Villains by Necessity Book Review
When the villains become the heroes
The central book’s theme is good needs evil. In the prologue, it is explained that evil has been taking away throughout the realm after long fought out battle between good and evil. The novel goes in the opposite direction to over fantasy novels as the heroes are the leftover villains in the world. These leftover villains, which includes an: as assassin, dwarf, necromancer, druid and a black knight, must adventure across the world that is being succumbed by light to restore the balance of the world between good and evil. The villains put aside their differences to join forces against the ruler of good, Mizzamir, who is whitewashing the masses of the world. The major twist throughout the novel is that the book is taken from the villain’s perspective, who are essentially the heroes, and they cannot be any heroes without villains. Morality is also challenged in various ways due to the concept of rape throughout the novel, along with killing. Villain’s by Necessity questionably follows Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey.
Joseph Campbell’s hero journey is applied to Eve Forward’s novel of Villains by Necessity due to the universality of Campbell’s monomyth and shows the importance of the monomyth. Although Campbell’s monomyth is general and basic, it strongly outlines the human consciousness through the challenges the hero faces along his journey. As he explains:
The agent of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth,” he writes. “Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, conquering dragon after dragon, the stature of the divinity that he summons to his highest wish increases until it subsumes the cosmos. Finally, the mind breaks the bounding sphere of the cosmos (Campbell 2008 190)
The monomyth has psychological importance, as the individual battles there outer and inner ‘‘dragons’’. Additionally, Campbell is saying literature is used to make people more human as Eve Forward shows in Villains by Necessity. Eve Forwards character development of Valerie and more importantly Kaylana intending Campbell’s hero’s journey can also be applied to female supporting characters. No woman throughout the novel is metaphorically a temptress or aligned to play a Goddess; they have their own identities disproving Murdock’s critic of the hero’s journey being male-dominated. Villains by Necessity displays various methods of the monomyth and representations of Carl Jung archetypes. Eve Forward’s main character Sam portraying the hero of the novel, in which the reader sees themselves and portrays the journey every follows. Sam representing various archetypal hero’s establishing the fact that a hero has a ‘‘thousand faces’’. The journey of one discovering themselves and finding the meaning of their existence. In find meaning, this revoking Camus philosophical idea of absurdism, and the notion of the looking for meaning to be pointless. Campbell’s monomyth is showing that everyone has the potential to become a hero. Jung is supporting this idea of everyone being a hero through his book in the collective consciousness in which the journey archetypes are formed. The archetypes are appearing throughout Villains by Necessity displayed through the characters of primarily Sam and various supporting characters. As Eve Forwards are not typical heroes, they still transform and endure the hero’s journey even if they ‘‘It is not a society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. Moreover, so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal–carries the cross of the Redeemer–not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his despair’’ (Campbell 2008 391). The heroes save the society, but society also saves them.
One of my favourites books I’ve ever read, reading it on holiday in Kavos on my Kindle. It is my favourite fantasy book and I like how it turns the typical hero’s and villains trope on it’ head. The book has everything and I highly recommend reading it. However if you do want to read this book it is pricey.