Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: February 2nd, 2021
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Thank you to Titan for providing this ARC via NetGalley. All opinions remain my own.
All the Stars and Teeth was one of my favourite reads last year, and I was really excited when I was approved for the second book in this duology on NetGalley. Although this story is finished, I really hope the author returns to this world in the future – I am not quite ready to completely leave Visidia.
That’s always a very good sign in any fantasy series – when it feels painful to leave behind a world and characters you’ve come to know and love. All the Stars and Teeth did a fantastic job of setting things up, building the world, and introducing us to these characters, while giving us an ending that sets up the next book nicely.
When we join Amora at the start of the book, she is ruling as queen, hiding the truth about her magic from her people, as well as hiding the fact she can no longer perform magic, and that Bastian has the missing half of her soul. The islands are growing restless, her authority is questioned, and Amora is stuck until she discovers the existence of a missing artefact. To give her the chance to travel and investigate, she agrees to a trip involving her looking for a husband among the various islands in her kingdom.
It’s a fun setup (though perhaps not for Bastian) and gives Amora a good excuse to get her crew back together, with two new additions. We get to see a more political side to Amora, slightly more scheming, withholding information from her friends and trying to focus on what’s right for her people, hoping she can eventually reveal the truth about Soul Magic and the curse in her bloodline.
This novel deepens the relationships from the first book, while giving room for others to emerge. I would have loved to have seen more of the islands and how they were coping with the changes, and it would have been great to have a little more of Amora’s tour, but cramming too much in would have made the book overcrowded.
We do get to see some of the islands, and Adalyn Grace’s worldbuilding really pays off, building on what we have seen in the first book while introducing some new aspects, too.
It all gels together really well, from the relationships between the characters, the islands we visit, and the politics and secrets casting shadows over Amora. This is a fantastic duology, YA fantasy with a strong female lead and a strong plot leading you through both books. I can’t wait to see what Adalyn Grace writes next.