All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace ★★★★
“The stars in his eyes aren’t only crafted by adventure. They’ve been formed by years of loneliness. Of looking up into a sky full of dreams and never being quite able to reach it.”
I received this e-book from NetGalley. This does not affect my review or opinion. All thoughts are my own and I’m being 100 percent honest. Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for providing me this e-book for reviewing purposes.
An adventurous YA fantasy debut with fascinating magic and awesome characters
All the Stars and Teeth is such an engrossing story. The world-building was wonderful, as was the plot in this book. I enjoyed following the cast around. I do feel like some things – like the romance aspect – happened a bit too fast. This may be because the story was so fast-paced that I immediately got swept off my feet and got pulled in this original world.
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.
You guys know I like to talk about covers and look at this one. I love the colors and all the details. The letter T that is a sword is so cool. That mermaid tail is gorgeous. This cover looks very simple at first glance but when you focus and go over everything you see the beautiful details.
The plot of All the Stars and Teeth is a fun one but quite predictable. This debut has an epic adventure that the characters embark upon. The plot is fast-paced and well-brought but nothing too original. I did find myself wanting to know what would happen, which is always a good thing. I also noticed that I was looking for plot twists. I knew there were going to be at least some (and there were) and they did not disappoint.
The characters in All the Stars and Teeth were enjoyable and pretty diverse. The main character is a person of color. I loved the thought of a pirate princess of color, this is something that not a lot of YA fantasy novels have. There is also a background character that is plus-sized. I hope we get to see more of her in the next book. Some character deaths were a bit disappointing. I wish the author would’ve taken her time detailing these deaths and explaining the feelings of the characters afterward. Now it felt like if you missed one sentence, you wouldn’t know that character had died (my experience). Bastian and Vataea were my favorites in All the Stars and Teeth. I thought Bastian was so nice and charming. He isn’t your usual know-it-all pirate, he’s really sweet. Vataea is just breathtaking and magical.
“He’s not like anyone I’ve seen before – he’s molded by the world, crafted by travel and adventure. There are stories in those eyes, but I don’t fall for them easily.”
The romance was quite interesting but obvious from the start. I wouldn’t call it insta-love but you know they’re going to end up together.
The world-building in All the Stars and Teeth is detailed and pretty magical. The author takes you through different parts of this world, each one unique and beautiful. There is a scene where the characters are underwater and I just loved that part. I imagined myself being underwater and I could feel everything she wrote about in that scene. The scenery also changed quite a lot, which I definitely like. It gives the story more depth.
At times, I did struggle a bit with the magic system. Overall it is a compelling system with lots of variations in it. I don’t know why the author chose to divide all these forms of magic into crystal names. At the front of the book, you have a little overview of which island has which form of magic and which crystal they get. I thought this was an important part of the story but turns out it wasn’t.
Would I recommend it?
Yes. This is a great debut. I finished it really fast and overall enjoyed everything. The characters are diverse and fun to follow. I can’t wait to read the next installment.
Blood, death, death of a loved one, violence, cutting limbs, self-injury, suicide, mention of sexual assault, abusive relationship, drinking, teeth
Representation in this book
LGBTQIA+ representation, bisexual side character, plus-sized background character, POC main character
Young adult, fantasy
About the author
Adalyn Grace is a New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was named “2020’s biggest YA fantasy” by Entertainment Weekly.
Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn spent four years working in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra.
Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and by playing video games with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs.