Hello all! Welcome back to another book review, this time of an ARC that was kindly given to me by NetGalley of the young adult sci-fi / fantasy book All The Stars and Teeth, written by Adalyn Grace. Published by Titan Books in just a few days – 4th August – this book is going to set the fantasy world aflame with just how well created the universe is, and how stunning the book itself is.
This book initially caught my attention because of the beautiful cover, quickly followed by the suggestion that lovers of Sarah J. Maas, which led me to be sure that this really was going to be a fantasy novel to mark. And I was right.
Amora Montara is princess of the kingdom of Visidia. Built up of various islands, each island concentrates on a certain strand of magic, learning it from the youngest of ages. Only the Montara’s, the royal family, are able to learn soul magic, and on the day of her eighteenth birthday, Amora must prove to her father and her kingdom that she is fit to royal in the future by a demonstration of her magic.
When things go wrong, and there’s a chance that Amora may be executed, she takes her own chance on a man who is not what he seems to set things right in the kingdom that, until that night, she hadn’t known were even awry. As her journey begins – the adventure she had always craved – she finds that things are far from the perfect image of peace her father has always promised her the islands are united in, Amora decides that her own personal fate is entirely secondary to her desire to save her country. And to fixing the wrongs that her beloved father her has left in his wake.
I gave this book five stars on GoodReads and NetGalley. Creating a fantasy universe is hard, and creating one with this much detail is a huge skill, not to mention stunningly beautiful to immerse yourself in. With book number two due out in February, I’m already on countdown! When I read the ending it felt like it could possibly be left open for a second book, and I’m so glad it has.
The characters are far from perfect, all with their flaws and difficulties, and that’s what makes it so great; characters without their humanity showing are very 2D and only half as enjoyable. So seeing these highly developed characters blend and merge is wonderful. The crew we see together on the ship, and the twists along the way, all combine to keep you on your toes from page to page. Both strangers meeting for the first time, and those getting to know easy other better, all give another level of humanity to the story.
The display of magic in any fantasy series is a risky business as you need to set your own rules and boundaries for that magic to work, and seeing how this has been displayed here is both clever and enjoyable. Following Amora on her journey, we see many of the types of magic displayed, and it’s always a fascination of mine to see how an author sees magic working for their personal use in their creation. Here, I think it’s managed superbly.
All The Stars and Teeth comes with my highest recommendation if you enjoy fantasy, and you have plenty of time to read it now before book two!