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?
While I didn’t completely love Ash Princess, I absolutely adored Half Sick Of Shadows. This made me incredibly intrigued about Laura’s next YA trilogy, especially since it’s about triplets, all married off to different countries, to try and bring them to their knees for their mother. It sounded intricate and twisted, and I was very curious to see what it would hold.
I really enjoyed this book! It was everything it was promised it to be and I actually fell in love with certain parts of it a lot more than I thought I was going to.
I was not expecting to love the triplets, or any of the side characters, as much as I do. There are a lot of characters; there are three (maybe more depending on how you look at it) stories all playing out at the same times. And each of those three stories has their own cast of characters. Gosh, they are each so well done. Nothing felt rushed or glossed over. I didn’t feel like anybody fell flat or like they were just there because they were there. Everybody had such depth to them, and considering everything that was going on, that is a huge feat. I was made to care about pretty much everybody, and I am amazed at that fact, because I do genuinely care for them. They’re all complex, with their own plots and schemes and feelings and ideas on how things should play out. It’s amazing to see how it works all together.
The same goes for the plot. It is an incredibly twisted, with so many schemes going on at the same. But, like the characters, nothing felt forced or rushed or like it was there for the sake of being there. Everything felt like it had its place, even if it changed two seconds later because of the sheer number of secrets being kept. It’s a testament to Laura’s talent that everything fit so well together, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with all the information that was being presented. Because seriously, it’s the first book in a series, with three POVs, three deceptions, and three girls who all have their own motivations. Just, I am amazed and how this book was put together. It’s so well done.
I will say, that certain parts of it felt kind of bland. I think certain aspects could have gone deeper, such as going more in depth to the maneuvering of certain politics, and perhaps going slightly darker in certain places as well. Of course, this is just personal opinion! I also feel like all three of the triplets give me queer vibes and I was waiting for one of them to fall in love with one of the girls around them. Of course, there is still time since this is just the first book, but I was hoping there would be an inkling of a f/f couple!
Overall, I really, really liked this book. It left me distraught and I hoping very badly for certain things. It is also so well crafted and I adore all three triplets. It’s very, very good.