I am rating Shadows of the Gods and The Hunger of the Gods five stars each because they both truly deserved it.
When I started the first book in September 2021, I must admit I found it a bit slow at the start. However, by the time I reached chapter 3, the story came alive with intrigue, sharp wit, and a barely concealed thirst for vengeance that gripped me.
Set in a Norse-inspired world teeming with myth, magic, and vengeful gods, The Shadow of the Gods marks the beginning of an epic fantasy saga by the brilliant author John Gwynne.
The first book of Bloodsworn Saga follows the journey of a recently widowed warrior-lady, Orka Skullsplitter, on a quest to find her son and exact revenge upon his (very unfortunate) kidnappers, all amidst the backdrop of warring jarls, monsters, and old gods seeking to regain power.
In the eagerly awaited second installment of Bloodsworn Saga, The Hunger of the Gods, Gwynne did not disappoint.
The story expanded to introduce a plethora of captivating characters, including the intriguing villain Lik-Rifa and her dragonborn followers, the rat-god, Rotta, as well as the enigmatic wolf god Ulfrir and his many (charming and mostly dead) children. Even Orka’s’ son, Breca, got to show his braves. Although the second book was slower than the first, don’t let it dissuade you because while it may have been slower, it was also more intriguing and funnier.
I won’t lie; my favorite character (in the first and second books of Bloodsworn Saga) was Orka, and this is because she is the most bloodthirsty, violent, aggressive, loving, loyal, and vocal character I know (and I Know Aelin from Terrasen #ToGs).
“My son, if you are here, I will find you. And anyone who stands in my way will wish they hadn’t.”Orka
I also appreciate how the author subtly emphasized the strength of women in the story without being overt. In this world, there was no need to advocate for women’s rights fervently; everyone had an equal chance at life. Kudos to John Gwynne for portraying this seamlessly.
Both Bloodsworn Saga books were the highlight of my reading list for 2021 and 2022. I find myself eagerly anticipating the final installment while also dreading it.
As is often the case in these types of stories, I fear for the fate of the characters I love; I know that, in the end, not everyone will make it, and I’m not sure if I’m emotionally prepared for those inevitable losses.