Castles in Their Bones

Delacorte. Feb. 2022. 528p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593118160.
Gr 9 Up–Now 16, Daphne, Beatriz, and Sophronia have been molded into exactly the princesses their mother wanted—ones who will marry into their neighboring kingdoms and tear them down, leaving the empress to conquer the breadth of the continent. Sophronia fell halfway in love with her betrothed via letters but arrives and discovers him far more tyrannical than expected; Daphne finds herself planted in a kingdom already halfway to rebellion; and Beatriz is in a kingdom where her “star-touched” birth is a death sentence if discovered. Each daughter is trained in a different kind of espionage to help wreak havoc on her new home, but the three of them didn’t anticipate their loyalties to their mother would be tested by the friendships and romances waiting for them there. Three points of view is a delicate balancing act, especially when all three heroines have essentially the same mission—marry and murder her way to the throne. Sebastian differentiates the triplets by assigning them early stereotypes—the sweet one, the pretty one, the ambitious one—before letting the characters grow into themselves. While the plot is rather simplistic for a novel bent on political intrigue, the stage is set for future installments to be more complex.
VERDICT The writing style skews younger, but paired with the mature (not explicit) themes, it’ll find a home with readers who usually struggle with works of this length. For fans of Stephanie Garber’s Once Upon a Broken Heart, this novel will be an easy sell. Recommended for larger collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing