Little known fact about April, but I love pirate books.
Kidding, I talk about pirates every other post, that fact is hardly little known at this point. I’ve honestly lost track of the amount of times I’ve screeched about pirates, but I do know I would sacrificed my left ear to be one. Oh to duel with swords and sail off to sea *stares off into the distance, hoping a pirate ship will somehow find me in my entirely landlocked state*
*snaps back to focus* Anyway, back I was screaming about pirates in my review of Fable by Adrienne Young, Phoenix @ Words With Wings recommended that I try out All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. I am beyond glad she mentioned this book because it was an absolutely joy to read! I always, always, ALWAYS am on the lookout for more pirate books, so feel free to share your favorites!!!
Book: All the Stars and Teeth
Author: Adalyn Grace
Published February 4th 2020 by Imprint
Violence, death, suicide, blood, murder, mention of sexual assault
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. (from Goodreads)
You glare. Like something’s wrong, and you’re the only one who can fix it.
There were moments where I really loved Amora, but there were also some times where I wanted to shake her. Especially in the beginning, Amora had no clue what was going on in her kingdom, which wasn’t entirely her fault, but at the same time it is like, girl it’s right in front of you.
At 14% I wrote in my notes, and I quote, “That origin story is a big bucket of lies.” Guess what, I was right on point. If I can figure it out, you can too Amora. Luckily, some of this sheltered-ness allowed for some good character growth as the book progressed.
One of my favorite traits of Amora’s is that she strong sense of duty to her kingdom. She is very self-sufficient and determine to fill her role and make the world a better place.
The magic system is the most insane thing I have ever read about (and I mean that in a good way!). I spent the first 50% of this book extremely confused by the magic system. By the end I started to have a grasp on things, and felt pretty accomplished about it because it is so complex. Each power had different abilities and circumstances needed to use those abilities. Every character had such a unique power and I am here for it.
I mean, Amora basically had a soul sucking monster chilling inside of her that was unleashed by using the bones of her victims along with fire. Ferrick could regenerate if he was wounded. There was curses and mermaid powers too. I found the exploration of different kinds of magic that exist in this world to be super interesting.
Writing wise, there were a couple things I struggled with. Firstly, most of the time the dialogue felt very clunky. There were moments with fantastic sass (my personal favorite from Bastian… Ever lost a hand mate?? *chops of hand*), but far more times where it felt forced. It was like every everytime characters opened their mouth they sprouted off a mini essay and I was just like woah woah can we slow down for a sec.
I never felt the high stakes adventure. All the Stars and Teeth could have benefited from some more tension throughout the entire book, and maybe some variation in the pacing. It needed more highs and lows, instead of the plateau of energy levels. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it, but I wish it had been more of an oh my god I can’t put it down what is next *ahhhh* situation.
Overall, this was a fun adventure story, even if some moments were predictable. The cast characters were interesting, and I was dazzled by the magic system. This is definitely a solid debut that only gets better in the next book.
Have you read All the Stars and Teeth?? What did you think??