I loved that All the Stars and Teeth promised me pirates, epic quests, and mermaids and delivered ALL of that. I will not get over how much I enjoyed the world building of All the Stars and Teeth. Take me there please and protect me!
Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I’m not going to lie, for the beginning I was like, “Where are the mermaids?” because you can’t promise a girl mermaids and not deliver. But when the mermaids were proven not to be a lie, I could relax and dive deeper into All the Stars and Teeth. The world building is spectacular. Not only are there myths within this story, but also monstrous creatures and curses. While I still have a few outlying questions about the history of this world, I was pleased with the attention to detail and sheer epic scale of the world.
The characters in All the Stars and Teeth were fantastic. Amora has the spirit of adventure thrumming in her blood. Even though she’s deeply committed to being queen, there’s a part of her that yearns to be on the open seas. To be having adventures and discovering new places. And who can blame her? I knew I was going to love Bastian because I have a soft spot for pirates. It’s something about their ability to sail a ship, their rugged sea salt nurtured locks, and their smolder.
But I think my favorite character has to be the mermaid. She wasn’t the sanitized flowing locks and seashell type. My favorite mermaids have fangs. They lure men in with their songs to drown them. Give me the mermaids with weapons in their hands, gorgeous hair, and blood in their teeth. And the mermaid is queer. But getting back to Amora, the main character, Amora’s character goes through rapid growth. If you like one of these stories where the main character has to question everything they ever knew, All the Stars and Teeth is for you.
Amora is driven by her desire to do the right thing. Even as whatever the right thing is constantly transforming beneath her feet like the waves. She’s denied not only the freedom to sail the waves, but also the knowledge of what is truly happening. Is she truly what the kingdom needs? All the Stars and Teeth asks us about ambition that rots our soul. That demands sacrifices of blood and bones, that tears love apart. It has epic world building which will transport you and characters which will tug at your heart.