Author Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth has the excitement of a swashbuckling pirate’s tale paired with the inspiring story of a strong female heroine, and I loved every page of it. I enjoyed experiencing all the highs, lows, and heart-pumping twists alongside headstrong princess Amora Montara, who must navigate the waters of duty, betrayal, and loyalty— more treacherous than she could have ever imagined.
Amora quickly realizes that her bloodline pride is marred with half-truths and buried histories. There’s a lot she does not know about her kingdom and its failures, and to save the kingdom she loves so much, she’ll have to come face to face with the sordid truth.
Alongside the smooth-talking pirate Bastien, her harried fiance Ferrick, and powerful mermaid Vataea, Amora will battle formidable foes, including enemies wielding forbidden magic and a terrifying sea monster that rivals the worst of any nightmare. Every scene drips with detail, and the plot proceeds at a breakneck pace. And Adalyn Grace expertly ties it all together with a cast of satisfyingly complex and well-formed characters. Characterization and fantastical storytelling balance nicely in this novel— it’s a quick and entertaining read that’s chock full of depth and color. Amora isn’t the perfect protagonist, but she certainly isn’t meant to be. She’s arrogant and spoiled, but I could sincerely appreciate the growth she undergoes throughout this novel.
From the decadence of one island to the dregs of another, the magical world of the Visidian Kingdom is both wondrous and mysterious. In building this beautiful and, at times, grotesque backdrop to Amora’s adventure, Adalyn Grace’s skill in crafting Fantasy truly shines. As the reader, it’s easy to glimpse the influence of Adalyn’s previous experience— she was part of the team behind The Legend of Korra.
I enjoyed this YA Fantasy coming of age story more than I thought I would, and I wholeheartedly recommend All the Stars and Teeth to fans of Fantasy and readers who enjoy fairy tales and mythology— both original and retold.
Oh— and one of the benefits of reading a good book a year or two after publication? If the book is part of a series, you probably won’t have to wait long (if at all) for the next installment! The sequel, All the Tides of Fate, came out earlier this year, and I’ve already added it to my To-Read list.
Content warning: violent fight scenes, some graphic scenes depicting blood and gore, an allusion to sexual assault in one of the chapters
Where to find All the Stars and Teeth
Publication Date: February 4, 2020