Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.
No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.
To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.
Wow, where to start! I absolutely adored All the Stars and Teeth and it was easily in my top 10 reads of last year. It’s no surprise then that All the Tides of Fate was high up on my list of anticipated reads and honestly, it didn’t disappoint. Thank you so much to Titan Books for sending me a e-arc to review, I devoured it in a day!
Set a season after the closing stages of book 1, Amora is fighting a number of battles, one to keep her loss of magic a secret, another to hold her own against the old cronies who feel they know best, and lastly to convince a Kingdom that she is up to the task of setting right decades of wrongs. Immediately there is a new maturity to Amora, the “do first think later” princess has pushed those thoughts into an inner monologue and at least has perfected sounding like a Queen, full of ideas of how to rebuild. I hated the corner that Amora was pushed into and that her ability to rule was immediately reduced to the production of an heir. But as a plot device it allowed the story to get where it needed to – another adventure!
I enjoyed the different sides that we got to see of the Islands throughout their travels and whilst Amora’s secret mission threatens to unravel at every turn, her sense of duty also runs high and its a delicate cat and mouse balance for her. Whilst she is often far from regal, it makes for great reading as the team all do what they do best together. For as many that are delighted by her there are clearly many who deplore her being in such a position and want to hold her to account, which leads to some of the most stressful moments of the story to read. I felt that the mental health portrayal was very well executed, Amora has PTSD from what she experienced at the end of book one and she has no control over where and when it finds her, and it is telling that those around her have also had severe trauma as both Vataea and Shanty quickly recognise the signs and are able to help her work through it. Whilst it was difficult to read I do feel that it was important that having witnessed what she did that in fact it would be more unbelievable that she just carried on as usual.
The islands are beautifully written and I had such a huge sense of being there with them, the sights the smells and the sounds all perfectly balanced to create a totally immersive reading experience.
But OMG the end was so heartbreaking at times and whilst one character got their just deserts another really didn’t and as the true understanding of what we had been told fed into what had happened I honestly had so many tears. Minor little down points were that the twist was quite easy to work out, and on occasion Bastian sounded a bit like a controlling alpha but it was pulled back by looking deeply into the connection the curse had upon them and actually their thought process about that ended up quite sound. For me this was everything I hoped for in the conclusion, the world was more vibrant with the changes Amora’s leadership had instigated and the characters had a new maturity, which as an older YA reader I absolutely was here for.