All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

If you’ve been looking for a pirate YA adventure with a morally grey female protagonist, fantastic squad banter, and a medium burn romance… be sure to pick up All the Stars and Teeth!

About All the Stars and Teeth

Publisher: Imprint  |  Release Date: February 4, 2020
Pages:
384  |  Genre: YA, Fantasy  |  Format: eARC  |  Source: Publisher via Netgalley

All the Stars and Teeth coverSet in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

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.

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My Review of All the Stars and Teeth

Narrative style: first personPerspective(s): single

Well, I devoured this book in a five-and-a-half-hour sitting! If you’ve been looking for a pirate YA adventure with a morally grey female protagonist, fantastic squad banter, and a medium burn romance… be sure to pick up All the Stars and Teeth!

“Frigid air floods my lungs the moment I step outside. It’s coating in a thin veil of mist that wraps around my skin and sweetly coats my face, greeting me like a forgotten friend. The odor of brine and seaweed is thicker than I’ve ever known it.”

The writing is beautiful and descriptive, lush and vivid. The language flows but doesn’t overburden the narrative. As a person who has spent her life near the ocean, reading this book gives me the distinct feeling of being on the water with the wind in my hair and salty brine in my nostrils.

“Magic is part of a person’s being; everyone has it. You can learn it, study it, grow with it, but you cannot make it disappear once it’s yours. Even if you never use it, it’s still forever with you.”

For the most part, the worldbuilding and exposition is incredible. Visidia is an intricately built fantasy world. Effortlessly plotted, All the Stars and Teeth has a number of twists and turns. I will admit the pacing of the second and third chapters dragged for me. The book is in Amora’s first-person perspective, as a result I found these chapters a bit heavy-handed and repetitive in conveying her anxiety for her upcoming performance. It felt like I was beat over the head with foreshadowing, but chapter 4 hooked me and didn’t feel the narrative dragged in any other place.

(Speaking of chapter 4, Adalyn shared that she wrote it to the Witcher 3 soundtrack during her book launch event at Mysterious Galaxy. Before then, she didn’t really know ~how~ Amora’s magic would work. 🗡️ It explains a lot and I kind of love it! .)

But this just isn’t your run-of-the-mill pirate adventure! In addition to the fast-paced plot, battles with sea monsters, and various mysteries to solve, the cast of characters is lovable and complex with their own goals and distinct character arcs. And the romance?! It’s medium burn and swoony!

While Ferrick has my favorite character arc, Vataea is absolutely my favorite character of the book. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Vataea’s fury for how she’s been treated by men knows no bounds. But she joins the Keel Haul crew and rounds off their found family in such an endearing way. A sapphic character who expresses curiosity about the opposite sex, Vataea isn’t broken by her experiences. I simply adore the Keel Haul crew and their found family.

There is this hilarious scene where Amora’s period begins, dirtying her white trousers to the abject horror of Bastian and Ferrick. They are so uncomfortable, suggesting that they catch her some salmon to help with her condition, and she is like “whatever this is just a fact of life” and goes about her business. An icon. I appreciate seeing menstruation normalized in fantasy!

“The mistakes I made in the past do not make me weak; instead, I’ll use them to become stronger. I’m done being afraid of my own power.”

All the Stars and Teeth discusses power and the cycle of violence perpetrated throughout generations. And one of my favorite things about this book is a revelation that I won’t even allude to, but it kicked up my love of this book a notch for sure! Suffice to say, the book is intensely feminist.

Overall, All the Stars and Teeth is an impressive YA debut and has the spirit of adventure woven into its pages. Absolutely no shade, but this is the book I hoped These Rebel Waves would be (I liked the book, but the marketing misled the community into thinking it is a pirate adventure). I am really looking forward to the second book in this duology!

All the Stars and Teeth is the pirate fantasy we've been looking for with medium-burn romance, mermaids, and adventure! Check out this spoiler-free review to find out more! Click To Tweet

Representation: lesbian side character (Vataea), periods
Content warnings: animal torture (pgs 299-301), blood magic, domestic violence, sexism

eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected opinions in any way. Quotations are from an uncorrected proof and subject to change upon final publication. I have since purchased a finished copy.

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Have you read All the Stars and Teeth yet? If so, what did you think?!
What piratey fantasy adventures would you recommend?

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

26 Comments

  1. Evelyn

    April 15, 2020 at 12:19 AM

    This review really makes me want to read this one! I kept hearing mixed things, but you convinced me!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:13 PM

      Ahh, these are the kind of review comments I love! Reading is so subjective so I get mixed reviews, but this one hit the spot for me in a big way. I hope you also enjoy it!

