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.
Wow. Well what can I say about this book other than I utterly adored every single page! All the Stars and Teeth was the book that I needed to read right now and totally pulled me out of my 2 month reading slump. Whilst firmly into traditional YA fantasy territory everything was perfection. From the opening pages it was clear that this was a story that wasn’t afraid of taking a darker turn and whilst I thought I had the story pegged from the first few chapters, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Amora is such a strong protagonist, I really enjoyed her morality and dedication, she is focused and where so many YA protagonists fall down with distraction, Adalyn Grace goes to great lengths to make sure that we know Amora isn’t like that. Amora is helped by hugely by strong supporting characters who all lift her up, a wonderful mini squad. Vataea is by far my favourite, reminding me a lot of Lysandra from Throne of Glass, she is the power house of the team. Whilst there is a suggestion of budding romance, it is kept at just that and it creates a nice sub plot, but remember that focus? Amora was a character who was open and willing to learn and be educated about harsh realities of a kingdom that has been hidden from her.
The magic system is impressive and the restrictions on magic meant that everyone had useful skill to bring to the table. The world building was sound, I loved the difference between the islands, the decadence and the destitution. The attention to detail creating a really rich backdrop, the use of time magic by far the most impressively written outside of Amora’s own soul magic. Even the ocean itself felt like it’s own little world with plenty of creative creatures and, the Ship Keel Haul with more than a few secrets of it own. The story flowed well with relentless pace, each location given time to be fully explored with the current of urgency still very much at the forefront, I never felt that I was left with unanswered questions. There is plenty of action and these scenes are played out with skilled writing that left me wide eyed, each location bought a new and more serious foe ramping up to a cataclysmic finale. There is no fluff to be found here, even with the interwoven flashback, and by the end I felt emotionally spent.
If you want a dark and pacy YA read, full of pirates, mermaids and amazing magics, I highly recommend All the Stars and Teeth! Thank you to Titan books and Netgalley for both the digital and finished review copies.