“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.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.” – Amazon
I tried to paraphrase All the Stars and Teeth‘s plot and I failed about five times. This plot is so full and dense, it’s hard to describe. So, I sold out and copy and pasted the description from the dust cover.
This book is beautiful. The cover is is a brilliant blue, with raised features and littered with icons. Before I read this, I was obsessed with trying to figure out what the icons meant. I’m one of those nerds that like to dissect cover and title choices as I read.
My favorite part of the presentation is the map at the very beginning. It shows just how large this story is. The next page is a nice cheat sheet of the different magics of the kingdom. I immediately thought of Avatar the Last Airbender when I saw the list.
I read Adalyn Grace’s author blurb on the dust cover and laughed when I figured out that she interned on The Legend of Korra.
World-building. I usually don’t touch on setting first, but I feel that it’s necessary. Visidia is one of my favorite fictional places now. Adalyn Grace did an amazing job developing Visidia, assigning roles to all of the islands, and making each one essential to the plot. Each place was detailed and believable. I fell in love with Visidia from the map, but her writing made me feel like I was living there throughout this novel.
Characters. Characters in fantasy novels don’t typically captivate me. I think it’s because fantasy books are more plot-driven than character-driven. All the Stars and Teeth is both. It’s extremely plot heavy, but the characters are not neglected. You get to know all of them separately and Adalyn gives you a chance to fall in love with all of them, not just the main character.
Now, do I like the main character? Not really. I found Amora to be a little intense and rough around the edges. I love characters who start off like that… but that doesn’t change throughout the book. Don’t get me wrong; Amora does change in other areas, but she always has a harsh personality. That’s the beauty of Adalyn’s writing, though: I don’t have to like Amora to love her story.
(I love Bastian, though.)
Plot. The plot is top-notch. There’s a main plot and then a ton of subplots that affect all of the characters. The ending was shocking and literally had me gasping into my open palm as I read it. The last 100 pages kick hard. You will not put down the book. It doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but it sets up for a second book. I’m thrilled to see where Adalyn Grace takes the sequel.
Theme. Amora is a powerful princess, who doesn’t want to let her kingdom down. One of the most present themes of All the Stars and Teeth is persistence. Push through the rough times in order to reach your goal.
Reason for Rating
I gave All the Stars and Teeth 5 stars. 5-Star reviews are difficult to achieve from me, but Adalyn Grace deserves it with this one. I loved the different magics and seeing them in action. I loved what Adalyn did with mermaids, whom was one of my favorite characters. I loved the twisted plot line. It was an awesome read.
All the Stars and Teeth is violent. There are many battle scenes with graphic-ish descriptions (think lots of blood and dismemberment). I wouldn’t do a literature unit on this as a class, but I would include it in a classroom library for high school.
Grades: 9-12 (maybe advanced middle school with parent permission)
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace was published February 4, 2020 by Imprint. Check out Adalyn’s website here! It has a bunch of extras from the book.