Sunday, February 20, 2022

Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian [Book Review]

 A spellbinding story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown. Immerse yourself in the first book in a new fantasy trilogy from the author of the New York Times bestselling Ash Princess series.

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?


I wasn’t sure what to expect from Castles in Their Bones going into it… and ya’ll I have to tell you, I wasn’t ready for it. 

My mind is filled with spinning thoughts, emotions, and an overpowering mix of glee and frustration. This book took me on an incredible journey… and now I have to wait literal years for the next one?!

The premise of this book sounded interesting to say the least, but I wasn’t expecting to be completely OBSESSED at the end of it.

We follow three triplet sisters Daphne, Sophronia and Beatriz as they turn sixteen and are thrust into the life that they have quite literally been trained for since birth. They are sent to marry princes and be kingdom ruiners so their mother can gain more power. It sounds like a set up for some real therapy needs in the future, am I right? WELL JUST YOU WAIT. 

The political intrigue in this one feels like Game of Thrones level and at times it was hard to keep track of. There are three points of view in this one with three stories happening at the same time. It’s a ton of characters, in three different fantasy courts…. but it’s worth it. It’s Tudor England if magic was involved. Everyone has ulterior motives, and no one can be trusted and I was HERE FOR IT. 

The world building was phenomenal. Each kingdom was so entirely different and I loved the attention to detail when describing each one. The magic system was very beautifully built. The concept of star dust was such a nice take that I could picture the use of it and I didn’t have the doubt that some magic systems leave me with. I especially loved that we were able to see the juxtaposition of a court seeing stardust as evil/wicked and that added great tension and and grounded the magic system and made it feel more real to me. 

There is some good LGBTQ rep that I wasn’t anticipating and I am very excited to see how that develops in the coming books. 

The romance plot is a definite side plot in this book, but the relationships that do develop are sweet and I loved watching the real development throughout as it felt genuine. None of the relationships felt rushed or forced, and in a book with three arranged marriages I very much appreciated that. 

The ending left me shocked, in pain, crying, but still so ready for more. 

If you’re a fan of YA fantasy with thoughtful world building, an exciting plot, and a sweet side romance just add this one to your shelf as soon as you possibly can. 

I give it 5/5 stars and I truly cannot wait for more. 

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Random House Childrens for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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