Title: All the Stars and Teeth
Author: Adalyn Grace
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.
Slowly but surely I’m starting to dig my teeth back into trilogies and duologies. If you know me, you know I avoid starting a new series like the plague, but every now and then I make an exception. All the Stars and Teeth was one of those exceptions, and man am I glad I gave it a shot!
The story follows Amora, a privileged, stubborn princess who wants nothing more than to ascend to her place as heir to her kingdom and go on adventures. In the beginning she comes across as haughty and maybe even a little entitled – but how wouldn’t she? She’s led a sheltered life and been raised to be her kingdom’s savior. Honestly, I should have hated her from the beginning and in most cases it would have been impossible to relate to her or sympathize. But despite her flaws, early on we can see that she truly cares about her people, that she wants nothing more than to do right by them, no matter what that entails. Those qualities make for a great protagonist, someone who, despite her flaws, we can root for as she grows and opens her eyes to the world around her. And it’s because she’s such a great character that I couldn’t put the book down.
It wasn’t just Amora that kept me going, either, but the entire cast of characters. Ferrick, Bastian, and Vataea make for the kind of group friend adventure I’ve been craving ever since Avatar: The Last Airbender ended! Honestly, this book was like the perfect blend of ATLA and Pirates of the Caribbean. The magic-fueled fights, battling monsters at sea, and a dash of romance throughout made for a hugely compelling story that kept me on the edge of my seat but never felt rushed.
And the mythos! This was a new take on magic, and I appreciated how fresh and new it felt, yet also somehow familiar in a comfortable way. From different kinds of magics that could be practiced, to legendary monsters and even mermaids, it should have felt weird and disjointed, but it didn’t! It takes a special type of writing to blend so many things together so well.
Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to the second book. Can’t wait to read more from this author!