[Review] All the Stars and Teeth by Adelyn Grace

★★★★☆

fantasy | young adult | adventure

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’m the right choice.

The only choice.

And I will protect the kingdom.

My first read of the month and my group book for the SeaMAYdenathon! I got this book since it got released and I’m glad to had finally had time (and excuse) to read it. This is the debut novel by this author and I saw quite the hype before it’s release, so I was excited to get on with it.

The beginning of the book was solid and quick to catch my attention, I was introduced to the main character and the conflict smoothly in the first pages. The worldbuilding was rich and vivacious, I found Visidia to be one of the fictional worlds that I wouldn’t mind visiting. In All the Stars and Teeth we have a kingdom that is divided in seven islands, and we have the opportunity to visit many of them through the book. Every island is very different from each other and it is amazing, the prose made me feel as if I was walking through the streets and paths of each island.

We have quite a few characters, but every one of them had an impact in me. I usually don’t remember the names of the characters of the books and have to go back to refresh my memory, but the characters here are still in my mind even as I’m writing this.

Amora Montara is our main character, the princes of Visidia and soon to be heir to the throne. Her character is one that was very balanced throughout the book and didn’t had any major changes, even though she matures as she discovers the reality of the world outside Aridia. At the beginning of the book she is strong, confident and determined to do the best for her kingdom, because she knows she is meant to lead them. I wish I could talk more about how she handles the truth and her beliefs throughout the book, but I also don’t want to give too much information as this involves the big reveal.

Bastian is the pirate that saves Amora of a possible execution and accompanies her through the story. His character is more important than it seems at the beginning of the book, and by the end it becomes crucial in Amora’s life. And not only because he is the love interest. He is charming and funny, I liked him but didn’t really felt too connected with him.

Ferrick. Oh, Ferrick. He is Amora’s soon-to-be fiance and I liked him quite a lot. Even though I understand Amora’s annoyance at what is to become of their relationship, I also see Ferrick’s position. In love and bound to marry a girl that will never love him, I can understand why he is so bothered with how easily Amora takes to Bastian.

“Do you really think I want to spend the rest of my life with someone I know will never love me?… I never asked for this; I deserve happiness as much as you do. But this is what’s happening, and unlike you, I’m at least trying to make the most of it.”

This quote hit me hard.

Vataea. VATAEA IS MY DREAM GIRL. She can drown me and eat me I do not care as long as I can see her up close for a moment and be close to her for a moment. She is a mermaid rescued by Amora and the boys and helps her get to their main destiny.

However, as much as I was loving the characters and the world… the plot felt bland through most of the book. The book is packed with action scenes, and while those are entertaining there were moments in which I felt there was not much development in the characters or the plot itself. This was a solid three stars books until the final twist came up and the truth was revealed. That bumped it up at last, but I had to wait until less than 100 pages in the book to get to that. The last pages are full of action, and our characters running out of time to save the kingdom. It had me turning pages like a mad woman.

The end was kind of what I expected? It sets a good opening for the following book on the duology, and leaves enough open conflicts and secrets to deal with. Especially secrets.

5 thoughts on “[Review] All the Stars and Teeth by Adelyn Grace

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