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The Hunger of the Gods

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The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance. Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest. As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of thei The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance. Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest. As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of their own – and Varg takes the first steps on the path of vengeance. Elvar has sworn to fulfil her blood oath and rescue a prisoner from the clutches of Lik-Rifa and her dragonborn followers, but first she must persuade the Battle-Grim to follow her. Yet even the might of the Bloodsworn and Battle-Grim cannot stand alone against a dragon god. Their hope lies within the mad writings of a chained god. A book of forbidden magic with the power to raise the wolf god Ulfrir from the dead . . . and bring about a battle that will shake the foundations of the earth.


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The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance. Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest. As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of thei The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance. Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest. As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of their own – and Varg takes the first steps on the path of vengeance. Elvar has sworn to fulfil her blood oath and rescue a prisoner from the clutches of Lik-Rifa and her dragonborn followers, but first she must persuade the Battle-Grim to follow her. Yet even the might of the Bloodsworn and Battle-Grim cannot stand alone against a dragon god. Their hope lies within the mad writings of a chained god. A book of forbidden magic with the power to raise the wolf god Ulfrir from the dead . . . and bring about a battle that will shake the foundations of the earth.

30 review for The Hunger of the Gods

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 stars The Hunger of the Gods tempestuous final chapters have successfully prepared readers for the grand conclusion to come. So here we are again, another year and another book by John Gwynne, one of my top favorite authors of all time. The Shadow of the Gods was one of the best books released in 2021 for me. The Hunger of the Gods, the second book in The Bloodsworn Saga, is my second most anticipated books—the first one be ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 stars The Hunger of the Gods tempestuous final chapters have successfully prepared readers for the grand conclusion to come. So here we are again, another year and another book by John Gwynne, one of my top favorite authors of all time. The Shadow of the Gods was one of the best books released in 2021 for me. The Hunger of the Gods, the second book in The Bloodsworn Saga, is my second most anticipated books—the first one belongs to The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson—of 2022. Before I talk about what worked so well for me in this continuation, it is mandatory for me to give my praises towards the publisher—Orbit Books—and the cover artist: Marcus Whinney. If you somehow haven’t seen the cover art of The Shadow of the Gods and The Hunger of the Gods, do it now. Orbit Books and Whinney has created another epic and distinctive cover seller. The scope of Lik-Rifa and Ulfrir in the cover arts is massive, and the realism looks downright stunning. Picture: The Hunger of the Gods by Marcus Whinney Also, if it has been a while since you’ve read The Shadow of the Gods, Gwynne has included something handy and helpful for his readers, just proving even further that he cares about his readers. The first few pages of The Hunger of the Gods contained a detailed recap of The Shadow of the Gods, a character list and what happened to them before, plus Norse terminologies and pronunciations guide. These are all always wonderful to me. And I’ve said this repeatedly, a detailed recap should be a norm in a sequel in an SFF series. Any authors who include this section in their books have a bigger chance of me reading their sequel ASAP rather than putting them on a backlog until their series is completed first. Now, did The Hunger of the Gods live up to my high expectation? Mostly yes. Here’s my review on it, and I’m going to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible. Other than the first three main POV characters of The Shadow of the Gods and one new POV or two supporting characters, I won’t mention any other characters’ names. “When we die, it does not take long for us to go back to the ground, to become what we were, once the spark of life has left us. So I do this to remind me, of where we came from, of where we are headed, and that this life is fleeting. Best to make the most of it. To fight hard and fierce.” The plotline in The Hunger of the Gods starts immediately from where The Shadow of the Gods ended. The three main POV characters—Orka, Varg, Elvar—from the first book have to deal with the aftermath of their respective conclusion. It is worth noting that the three main POV characters in The Shadow of the Gods didn’t have an intersecting storyline or chapters until literally the last chapter of the book. In The Hunger of the Gods, the story, conflicts, and missions of Orka, Varg, and Elvar converged in several sections. Essentially, the three returning main characters embarked upon their own respective rescue mission. The themes of loneliness, found family, forgiveness, courage, glory, and leadership are still dominant in this brutal Norse-inspired fantasy world and series. However, Gwynne has added two new POV characters into The Hunger of the Gods, and I think they added the extra depth that the series needed. But before we get to that, I will tell you what I loved about Orka, Varg, and Elvar’s POV first. “Real courage is to feel fear, but to stand and face it, not run from it.” Orka and her story arc was easily the biggest highlight of The Shadow of the Gods for me. It was a simple revenge and rescue story executed magnificently. With that book alone, Orka has become one of my favorite characters in fantasy. It should not come as a surprise that I continue to enjoy reading Orka's POV chapters immensely. Almost every moment of being inside her head was so delightful. Seeing her incredible strength and determination to protect what she loves remains inspiring. Technically, a few moments aside, Orka did not develop much as a character. Considering her relatively older age, prowess, and expertise in war, she was already ahead in wisdom (when she's not too pissed, at least) compared to many other characters in the series. But I just loved reading about the relationships she built