All the Stars and Teeth
Author: Adalyn Grace
Series: All the Stars and Teeth #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
I received a free copy for an honest review.
You would enjoy this book if you like:
(High) Fantasy (and a great world-building)
Monsters (and mermaids)
With all seriousness, this book was quite fun to read
The book had a clear motive and conflict that the story revolves around, so no matter how complicated or long the adventure lasts, they still feel interesting and does not feel like it’s straying too much from the core of the story. The “split-personality” nature of our protagonist due to her powers is also a unique aspect of the book that I haven’t come across recently, which all contributed to my enjoyment.
The author also did a great job incorporating her fantastical concepts with already existing myths and mythical creatures. There’s a perfect balance of enjoying the tropes you already like alongside the author’s original ideas as well.
Speaking of Amora, her character creation is so goddamn cool. Her powers to master souls almost create this inner “dark Amora” that she struggles to control, giving her an amazing anti-hero vibe.
Amora and Bastian’s relationship is one of the relationships I had a fun reading recently
Amora was trained since she was a child to become the High Animancer, so giving commands is second nature to her, not collaborating with others. Her situation puts her in a hot seat because, for the first time in her life, she needs to not be the one with power but the one with support so the trio can have a successfully functioning team-work. I enjoyed reading how she tries to adapt to this scenario. But (spoiler?) she does a pretty good job, is a great way to write out her character development, and her success adapting does emphasis her intelligence, skill, and capability as a leader.
Bastian on the other hand, had his own personal conflicts with our Amora in the beginning due to pre-existing assumptions and miscommunications. This can be a source of frustration, but for me it was interesting to read since both are such capable leaders arguing as representatives of different leadership ideologies and mindset. Overall making their relationship quite fulfilling to read.
about the author
Adalyn Grace is a New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was named “2020’s biggest YA fantasy” by Entertainment Weekly.
Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn spent four years working in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra.
Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and by playing video games with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs.