Blood Before All

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Summary from NetGalley:

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 the 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.

ARC provided by Macmillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley for an honest review.


This book was fantastic and I absolutely loved it! All of the characters are dark and villainous, even when they don’t want to be. It is an urban fantasy, but there is also an ancient curse and the characters have to deal with the fallout of social media and journalists that want to feed on their deaths. This book will take you on a journey like no other.

We are told the story through four characters points of view. And while I liked all of them I also couldn’t believe how awful each of them could be. They each had their own reasons for being the way they were, mostly it was their upbringings, but they also were able to see that their behaviors were just wrong and they could make the decisions to change, but in the end would choose not to.

The world building was amazing and I loved the magical system. Everyone can use magic, but there are some who are more magical than others. They use stones mostly set in rings that help them to focus and use the magic stored in them. There are of course defensive spells as well as curses. There are also common everyday spells but we don’t hear to much about them. The town where the story takes place doesn’t know about the curse until a tell all book is published. Their minds are erased of the whole tournament every time it occurs. This time around there are also journalists and other social media people who have descended upon the town that are making it harder to hide what is really going on. This ends up playing a role in the whole story as well.

The book starts off a little slow as we are introduced to the four main characters, but once it gets going it is really hard to put down. As I said, each character is likable, but you almost don’t want to like them. The things their families expect of them and the sacrifices they make to achieve the goal of winning the tournament are bleak and scary at times. This is a dark book and there is of course some bloody and gruesome deaths, but it is a fascinating look at how fragile the human psyche can be.

A really fantastically dark and twisty story with some characters that you will love but also loath at the same time. I can’t wait to see where this will go next!

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