Series: All of Us Villains #1
Release Date: November 9th 2021
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received a Netgalley copy of this and then I bought a physical copy from Waterstones.
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into the spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters alike flock to its spellshops and historic ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city’s high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world.
In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family’s reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet–a chance to rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
All of Us Villains was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. I absolutely love Amanda Foody’s Shadow Game series and I was so intrigued by the premise of this. Set in the city of Ilverneath, the story follows the champions of seven families that must fight to the death in order to win control of the city’s high magick. The Lowe family are infamous and are the favourite to win every year, but when a book is published revealing the secrets of the tournament, the city is overrun with reporters and tourists desperate to know who will win. When things start to change in the tournament the champions might have the chance to destroy the curse that has plagued their families for generations.
All of Us Villains was exactly what I was looking for. It was dark and addictive – once I started reading I absolutely could not put it down. It had a few twists and turns did not see coming and it was gorier than expected. It was an exciting read, one I thought was well executed. I did feel the pacing was a little off, with it being quite slow to start with and much faster towards the end.
The world in this story is fascinating and I loved learning about the magic in this world – curserings, spell shops, and a centuries-old curse – I wanted to know more and more. Where I think this book really excels are the compelling characters. Whilst there are seven champions, we get POV chapters from four of them – Alastair, Isobel, Gavin, Briony. All of the POV characters were really intriguing with complicated histories and motivations for entering the tournament. I loved that the characters were so villainous and determined to succeed. Alastair and Isobel were probably my favourite – though I did really like Gavin too.
All of Us Villains is a book I haven’t stopped thinking about since I finished it. If you’re looking for a new YA fantasy book to get hooked on, this is a must-read.