“Fear is a part of life, and the only thing that matters is what we do with it”
– Adalyn Grace
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Imprint for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
I am also a part of a blog tour for this book and will be posting an interview I got to do with the author on February 9th!
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.
After looking all last year I’ve finally found a sea-worthy adventure full of magic that exceeded my expectations. All the Stars and Teeth wasn’t what I expected while being everything I needed. An adventure journey that took place on the deck of a unique and magical ship with a sassy and con of a pirate, a princess bent on proving herself worthy of her kingdom and determined to make her people unafraid of her and her unique abilities, the biggest cinnamon roll who loves the princess but has trouble finding his sea legs and finally a mermaid who joins the novel halfway through who is the most cunning and dangerous of them all. A gang bent on prevailing over evil and restoring peace to the kingdom.
➽ Amora – Heir to the throne and the next high animancer. She hold the most unique magi of them all; the gift of souls. On the day of her demonstration where she is supposed to show her control over her power she realizes just how scared everyone is of her and what she can do. A misstep is made and now she has to fight her way through her kingdom with a pirate to save not only it but prove herself worthy of being Queen.
➽ Bastian – A Zudian pirate with the fastest magical ship to ever sail the seas who has had his magic stolen from him. He’s out to save his people from an evil he ran from years ago and has convinced Amora to join him.
➽ Ferrick – Soon to be engaged to Amora his childhood best friend and one of the most talented Suntosan healers.
➽ Vataea – Mermaid and possible man-eater. Mermaids are known for their voices and the power they hold over the sea.
I opened to the first page and saw all the islands listed along with their jewel representative along with the type of magic each practiced and was worried about being confused, but the magic system was very well explained within the first few chapters and even more detailed throughout their journey. There were so many different kinds of magics and even within those defined magics lived even more possibilities. I don’t want give too much away but it was unique and well thought out through to the end. I do have to say that Amora’s magic was odd and I could totally understand why her people might be a little scared of her. Her soul magic is drawn from bones which she retrieves herself and that process was a tad gruesome. Points to Bastian for only passing out once observing it live.
There was romance that ended in quite the unexpected way. Becoming the next animancer meant also becoming engaged to Ferrick for Amora and saying she was less than thrilled is an understatement. At first it’s because she seems selfish and maybe a tad wanton (no judgment get it girl) but there is just no chemistry between the two which is apparent when Bastian steps on the scene. Sparks start flying immediate and honestly swoon. Who doesn’t want a rugged pirate? Just be prepared for that slow burn lusty love.
I loved adventure journeys where we get to see more of the world and discover it alongside our MCs. Amora had been so sheltered her life so like her we get to experience the islands for the first time and the magic they each separately wield. While they were on their way to a serious task, the adventure of getting there had a few light moments and the not-triangle-triangle of Bastian, Ferrick and Amora was highly amusing. Vataea just added to the group dynamic. I loved getting to know the world along with the people in it. Even those we met in passing were fully fleshed out. While this is a fantasy novel with a bunch of magic thrown in, it was easy to connect to the type of situation they were all in and the emotions they felt.
With her debut novel Grace comes into the writing world strong and with a book that is sure to make waves. There isn’t a major cliffhanger but there is still a lot of plot left to be wrapped up. I’m not sure how many books the series will have but I need to know what happens next and how what they learned on their adventure and what happened will effect not only them but the entire kingdom.
Disclaimer: All quotes used in this review are taken from an advanced copy and may be changed from those that appear in the final version. Quotes will be updated to reflect such changes, if any.