All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace was my latest read. I literally just put the book down and immediately picked up my laptop.
Have you ever been to a funeral for a loved one?
I imagine most of us have.
You know, that realization that it’s over. The increased pace in your heart, that lost feeling that might creep up within you. The kind that causes you to stare into space and contemplate your existence.
How will you go on?
What just happened?
Will you ever be the same again?
That’s the best way I can describe the feeling I have finishing such a great book.
Since it’s Book 1 of a planned duology, it doesn’t quite have the same kick in the gut that finishing a series has.
You know what I’m talking about. That feeling like a piece of your soul has been left behind because you know your time with these beloved characters is over.
But All the Stars and Teeth left me reeling in such a good way.
I sit here now trying to sift through the fog and make sense of my feelings. But I’ll do my best for you.
All the Stars and Teeth Review
All the Stars and Teeth is about a princess, Amora, whose family alone possesses powerful soul magic.
Their magic keeps an incredible beast at bay that once threatened to destroy the whole kingdom.
Amora must control the magic in order to keep the beast in check. Because if she fails, there is no one else who can do it. Her failure would mean the beast’s release and spell the end of her kingdom.
So when her coming-of-age trial to officially be named heir to the throne goes horribly wrong, she’s set on a journey to prove to her kingdom that she is worthy.
You can read all that in the book blurb.
Amora spends the majority of her time in this book with two men: Bastian and Ferrick. She’s engaged to Ferrick by arranged marriage, but she has the hots for Bastian.
I’m sorry to disappoint you (if you like this sort of thing), but this is not a love triangle situation.
Amora despises Ferrick, and will never love him. Ferrick on the other hand is madly in love with Amora. Poor Ferrick.
I’ve never read a book before with magic quite like this one.
Though the book describes Amora’s magic as soul magic, her magic actually has very little to do with the soul.
She does have to ability to see man’s soul and determine if he is good or bad. That’s a nifty ability to be sure.
But the real power comes from bones. She smear a bone with blood or tie hair around it and tosses it into a fire and that bone in the enemy’s body is destroyed.
Think of it like a giant voodoo doll.
While the magic is unique, it’s really limiting.
If Amora doesn’t have a fire, her magic is pretty worthless. It’s really cool, and kinda creepy if I’m being honest. But lacks the ability to really make a big impression because of it’s severe limitations.
What perhaps is the most frightening is the curse magic of the main antagonist.
I’m a little confused by the mechanics. There was a LOT of stuff going on with curse magic that it didn’t seem to follow a set pattern. But the horrifying stuff that was done with curse magic. Wow.
Talk about a bad guy.
A Thrilling Plot
The main premise of the story is that Amora is trying to get control of her soul magic and be the queen that her people needs to her to be.
In the process, she learns about unrest in her kingdom that her father seems unwilling to solve. When she meets Bastian, he gives her the excuse and the means to investigate for herself.
The rebellion is lead by a man named Kaven who has that terrifying magic I mentioned above.
Amora’s been sheltered and kept on her island by her father all her life, so as she takes to the seas with Bastian she gets to explore not only the beauty of her kingdom, but it’s ugliness as well. Her eyes are opened to the deep poverty and difficulty with which her kingdom is plagued.
As Amora discovers more her kingdom, it reveals a lot more about the world and what’s been going on in the background for years.
I love this sort of slow reveal.
It doesn’t dump everything on you up front, but rather reveals details as they become necessary to the plot.
All the Stars and Teeth is a really easy read and a great story.
Though it’s filled with twists and turns, a few of them are pretty predictable, yet others were so unique I’d have never seen it coming.
Let’s talk about our three main characters each in turn.
Amora is a tough princess, warrior woman type character. But this can lead to some foolhardiness and headstrong attitudes.
At one point, I was getting really annoyed with how she was treating Ferrick as well as how naive she was. But thankfully, this was all part of the plan to see the character develop as the story progressed.
The tale wouldn’t be complete without a little self-doubt in there, but through the encouragement and support of her friends, Amora can wade through the murkiest waters.
All the Stars and Teeth really is about friends.
And Ferrick is one of her most loyal friends. Well, he thinks he’s a friend, she thinks he’s a nuisance.
As mentioned earlier, Ferrick is to be engaged to Amora by arranged marriage. Ferrick is the sweetest, most loyal guy around. He clearly loved Amora. It hurts me to see her rebuff him.
Ferrick does border on clinginess and overprotectiveness, but it never crosses the line of overbearing. He’s willing to follow Amora to the ends of the earth.
Then there’s Bastian. He’s a self-centered pirate who’s only goal is solve his own problems. Amora just happens to be a means to an end. He is filled with quippy jokes and sass. You can guess how this goes.
There is some romance in All the Stars and Teeth, but ultimately I felt that it left me wanting.
The romance does resolve. It’s not like she finish it, but there was something about it that just didn’t give me what I wanted.
I don’t know how else to describe.
I waffled back and forth on how to rate All the Stars and Teeth.
The story was fast paced and engaging. The characters made pretty great improvements from start to finish. And the story idea itself was unique.
At the same time, the romance left me wanting, Amora’s magic was really impractical, and some aspects of the magic system seemed a little undefined.
Especially concerning the evil guy’s magic.
There was just too much confusing principles, I couldn’t nail down how it worked because the terms kept changing at every turn.
All of this together led me to give All the Stars and Teeth a solid 4/5 stars.
I took off half a star for each of the two issues I mentioned above.
All the Stars and Teeth is definitely worth a read.
I recommend it for lovers of pirates, seafaring adventures, and original magic!
Looking for more great books?
Check out my review of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson