~ Book Review: Stardust in Their Veins (Castles in Their Bones #2) (ARC) ~

Published February 7, 2023

Author: Laura Sebastian

Princesses Beatriz and Daphne have lost their older sister, but their mother’s grand scheme of taking the continent of Vesteria is far from complete. With the country of Temarin now under the Empress’s control, only the nations of Cellaria and Friv remain free from her rule. What’s worse, an ominous prophecy has begun to shine through the constellations: the blood of stars and majesty spilled.

Usurped by conniving cousins Nico and Gigi, Beatriz fears for her life, while in icy Friv, Daphne continues her shaky alliance with the rebels even as she struggles to stay a step ahead of them. But when an unlikely ally offers Beatriz a deal, she finds herself back in her mother’s sights.

With enemies around every corner and the stars whispering of betrayal, Daphne and Beatriz can’t trust anyone–least of all each other. If they’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the Empress’s game is constantly changing. And the arrival of surprise visitors from Temarin just might tip the scales in the princesses’ favor… if they manage to avoid meeting their sister’s fate before they can make their next move.

Immerse yourself in the second book in a fantasy trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Ash Pricess series. The sequel to Castles in Their Bones is the story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown.

Stardust in Their Veins (#2)
Untitled (#3)

Stardust in Their Veins is the second novel in the Castles in Their Bones trilogy. As the story is continuous, readers should read the first novel before beginning this one to avoid any spoilers and to also gain background on how the story builds. Before beginning to look at the content, I will mention that the covers between the UK edition and US edition are different. While the extra blue in the US edition may standout on my bookshelf, the UK one matches the style of the first novel. Since the covers are mainly a publisher edition while an author usually just controls the content, I did not consider this when thinking about a rating and instead just noted it. Like the first novel, the story includes multiple POVs from the characters and takes place in multiple kingdoms.

After the events of the previous story, readers find the characters in vastly different places compared to the beginning. Princess Beatriz is now back in Bessemia, their home country, while Daphne is still in Friv. In addition to the two sisters, there is a POV from Viole, Sophie’s maid, who adds a new perspective to the story. With Sophronia gone, it was an interesting new dynamic between the different stories and how they interacted. Viole interacts with Leopold, and I enjoy their dynamic, although I hope this stays a friendship and no sudden romance develops. As for romance, Daphne and Bairre were cute and have a lot of chemistry. There is a lot of tension and obstacles between them to be together and I enjoy the push and pull of this relationship. There is not a lot of romantic moments, but this relationship still has a lot of potential and kept me curious to learn more. Beatriz and Pasquale have great chemistry, too with a very slow-burn romance forming between them.

This story is not quite my favorite compared to the first novel, but there is a lot there where I cannot wait to read more. The writing itself is immersive and was easily read in a single setting. There are some slow moments as the characters need to regroup from events in the first novel and set themselves up for the finale in the next novel. Each novel seems to highlight a sister with the first being Sephronia, the second being Beatriz, and the third will be Daphne. Since Daphne will be on the cover of the third novel, I cannot wait to see what it will look like and, of course, see how their stories end. Although this seemed to be Beatriz’s novel, it was overshadowed at times by the building up of the magic system. I enjoy Beatriz, but I loved the magic exploration a little more. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this sequel, and I cannot wait to read the next one!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**

2 thoughts on “~ Book Review: Stardust in Their Veins (Castles in Their Bones #2) (ARC) ~

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