Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan's Childrens for the arc of this title.

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace has everything I am looking for in YA high fantasy:

- great characters I needed t to know more about
- fantastic world building that creates a world I want to live in
- so much cool magic
- with pirates, mermaids and sea creatures - how can you go wrong?
- an interesting travel quest plot

The story centers around Princess Amora Montara, who has trained her whole life to take over her father's kingdom and become the High Animancer - the master of souls. However when her magic is tested, Amora's control over her magic fails her and she is forced to flee with a mysterious pirate, Bastian. From there we follow Amora's adventure as she travels around her kingdom with Bastian. Along the way we learn more about this island kingdom and find unique adventures and challenges.

This book gets all the thumbs up from me. I you like high fantasy that is a little bit on the dark side - this book would be a fabulous choice.

I read this book back to back with its sequel All the Tides of Fate. Taken together the two work as a sea going adventure. Between the two books you visit the seven islands that make up the Kingdom of Visidia.

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Princess Amora Montara has been training her entire life to wield Soul magic. She wants nothing more than to be the next High Animancer - master of souls. This would make her the next protector of the island kingdom of Visidia. During the ceremony to determine if she is worthy of this title, things go terribly wrong and she is imprisoned in the castle dungeon. Desperate for a second chance to prove her worth, Amora is forced to flee with a pirate, in the hopes of stopping a newfound enemy wanting to destroy her kingdom.

I loved this SO MUCH more than I thought I would. I went into this pretty blind, having no idea what it was about, other than mermaids were involved due to the cover (which is GORGEOUS, by the way). I was PLEASANTLY surprised to discover it was so much more than just mermaids. There are pirates, mermaids, monsters, magic, and non-stop action. In this world, people could only learn one magic, or else it would consume them. The seven different forms of magic that one could wield was so intriguing to me. I loved the idea of blood and curse magic, and just needed to know more about this fascinating magic system. This book is a lot more violent and bloody than I had anticipated, so trigger warning for that, but it wasn't too brutal that I couldn't handle it. I also love how this wasn't just a light-hearted action book, there is discussion on abusive relationships, menstration, sexual assault and sexism, which I think were all handled well. Some of the twists are quite predictable, but it didn't make my enjoyment of the story any less.

The characters in this are all so well-written. I loved the banter they all had between one another and they had me giggling for the majority of the book. The found family themes among these friends are some of my favourites I've read to date. Amora was a great female protagonist, she's flawed but so loyal to her kingdom. The romance was also an enemies to friends to lovers, two of my favourite tropes, so I was definitely rooting for them. There's also a twist that will definitely complicate things in the next book, but I'm so invested in their story, I can't wait to find out what happens next with them. Bastian was by far my favourite of the bunch. I adore him and can't wait to see this witty pirate again soon. Ferrik was also great, I felt bad for him in the beginning of the story, but he truly grew into himself more and more as I read on. The mermaid, Vataea was also a kick-ass female character, but strangely loveable at the same time. I think there are so many opportunities for a spin-off series following her story to be written, I for one would love to read it.

I am honestly so excited for the second book to be released, I really want to see where the story goes from here!

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I absolutely loved this book! It has everything I want in a YA fantasy - action, magic, friendship, a healthy dose of feminism and just the right amount of romance. Adalyn Grace has an amazing set of world building skills. I could visualize everything perfectly. The book admittedly does start off slow but once Amora was aboard the Keel Haul, I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5!! Highly recommend! I can’t wait to get started on the second book!!

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I didn't really know what to expect when reading but I was genuinely surprised by where the story went! I am a sucker for a good sea-based pirates and mermaids kind of story, so this was the perfect book to read! There's lots of fun adventure and the magic system was so intriguing! I loved the way the magic was portrayed for the sake of the plot, and how everything came together near the end! Speaking of the end, I was so shocked that it just sort of ended without a huge twist but I'm excited to read the sequel to see where Amora takes us!

I loved all the characters, especially as they learned to work with each other and were forced into situations where they had to trust each other. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, so the suspense and tension was great!

The world building was definitely interesting and I didn't feel confused or lost at any point which can be rare for me in fantasy. Overall, I really enjoyed the story and the characters and would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure.

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Gritty, fascinating, and full of fantasy. This is a solid addition to YA fantasy collections and I am looking forward to the sequel.

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I loved this book. With a fierce heroine and compelling story, I devoured this adventurous story. I love a YA fantasy featuring a complex heroine who has to make difficult choices and live with the consequences, and I think this book is a great example of that. I think so many of my teens, especially the ones interested in pirate and adventure books, will love this story.

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Great story and loved the romance. Loved the cast of characters and how the story came to be. Great story and I would read this author again.

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This well paced story is one that blew me away!! This magical story was wonderful! I loved how the author did all the magical powers without making it overly complicated/hard to follow, as well as making it so that it didn't get repetitive. This story held a lot of secrets when it started and they are all laid bare for the heroine by the last page. I loved how everything unfolded and how this one ended. Although it is a duology it was well done and if this was the end of the story I would be happy with it.

