“I feel like I should warn you: this is going to be absolutely brutal.”
For the first time in this ancient, bloodstained story, the tournament is breaking. The boundaries between the city of Ilvernath and the arena have fallen. Reporters swarm the historic battlegrounds. A dead boy now lives again. And a new champion has entered the fray, one who seeks to break the curse for good… no matter how many lives are sacrificed in the process.
As the curse teeters closer and closer to collapse, the surviving champions each face a choice: dismantle the tournament piece by piece, or fight to the death as this story was always intended.
Long-held alliances will be severed. Hearts will break. Lives will end. Because a tale as wicked as this one was never destined for happily ever after.
I’m disappointed. You have to deliver if you’re promising dark fantasy and no happy endings. And All of Our Demise‘s delivery is lacklustre.
I know the length of the tournament adds legitimacy to the events, but it does make the story drag. There’s so much sitting around and researching and planning, which is so boring. I spent the entire book waiting for something to happen. And while I’m absolutely obsessed with one couple, the other two were not appealing.
Name one person who didn’t want Alistair and Gavin together. I dare you. Their romance is so deliciously slow and painful, full of distrust and fear – I loved every moment. Briony and Finley were so dull I couldn’t even remember his name. I had to go back and look it up – her death is the only good thing to happen there. Too harsh? And Reid and Isobel’s relationship makes zero sense and has zero chemistry. If only his betrayal had been real – that would’ve been much better.
Gavin understood, then.
The world told terrible stories about the Lowe family. And Alistair had embraced them. He had done awful things. He had twisted himself into the shape his childhood had asked him to take, and it had led him to desperate, dangerous places. Gavin knew how that felt.
The Grieves had raised Gavin to die. The Lowes had raised Alistair to kill.
Both of them deserved a better story.
It sounds dumb, with all the injuries, death, and danger, but in the end, it was all too easy. Destroying these landmarks couldn’t have been that difficult – everyone managed to have earnest life discussions and made plans about their futures while completing the tasks. You shouldn’t be able to multitask while taking down a generational curse.
It was also way too easy to destroy the supply of high magick without anyone figuring out what they were doing.
If Gavin had learned anything over these past few months, it was that it was impossible to fully disentangle yourself from the stories that had built you. He’d tried to ignore the Grieves’ tale, but instead, he’d let it swallow him whole.
"I think maybe people need stories to survive, but they can also use them to hurt each other. Or themselves," Gavin said. "If you’ve found a way for your family’s stories to feed you without feeding on you … that seems worth holding on to."
I wanted dark and dangerous and received weak and dull. I’m glad I finally got around to finishing the series – thankfully, it was only two books. I don’t plan to revisit this world any time soon.
Maybe if, when they were handing out happy endings to fucking everyone, Gav and Al got a better one, I’d be keener to check back in. Not this wishy-washy long distance, maybe sorta thing they’ve got going on.
I feel cheated. So many promises, so little follow-through.
Alistair flashed his sneer of a smile, and for a moment Gavin saw the boy he’d fought with for so long. Alistair might not be a villain—Gavin wasn’t really sure there was such a thing—but there would always be something a little wicked about him.