  2. Mere

    April 15, 2020 at 11:15 AM

    I was so hesitant going into this because it was a bit slow at first and then BAM BAM it picks up and is AMAZING

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:46 PM

      It was SO WEIRD! Like the first chapter? I was living for it! And then chapters 2 and 3 had me very worried lmao. But once the performance starts, I was settled in for an amazing read. Glad you also enjoyed it!

  3. Jules_Writes

    April 15, 2020 at 12:05 PM

    Wonderful review – I’m going to add this to my wishlist!

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:47 PM

      Thank you, and I hope you enjoy it when/if you do pick it up!

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  5. May @ Forever and Everly

    April 15, 2020 at 7:59 PM

    so glad you loved this one, kal! i got an arc of it from a book fest in october and was really excited about it, but i haven’t been in the mood to pick up ya fantasy lately sadly. but you’ve definitely convinced me to move it up higher on my tbr — i’m really excited for all the moral greyness and squad banter!!

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:50 PM

      I know what you mean about not being in the mood — I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy or even sci-fi really, and it’s a drag. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did when the mood strikes, May!

  6. Lindsi

    April 15, 2020 at 9:24 PM

    Yes x 1000000! I’ve seen so many mixed reviews for this book, but you had me at “morally grey female pirate”! Haha. It does sound like this book will one I’ll enjoy, so I’m happy I saw your review. 🙂 Right place at the right time!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 😷💬

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 1:59 PM

      I should clarify, the main character is a princess & morally grey — the morally grey pirate is a male character in the group. Apologies if my review was misleading, but I hope you enjoy the book if you do pick it up. Amora has this spirit of adventure and wanting to sail the seas, but she also has her duties as a ruler that take precedent.

  7. Jenna @ Falling Letters

    April 16, 2020 at 2:06 PM

    Hmm, this one was on my radar because pirates but some reviews made me think it would be more romance-y than I would like so I removed it…now you’ve got me on the fence about it again! 😛

    1. Kal

      April 20, 2020 at 2:22 PM

      I’d put the romance on par with The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh if you’ve read that. Not the focus of the story – that is definitely the adventure and mysteries she’s trying to uncover – but it’s there. I liked it, but I’m sure it isn’t for everyone.

  8. AhanaRao

    April 17, 2020 at 4:59 AM

    Lovely review Kal!! YASSS. Talk about menstruation please! ♥️ I’ve heard about this book so much and I’m glad you liked it Kal. 😘 I’m really intrigued by it, won’t lie. Ahh TBR why you glare at me?

    1. Kal

      April 22, 2020 at 2:55 PM

      NORMALIZE PERIODS IN FANTASY! I always get so excited when it comes up and isn’t just a pregnancy plot device; I hope to see it continue and break down stigma for a natural thing like half of the population goes through. I hope you enjoy the book if your TBR allows you to give it a go!

      1. AhanaRao

        April 23, 2020 at 4:32 AM

        YAS PLEASE! Same!!! *cheers* YESYESYES! Thank you Kal!

  9. Tanaz

    April 24, 2020 at 2:39 PM

    Love this review Kal! I absolutely love stories with morally grey characters–they feel so much more real and often leave you wondering if you should love them or hate them. This book sounds wonderful, and I especially love a fantasy with good world-building. Thanks for pinging this on my rader!

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 1:43 PM

      Thank you so much, Tanaz! Morally grey characters are my legit FAVORITE because they feel so much more real to me? Like people are rarely pure good or evil, and I think the grey space between – as well as what ‘good’ things they forsake to achieve their goals – makes for a more compelling read. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do!

  10. Krisha

    April 25, 2020 at 10:09 AM

    I love this review and I am definitely hoping to read this book soon! I really love such stories but admittedly haven’t read many! So I hope I can read this one especially since you loved it so much !!✨

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 1:51 PM

      Thank you so much Krisha, and I hope that you adore the book as much as I do! I need more books like this in my life. GIVE THEM TO ME.

  11. Laurie

    April 25, 2020 at 11:35 AM

    Yes, this one is on my TBR and will be picked up as soon as possible. Thank you for yet another great review!

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 1:51 PM

      Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did when you pick it up!

  12. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    April 25, 2020 at 9:42 PM

    Well I’m glad it’s good! We definitely need more YA pirate books. 🙂

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 1:57 PM

      WE NEED MORE PIRATE BOOKS! Like this is the book I’ve been craving and need more of them in my life immediately.

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  14. Catarina @ Pages & Plots

    May 9, 2020 at 9:43 AM

    Well, pirate books are my weakness, so my TBR just got a little bit bigger 😭

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