is one of the most shocking endings I’ve read all year!
Something else I thought was really intriguing was the magic system, which is not treated the same in each kingdom. Revered by some and shunned by others, it’s interesting to see how these different places treat magic and people with power. What some see as a gift, others see as a curse, and it all seems so arbitrary and dependent on where you live.
I’m here because I want to be. Because you are lightning – terrifying and beautiful and dangerous and bright all at once. And I wouldn’t wish you were anything else.
I love a good romance, and this story has several unique love stories. I enjoyed seeing these relationships grow and change. Of course, relationships that stem from lies and deception are difficult to cultivate, but some bonds are too strong to break. The sisters each struggle with their feelings, which often conflict with their goals, and it’s interesting to see how they reconcile them.
I loved Castles in Their Bones! The characters are fascinating, the story and settings are so immersive, and the plot is riveting. I would definitely recommend the book to lovers of YA fantasy, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and find out what happens next! Thanks so much to NetGalley, Delacorte Press, and the author for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The character development.
- The intrigue.
- The magic.
If you become what they want you to be, they’ll burn down the world in your name.
It’s always easier to love people who need us than people we need, I think. Being needed makes one powerful. Needing, though, makes one vulnerable.
The absence of war does not equal peace.
This is a great read for people who like YA fantasy with great characters, a ton of political intrigue, romance, and magic!