Castle in their Bones by Laura Sebastian is the first book in the trilogy series. Conscripted even before their births by their empress mother, triplets Sophie, Dalphne, and Beatriz have been trained and groomed for one purpose in life and one purpose only: to sow discord, chaos, and ultimately war in the three countries so that their mother can swoop in and take over to finally be able to reunite the once great Bessemian empire. This series definitely caught me by surprise as I was not actually looking for a political fantasy YA series as my next read but the story seemed too good to pass up. I’ll willing to trade for some YA romance thrown in if the political court intrigue, dialogue, and characters can hold their own. The result? I breezed through this book and debated whether to hold off with the sequel or if I should just wait until the final book gets released to binge both at once!
Poison is a woman’s weapon because it is a smart weapon. - Empress Margaraux
Unlike some other reviewers, I actually didn’t find myself getting confused between the three sisters and their locations. The point of view alternates every chapter or two between them but I got the impression that each sister was distinguished enough with their own personality that I didn’t have any trouble at all figuring out whose who. It was quite fun reading about the three girls and how they would accomplish their mission in each country. It’s obvious that each of them would be faced with different hardships and complications as nothing ever goes as planned or how they had trained for. Here is where the author just excels in writing. The dialogue and conversations flow very easily, and I had no problem following what was being said or who said it. It also would help many to know that the number of characters to keep up with is just about average.
She is no empyrea, just a spy and saboteur here to bring his country ruin. - Beatriz
The magic system was also very interesting. It’s literally a wish-upon-a-star magical system and being able to pull down the stars from the sky to grant a wish is, well, magical. The one thing I had hoped to see was more witty humor injected into the characters’ dialogues. I think the author could have achieved this while still keeping the overall dark and serious theme of the story. In a way though, this is something that offsets just a bit of the YA romance factor I was dreading initially. The situations that the three princesses find themselves in are very much serious and a single wrong move can prove fatal. Last but not least, the ending shocked me only because I didn’t think the author had it in her to pull it off! Will be interesting to see how it will play out in book two.