All the Stars and Teeth

  • Post by Rachel Comish
  • May 09, 2019
Level: YA
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Tags: pirates, sirens, romance, magic, royalty, war
Mature Content:

  - Mature violence: detailed physical fights resulting in injury, maiming, and death, descriptions of human dissection, torture, and abuse.

  - Moderate sexuality: multiple kissing scenes and allusions to sex.

  - Mild language: some swearing.

Amora is the princess of Visidia, training to be the High Animancer. Everyone knows that you can only have one magic, anyone who learns multiple magic is cursed with death. Likewise, members of the royal family are the sole inheritors of soul magic, an ability to see into peoples’ souls and weigh their worth. But that’s not all soul magic can do, and when Amora’s magic proves to be more dangerous than anyone expected, she leaves her home to hunt a threat to her kingdom.

Amora, her (sort of) fiancé, a pirate, and a mermaid sail across the islands in search of a vigilante who has rebelled against the king by practicing multiple forms of magic, turning an entire island against the kingdom. Amora must stop this evil from taking root to prove her ability to rule, only then will she return home to claim her inheritance. But as someone who has never explored the world, nothing can prepare her for what she finds or what she discovers about her own magic.


Amora may be sheltered, but she feels all the fiery pride of being a ruler of a kingdom, determined to keep her people safe and prosperous. All her life, she has been raised to believe that her family has the responsibility to fight against the beastly magic they’ve inherited in order to protect the kingdom. As someone who has lived her whole life with the belief that part of her legacy is monstrous, Amora is definitely a force to be reckoned with and fiercely protective of her home. The number of times she threatens to stab Bastien, the pirate, keeps things interesting. The fact that she and her fiancé, Ferrick, act like quarrelling siblings mixed with the fact that Ferrick can regrow his limbs makes for some great comedic scenes.

There’s a fascinating dynamic between the characters, especially the four on Keel Haul, the pirate ship. There’s obviously tension between Amora and Bastien as soon as Amora confronts Bastien, oblivious to the vital information her father has kept secret from her. But throwing Ferrick, whose political alliance has put them in a future arranged marriage, into the mix is a fun and unexpected move that makes their adventures much more lively. In turn, Bastien has a very dry humor that balances out Ferrick’s bluster and Amora’s temper, and once Vataea, the mermaid, joins the group she offers her own slippery smirking humor to the voyage. Each of the minor characters have their own distinct personality and the scene where Amora is introduced to enchantment magic is especially fun. Hopefully the author takes time to explore all of the magics and those who weild them in the next book to continue with the fabulous world building.

Visidia is a beautiful kingdom of islands, each island practicing its own magic, and Amora’s perceptions of this world show her love for her kingdom while also making it very clear that she’s never been allowed to leave home before. The world building is well done, with vivid imagery and solid descriptions of each magic that make this fantasy stand out. The magic of this world is bloody and gritty, especially soul magic. There are plenty of action scenes with a mix of both physical fighting and magic fighting, along with gory descriptions of mutilated bodies. Though it’s not too gruesome, this book is not for anyone with a weak stomach.

Adalyn Grace has made a stunning debut with this fantasy, and has a sequel already in the works. This book has a nice arc in both the plot and characters to give us a satisfying ending while also promising plenty of adventure for future stories.

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