All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace was a book that I have been anticipating since before it’s release.
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montana 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 stowaway she never expected … or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice.
The only choice.
And I will protect my kingdom.
Visidia is an interesting and unique world, made up of various islands, each of which has their own magic and is represented by a different precious stone.
As princess, Amora has to demonstrate her control over soul magic, but it doesn’t go as planned.
“Given that the law dictates a Montana without fully controlled soul magic cannot remain free, I can’t ignore the possibility that I could even be executed if I’m deemed too much of a risk. Our magic is too dangerous to not be fully controlled.”
“My magic works in two ways — the ethereal soul reading, and the physical ability to end a soul through death.”
The magic system is defined well; it’s unique and explained clearly. There’s a cost and limits to using magic, too.
“Most magic is fueled by a life source, meaning that bodies will hit a point where they get too tired to perform magic. But Aridian magic is unique in that it’s bound to the soul; when I use it, that’s where the source of my energy is drawn from. And if I use too much, I don’t just risk exhaustion like those with other magics — I risk death.”
As I’d expect from a magical group of islands, there’s plenty of monsters in the story, including vicious mermaids that are reminiscent of sirens:
“Mermaids … they’re rumored to have powerful magic that comes in the form of songs.”
Amora is sheltered, overconfident, and entitled, but she’s still a likable character. Throughout the course of the book, she changes a lot. She gains a better understanding of her kingdom, which she has not been allowed to visit; learns more about the people on the islands, and completely changes how she interacts with them.
The writing is vivid and lush, and I actually felt as though I was right next to the characters. The pacing was consistent throughout the book. The plot was full of action, with elements of deception, battle, romance, and a sense of duty experienced by more than just Amora. The descriptions are absolutely beautiful:
“Her fin is a startling rose gold; the tips shimmer bright as jewels, like a shining trinket I’m tempted to reach into the water and take.”
I’m so interested in seeing where the rest of this series goes, because I absolutely loved this book.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn't an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 12
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars