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I know I have been leaning heavily towards fantasy novels lately. So when I say that All the Stars and Teeth is a fantastic novel, it means something. Yes, it follows the standard young adult fantasy novel format. There is a love interest (although minor), and it is a bit predictable and simplistic. However, Amora Montara is such an amazing character that none of that other stuff matters.

Fierce is the best word I can use to describe Amora. She has a strong personality, as one would expect, but she also has an unwavering sense of duty. Moreover, she has a well-defined sense of identity – something that tends to be missing in young adult heroines. Normally, they have to grow into their identities. Amora never needs to do that. Her identity drives all of her actions and desires. It is what gives her purpose and ultimately what you come to respect about her the most.

Another facet of Amora’s character I find highly admirable is her strong ethics and sense of justice. She never hides her head in the sand but demands answers to situations that seem to be contrary to what she was taught. When she begins to question her magic, the sparks truly fly. We have all read heroines who blindly follow their teachings rather than the evidence. Yet, Amora does not hesitate to question at the first sign of differences, even if it means rethinking the one thing that she holds most sacred about her family.

Speaking of magic, hers is unlike anything I have ever seen in a YA novel. It adds a deliciously dark note to the entire story that simply enhances Amora’s character and her quest for information. In addition, it challenges those strongly held ethics that so define her.

Amora Montara is the type of leader we all deserve – honest, caring, willing to listen, and most importantly, willing to learn. She doesn’t take the easy path but does what is right for her people. There is no angst, no hand-wringing about tough decisions. Everything about Amora is decisive and for the greater good. Gods, I love her.

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