The characters in this one were great!! I loved how they all played their part in the story and how everything worked out. As each one joining the crew they bloomed and I fell in love with each of them. I would love to have a side story about the mermaid. (sorry her name completely escaped me).

The pacing was done well for the most part. There were a few parts where I felt that the story was kind on the slow side. But as soon as I felt that, something would happen and it would zoom off again. All in all I think that the slow parts really worked for the overall pacing of the story. And I don't think I would change it.

If you are looking for a new adventure with high seas, sea monsters, mysteries and lies, magic, and a cast of characters to fall for then look for this one!

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I am in a conundrum as to how exactly do I put into the words, the way the book left me feeling – and that, for me is a very new thing. Okay let me try.

I had been so enthralled by the blurb of the book; pirates, magic and a princess on the run – it has the makings of a brilliant start to a new fantasy series. And don’t get me wrong, i did enjoy the book; but I wasn’t as wowed by it, as I was expecting to be.

Princess Amora needs to demonstrate her control over her magic to prove that she is ready to the leader her kingdom needs her to be, even if that means a marriage of convenience – but when her demonstration goes awry; she is imprisoned for losing control over her dangerous magic.

With prison sentence looming over her, she makes a dangerous choice to escape, and does so with the help of a pirate, her own fiancé and a mermaid (EEEEPPPP!!!)– the start of what she knows has to be a journey to prove herself to her kingdom, becomes far more when she realises that her kingdom is in danger that no one seems to be wise to!

Now, this description sounds quite exciting doesn’t it? And yes, to an extent it is – I absolutely adored how strong and brilliant the character growth is in the book – and it certainly helps that the plot of the book is on solid ground. Yet somehow there were times, when I ended up losing the interest in the plot; I have no particular reason as to why – I just know that I would be all in, even to the point of binge reading the book – and end up losing steam and interest in it.

Does this mean that I wasn’t invested in the “crew” and their mission? I was all in, from the moment the crew was introduced to the reader – and with the way the book ended, I am really rooting for the sequel of the book to come out soon; so that my need for each of the characters to have their HEA would be fulfilled!

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I don't read much high fantasy, but this book was so worth the hype! A total thrilling escape from these difficult times we're living in - can't wait for the next one!

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A wild ride from start to finish. All the Stars and Teeth is brimming with characters that leap from the pages as if flung from the waves. Prepare to lose yourself in the adventures, romance, and completely ingenious world!

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Adventure on the high seas! Oh, I do love me a good pirate book...

This book is about empowerment and truth, and how you choose to deal with life when you learn that everything you thought you knew is a lie. There are princesses and pirates and magic and sea monsters, and they are all used to the absolute best advantage.

Amora - the princess - is anything but a debutante. She throws aside all the stereotypes and makes her own way, braving danger to save her kingdom.

This was an immensely enjoyable read, and I am looking forward to the second installment in the series.

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The writing is good, but the pacing drags quite a bit in the middle despite an engaging beginning and end, but it's one of the better pirate books that came out this year.

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“It’s as though it whispers to me: ‘We can get out of here. All we have to do is kill him. Aren’t you hungry, Amora?’

And gods, I’m starving.”

– All the Stars and Teeth, Adalyn Grace

The whole time I was reading Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth, I had to keep reminding myself it was a debut novel. Not because I was being pulled out of the text, but because Grace kept pulling me in. All I could think was: This is Adalyn Grace and y’all better watch out. She’s just getting started.

Grace’s language is beautifully crisp and entrancing, describing a fantasy world so immersive that I could breathe it in like the briny air of Visidia. She let me see the eel-bone crown, its jaws unhinged and symbolically ready to devour its wearer—the fate of every monarch before Princess Amora Montara. The soul magic of the Montara bloodline fights for control the moment it awakens and a weak host will have their soul eaten by it. It’s time for Amora to prove herself as the next High Animancer, a reader and executor of souls. After all, everything she has done has been to protect her kingdom from being destroyed by magics. But when her trial goes horribly wrong, there’s only terror in her people’s eyes and Amora—too dangerous to be kept free or alive—must escape and figure out how to save her kingdom. Only a journey to the cursed island of Zudoh with a handsome pirate, a bloodthirsty mermaid, and her spurned fiancé can unveil the real history of soul magic and what dark shapes it’s being twisted into––making people live their lives with only half a soul.

The reader sails through the different islands of Visidia alongside Amora, watching Grace’s world building unfold through the fabrics people wear, what each island considers a delicacy, and whether the architecture is glossy marble or towering sandstone. As a fashionista, I adored following the fashion trends of Mornute and getting an intimate look inside the handsome pirate’s wardrobe. Some readers might want fewer descriptions of fine stitching, but to me, they only added to the detailed world of Visidia.

