“But even our idols—even those we want to love and trust more than anything—can let us down.” ―Adalyn Grace
(4/5⭐️) What if everything you believed, everything you were ever told, was a lie? Amora Montara, Princess of Visidia and heir to the High Animancer's throne, must prove her right to rule. She possesses a rare Visidian magic called soul magic. It’s dangerous. It’s lethal. And wielding it is a curse. When she fails a ritual rite, she flees her home with a strapping pirate who has his own secrets. With him, she devises a better way to prove her right to rule. The Islands of Visidia are rising up against her father, led by a dangerous upstart. Things in her kingdom are far worse than Amora ever realized. Proving her worth to Visidia isn’t as important as saving her people from a new danger, an ancient danger. She will do whatever it takes, even if it means losing the one thing that has always made her fit to rule. Her magic.
Climb aboard Keel Haul and prepare to set sail on the high seas in this adventure around the islands of Visidia. Bastian is a mysterious pirate who strikes a deal with Amora when she fails her test to become High Animancer. He’s got a ship unlike any other, and a few secrets. Together, with Ferrick, Amora’s bethrothed, and a mermaid they set free, the four of them must save the kingdom. There are plenty of heart pumping moments filled with danger and legendary monsters.
“I shut my eyes as the ocean swallows me whole. Water floods my lungs, and I choke on the one thing I love the most. The sea. The waters of my kingdom. They'll be the death of me.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. I loved the way Amora’s beliefs were turned upside down. My favorite part came near the end when she began getting the answers she desperately sought. This was a big WOW moment for me, as much as it was for her. Amora’s entire life was spent sheltered, living a lie, being deprived of information. She discovers moments before her life-altering test that things are not peaceful. There’s a storm brewing, and she wants answers! Bastian is all too happy to help her find them. It isn’t until the end of the book that Amora’s eyes are truly opened. Everything she thought she knew is wrong. She was wrong. She must readjust her priorities to address this.
“I am a monster, and if you stand in my way, I will destroy you.”
Amora is flawed, but it is her journey of self discovery that opens her eyes and allows her to become the woman she was meant to be. She must struggle with her father’s mistakes, with the weight of her magic, and the drive to put her kingdom before herself. Her character arc is thoroughly satisfying when she realizes that no matter what she suffers, her people are more important.
“I am Amora Montara, Princess of Visidia, and I will be the future High Animancer. I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.”
Let’s get to the world building! I adored Visidia, the different islands and how each island was known for a unique form of magic. There’s time magic, curse magic, healing magic, earth magic... You get the point. Each person in the kingdom is only allowed to practice one type, because long ago when they practiced multiple magics, they began dying. It was believed that multiple magics killed them, so for their safety, they had to pick one.
The vivid imagery used throughout the story plopped me directly on the deck of Keel Haul beside our cast of characters. I was living the adventure there beside them. Living and learning. Each of the characters was flawed, even the king. ESPECIALLY the king. I really appreciated this. The all had to face difficulties that helped mold them into better people. They didn’t always say the right thing. They didn’t always make the right choice. But that’s okay. Who does? These characters were real. Believable. But they worked to overcome their flaws. Who doesn’t love redemption?
I cannot wait for the sequel, All the Tides of Fate. I’m hoping I can get an ARC so that I can review it for you guys! It sounds just as amazing as the first book. Overall, I HIGHLY recommend All the Stars and Teeth. It’s an adventure of growth and learning, ideal for YA audiences.