The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.
Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted.
This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice – accept their fate or rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
Let’s be clear from the start: the 3 stars reflect only my personal taste and reading experience. In no way does it reflect the authors talent or work.
Why am I beginning with this?
Because I didn’t like All of Us Villains very much but I can’t pinpoint why exactly! And I don’t want you to think the authors did a poor job because that’s not true.
All of Us Villains is an imaginative story happening in a modern world where ancestral magic still exists. Common magic can be bought by nearly everyone in spells to have your hair grow and other mundane things.
High magic though is only reserved for the winner of a tournament to death held every twenty years between seven champions chosen among seven cursed families.
We will follow said champions, from their induction to their alliances, betrayals and fights in the tournament.
The story will follow four of the champions in particular: Allister Lowe, Gavin Grieve, Briony Thorburn and Isobel Macaslan.
We will see their relationship with their families, their inner turmoil, their ambition, their bargains to gain more power, their hope and their resignation.
The world is really polished with lots of spells and curses that I loved reading about. The concept of the tournament , the different landmarks like the castle, the cave etc and the different relics show a very well thought out world, crafted with care.
The authors do a lot of “show” and not “tell” to have us be in the character’s shoes and that’s very good!
So why didn’t that story work for me???
Is it because we have multiple point of views?
Maybe. That’s certain that I only really cared for Allister. The other characters had me mildly interested in their struggle. They were not badly written. They came in many shades of grey. No one was truly bad.
BUT it was Allister that stole my heart.
Seeing how he was branded a monster by everyone when in fact he had been abused as a kid, frightened, exposed to nightmares and dark stories to thicken his skin broke my heart. He was maybe the only pure character in the story. Ironic when Briony wanted to play the knight in shining armor.
Is it because of the betrayals?
Maybe. Everyone has his own agenda and even so, agendas change, alliances are broken, everything is fluid. But after X betrayals, I was fed up. I deal badly with betrayals in books being very loyal myself. So I guess it grated on my nerves after some time.
Is it because of bad decisions made by the protagonists?
Probably that as well. Because when you want to scream “don’t do that” or “don’t choose that” a lot, well it becomes very frustrating and irritating.
To sum it up, I can’t fault the authors talent here, just my own personal taste and predilection in stories.
That book gathers a lot of very great reviews so read some of them too to make up your mind and decide if that could be “your” story.
Thanks for reading.