But it’s the main character, not world building, where this story stole my heart. Since I read All the Stars and Teeth, I’ve been trying to put into words the complexities of Princess Amora. There’s an edge of ruthlessness to her, tempered by her conviction and dedication to truth. While she does have moments of self-doubt, it was refreshing to have a young woman as a protagonist who is so self-assured. Amora has spent her entire life fortifying her soul against a magic that chips away at her nonetheless and it shows: she has learned to turn her fears into momentum. Her foundation may be shaken, but she looks an uncertain future in the eye and is determined to protect her people––no matter if they fear her, no matter the mistakes and lies of her family. Even as royalty, Amora never felt conceited to me, and even if she did, I would just think, Amora can have all the swagger she wants. Her confidence is balanced with setting right the wrongs of her bloodline; she sees through the crown’s empty gestures toward its people and demands action.

I had the pleasure of meeting Adalyn Grace a week after her debut, and I wasn’t surprised to hear she’d set out to make Amora a different sort of YA heroine. I also wasn’t surprised by her thoughts on the secondary characters, because while reading, I often had the sense they were obscured in Amora’s shadow. I wanted more of Vatea, the mermaid displaced by poachers, who’d decided it was time to live on land. I wanted more of her journey and hardships, which I hope will play a key role in the sequel. And then there was Ferrick, the healer and rejected fiancé. Grace admitted that she often wasn’t sure what to do with Ferrick, except to poke fun at him through the other characters. He has a small arc where he reconciles with Amora, but ultimately, I wasn’t invested in him as a crew member.

While the pacing was much more consistent than what I’m used to seeing in debuts, the final climax felt like it came crashing down on me. The plot twists are exciting and the journey to the past is a fascinating inclusion, but it happens all at once. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of a slow backstory reveal. A steady buildup can feel more rewarding. However, I do give props to Grace, because ripping away the veil leaves the reader feeling just as unanchored as Amora does in that moment. Everything we’ve learned about the kingdom is based on a lie—Amora’s worldview shatters all at once.

The romantic subplot is where All the Stars and Teeth falls firmly into young adult romance tropes. The love interest was glaringly obvious from the start: A fiancé she could never love? A mysterious, attractive stranger who saves her life? Ooh-la-la. I’ve always found it unrealistic that two strangers burdened with saving all of humanity would have any mental energy to develop romantic feelings. Maybe it’s the adrenaline? The tension of being together on a small ship in the middle of the ocean? Regardless, Bastian the Handsome, Cursed Pirate ended up growing on me. The make out scenes felt spicy. The danger, the romantic tension––and even if his role as the male love interest was predictable, Bastian’s tragic backstory and quest for redemption pulled me in. What I truly appreciated by the end, though, was Amora’s ability to set boundaries for herself and Bastian––emotional and physical. This romantic subplot directly addresses consent, unlike the many questionable YA books of a by-gone era (i.e., the early 2000s).

All the Stars and Teeth was a delight of a debut. “Just one more chapter” became a mantra while reading––it was so difficult to put down. Visidia is a kingdom that is both beautiful and, at times, gruesome. Emotions ran hot, but the characters were never frustratingly reckless, as teen protagonists are wont to be. Amora is passionate, but steady at the helm; she thinks like a leader, whether she’s promising to right the wrongs of her family or initiating an intimate conversation with Bastian about trust. I imagine the sequel will have to address the issue of reparations, which will require much more of Amora as a ruler than going on a quest as an individual. I’m sure Amora and Adalyn Grace are up to the task. Visidia is brimming with potential and I’m raptly awaiting Adalyn Grace’s next novel.

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The cover is what made me fall for this book and then reading the summary I was pretty much hooked. All The Stars and Teeth started out strong, but about half way through it began to lag and no longer felt compelled to want to finish the story. I am glad I did, but I am dissapointed since it fell short on a few things. I'm hoping the sequel will be better

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Unlike anything I’ve read before, this book struck all the right notes, balancing an interesting world, magic, grit, and darkness.

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This book was predictable and filled with a lot of the same things. However, the adventure that this book took me on was very enjoyable and is the best part of it.

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Sadly I just could not get into this story. I tried numerous times but to no avail. This obviously just wasn't meant for me.

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*I received a digital copy from this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book is definitely an action-packed fantasy! The story follows Amora, who comes from a long line of rulers imbued with the morbid soul magic. However, at the ceremony designed to accept her as heir, Amora's magic takes a turn from the worst. Forced to flee with a mysterious pirate, Amora finds out more truths to the land her family rules and must make tough decisions for the betterment of her people. I really enjoyed this one!

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What a fun story! There were so many elements to this story and the surprises just kept coming. I never would of guessed the story would have ended up the way it did, very engaging and addictive read.

There are several levels to this story that keep you intrigued throughout. I love a good adventure story and this one starts off immediately and just keeps going. After Amora flees she travels the seas to different islands throughout her kingdom. There are interesting creatures, people, magic systems, unexpected romance and twist after twist just kept coming. I really enjoyed this story and the world that I was drawn into.

Amora is being chased by her own guards as well as those who want to rage war against the kingdom. She has to learn to trust others as well as hold their trust. A heroine that is both empathetic and true to her word. A person that you really want to see win in the end.
Highly recommend if you enjoy high fantasy YA.

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