• May 17 / Varsity BaseballLiberty High School - 0, Howell - 15
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Student News of Liberty High School


Student News of Liberty High School


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‘All of Us Villains’: A Duology Review

“All of Us Villains” and its sequel, “All of Our Demise” has peaked my interest
Lexi Hufty
“All of Us Villains” and “All of Our Demise” by Amanda Foody and C. L. Herman sits side-by-side on my bookshelf.

“All of Us Villains” and “All of Our Demise” is a book duology written by C. L. Herman and Amanda Foody. “All of Us Villains” was a birthday gift- I hadn’t expected much from it. And yet, as I read it, it dragged me into the magical world of Ilvernath where seven children are sent by their families into a death tournament. The winner- the one who kills the others- receives control of the last strain of high magick, which is much more potent and powerful than common magick. 

You witness their journey through four perspectives: Briony Thorburn, determined to save her sister from a certain death in the tournament, takes her place; Gavin Grieve, the champion no one ever gave a chance, seeks revenge by winning the tournament that was supposed to be his end; Isobel Macaslan, whose only goal is survival, no matter the cost; and my favorite- Alistair Lowe, determined to be a villain from birth. We watch these heroes fight and kill and eventually reconcile to destroy the tournament together. 

I was certainly invested in this duology. Yet, it falls short compared to the other books I’ve read of Foody, such as the “Shadow Game” series. Where that world is rich with history and rules, this one leaves many questions to be asked. Briony, too, felt especially useless as a character- she may be the one who started to destroy the tournament, but she was convinced of that by Finley Blair, another champion.

While the other characters’ journeys revolve around escaping from the expectations and demands of their families, Briony has little to no real interaction with this theme. It is attempted, as she hurts her sister in hopes to save her, which damages their relationship, but her sister is actually quite quick to forgive Briony. As well, she does reveal that the Thorburn family was working with the government in testing cruel and illegal forms of magic, but this is similarly ignored in that it is barely mentioned and has almost no actual impact on Briony’s perception on her family- likely because of how little she thinks of them. 

Briony is as useless to the story in her life as she is in her death. She dies just before the conclusion of the book, giving her life to destroy the tournament. In my opinion, she was written simply to die, to sadden us- Foody has done this before, with Jac in “King of Fools.” But while that was masterfully written and brought real tears to my eyes, Briony was unneeded and we would never see the characters have to deal with her death. That’s the entire reason to kill a character- to propel the story forward, to watch the other characters deal with this death. But Briony’s was only for show.

These books are, in my opinion, amazing- not considering Briony. Briony is the greatest failure I found in this small series, when she had so much potential. I wish she got the same amount of attention from the authors as Gavin, Isobel and Alistair, all well- developed characters. Without Briony, this is a 9/10. With her, it’s a 7/10.

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About the Contributor
Lexi Hufty
Lexi Hufty, Reporter
Lexi Hufty is a freshman, and it is her first year in journalism. She adores stories, and she explores every way they can be told - including, but not limited to, writing, drawing, video games, and sculpting. She plans to join the swim team and plays volleyball outside of school. You can always find her with a book (or two,) nearby. Outside of school, Lexi is almost always playing one of her favorite video games.

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