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.
“The mistakes I made in the past do not make me weak; instead, I’ll use them to become stronger.”All the Stars and Teeth, Adalyn Grace
Nautical-inspired fantasy books, such as ones that have pirates or mermaids in them, are often a hit or miss for me. However, I am really glad that All the Stars and Teeth is a hit. It’s definitely very bit of an engaging YA fantasy novel full of boundless magic and world-building and a lot of character and relationship development.
The magic system reminded me a bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch because of how the people are only allowed to practice one type of magic, as per the law, and one is segregated into their specific tasks and islands depending on the magic type they take in and practice. Each magic system was easy enough to understand, but what really got my attention was the intricacies and minute details of Soul Magic and Enchantment Magic because those two really played a huge role in the story. I also loved seeing how this is a magic system that’s darker, more gruesome and full of consequences, and it definitely was a huge contrast to the sparkling and colorful world. I couldn’t get my mind off from the world-building! I love the concept of each island was based of a gemstone’s color and the magic in that island, and that there were a lot of darker details that complimented the richly vivid world the story was set in. I could also note that the author did take extra care in describing how sailing is done, so I was able to visualize it easily.
The characters were obviously the star of this show. While I wasn’t a huge fan of them from the first 100 pages, I slowly grew to appreciate Amora, Bastien, Ferrick, and Vaetea – especially their friendship! I liked the chemistry and dynamic between all of them, because each of them was so different from one another, but at the same time they just melded perfectly. This is a group dynamic and friendship that I am rooting for, and more than happy to see in the next book.
Story-wise, it’s a tad bit predictable and full of tropes, but I still found myself enjoying it. The story itself was engaging enough to keep you flipping through the pages, but it had very nicely timed slow moments that would allows the reader to process the events that happened. It was just really well-written and fun, but still had a lot of dark and sinister things added to it that just matched the over-all atmosphere and intensity of the book. I am deeply wishing that the next book would have even higher stakes and more unexpected spins woven into the story!
I’m excited to see what the next book has in store for the readers!
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.