Soul Magic and Pirates

All The Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Publication Date: February February 4, 2020

Summary from NetGalley:

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 stowaway 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.

ARC provided by MacMillan Children’s Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.

I didn’t totally hate this book, but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by it. Most of my issues stemmed from the fact that I just never connected with the characters in any way that made me care about them. But the world and the magical system were both interesting enough to keep me reading to the end.

What I liked:

  • The different islands and the fact that each one was so different in their architecture, culture and magic.
  • The magical system was very interesting, especially the fact that people could choose their magic. It was also different that people could only use one type of magic, but there were different degrees to everyone’s ability with that magic.
  • The basic plot of the story, princess having to prove her worth and save her kingdom was pretty standard, but how she went about doing it was interesting.
  • The writing for the most part was well done and her descriptions of the places and events was beautiful at times.
  • Amora’s soul magic was pretty different from any thing else I have encountered. That said it was at times confusing as to how it worked.
  • I also loved the curse magic, and some of the interesting applications of it.

What I didn’t like:

  • This is probably just me, but the name of Bastian’s ship really annoyed me. Keel Haul just didn’t work for me, probably because of what it means to keel haul someone. Look it up, it’s not pleasant.
  • There were many times during scenes on the ship, that I found myself just cringing because of sailing jargon being tossed around incorrectly or just the basic mechanics of how a sail boat works was totally ignored. The writing is vague enough that most people who don’t sail won’t pick up on it, but I did and it bugged me.
  • As I said before, I never connected with any of the characters. I for the most part didn’t care enough about any of them to either root for them or become worried for them when they were almost killed.
  • Even though I found Amora’s soul magic interesting, it was also left me very confused. I still couldn’t really explain to you how it worked.
  • Finally the ending was rushed and really made no sense. Can’t really say more without spoiling, but I finished the book thinking, “HUH! did I miss something or what?”

This is a duology and I honestly can’t say that I will pick up the second book. This might be a case of this just wasn’t the book for me as there are many 5 star reviews on Goodreads for it.

Have you read this book yet? What did you think?

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