with the other supporting characters. Plus, the battle scenes in her chapters—especially the final few chapters—were utterly breathtaking. Also, I am a big fan of the God of War video games. Whether it's the Greek-mythology original trilogy or the newly released Norse-mythology one, I think they're all masterwork in video games. And I know John Gwynne and his family are all fans of the Norse-mythology God of War video game, too. That's why it genuinely made me happy to see this nod to the video game. “I am sorry,” Lif said. “Do not be sorry,” Orka growled, “be better.” Gif: “Do not be sorry, be better.” From God of War But enough about Orka, you all know how much I loved her chapters already. Let's talk a bit about Varg and the Bloodsworn before we move on to talking about Elvar. If you've read The Shadow of the Gods, then you will know that the theme of friendship and found family shines the most in Varg's and Elvar's chapters. This is still the same case here. Although his chapters were relatively less intense for the majority of the book, I think Gwynne has successfully nailed the balance of see-saw in the calm and the intense moments in Varg's POV chapters. Remember Svik's cheese story in The Shadow of the Gods, another one regarding how life is not fair made a return here, and it was a great chapter, though less humorous, for sure. All of this does not mean that Varg's chapters were devoid of pulse-pounding battle scenes. It's fewer than Gwynne's usual standard, but the Gwynnado in the middle part of the novel that revolved around his chapters were unputdownable. “Brother. How have I had such good fortune to find these people, after so many years of loneliness and pain?” Elvar was the main character that took me longer than the other characters to feel invested in The Shadow of the Gods. However, I knew from the last quarter, and the end of the first novel, that she's going to be a crucially important character in The Bloodsworn Saga, and The Hunger of the Gods proved that. Elvar's starting and concluding chapters in this book were impactful. Witnessing how much she has developed since her first chapter in The Shadow of the Gods was undeniably satisfying to me. The theme of leadership was strong in Orka's chapters, but it's even more evident in Elvar and the Battle-Grim's story. Also, following the epic bloodbath in the conclusion of Elvar's story in The Shadow of the Gods, the calamity and destruction displayed in the last few chapters of Elvar's story in this book were Gwynne's epic and thrilling battle scenes at their best. “Life is a knife’s edge, and all can change with the thrust of a blade.” As you can probably guess, Orka, Varg, and Elvar's chapters were compelling for me. How about the two new POV characters? Well, I'm glad Gwynne decided to add them into this book. Having villain’s POV chapters was one of the key ingredients that made The Banished Lands Saga brilliant. These two new POV characters added an extra layer to the narrative. And one of the things I appreciate most about one of the new POV characters—Gudvarr—is this, Gwynne is doing something new that he has never done before with Gudvarr’s inner voice. By this, I mean that Gwynne is emulating what one of my favorite authors and series of all time did, and that is Joe Abercrombie's style on Sand dan Glokta and Jezal dan Luthar in The First Law trilogy. The arrogance, pettiness, cowardice, and humor somehow made Gudvarr an intriguing character. This is good, especially considering how much I disliked his actions. But the contrast between his actions and inner thoughts was well done. It may not be Abercrombie's level yet—to be fair, no one can do what Abercrombie did with Glokta—but I am pleased to see Gwynne trying out new things and making it work. Take a look at these two passages, for example: ‘“It’s rude,” Gudvar muttered, “and would not be so brave and foolish as to insult me if those bars were not there to protect it.” I’m glad those bars are there to protect me, he thought.”’ Or this “Are you Gudvarr?” the man asked him. How do you know that? As if I would tell you, you sniveling oaf. The man’s eyes bored into him with a fierce intensity. “Yes,” he rasped. These are the kind of passages you’ll get with Gudvarr’s POV chapters. Reminiscent of Glokta, right? So now you might wonder, why did I not give a 5 stars rating to The Hunger of the Gods? After all, I gave all of these praises already. And despite it having fewer battle scenes than Gwynne's standard in his sequels, the Gwynnado in the middle section and the final 15% of the novel were excellent as always. However, I also have to admit that The Hunger of the Gods felt like it's filled with the infamous middle book syndrome in several sections. Remember, this is still a superb book for me. I loved all the character's POV chapters. But at roughly 210k words and more than 600 pages long, it seems like almost the entirety of the novel revolved around them (all the POV characters) traveling. They travel to one place, they do something there briefly. And then they travel again to another destination, and then they do something again. I loved all the characters, the battles, and the Norse-mythology world plus creatures, but having these traveling sections repeated until the end of the novel did get tiresome at times. I strongly encourage you to use the map provided at the front of the book. It's easy to forget where each POV character is going because everyone was constantly traveling to a place before moving on to travel again. “To grieve is to be trapped in a world of loneliness.” I am grieving. Giving John Gwynne’s newest book anything below 5 stars literally pains me. Other than Malice, which I gave a 4.5 stars rating just like this book, I gave all of his other books a 5 stars rating. But as we all know already, none of our top favorite authors can keep a 5/5 stars track record lasting forever. I still love this book so much. My minor issue with the pacing aside, The Hunger of the Gods have furious battle scenes, savage display of power, intricate world-building, and well-written characters. A new age of gods and swords has dawned on Vigrid. If you are familiar with Norse mythology, I doubt it will be difficult for you to predict where the story will go or end up since The Shadow of the Gods. Despite this, The Hunger of the Gods proved to be another marvel written by Gwynne. I needed the third and final book yesterday. And just for fun, I predict the third book of the trilogy will be titled The Battle of the Gods or The War of the Gods. “Svik should be more like me… He should make a stone of his heart.” “I can see that would help avoid the pain of betrayal, true enough, but it also stops you feeling the joy of friendship or love.” You can pre-order this book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Blackwells (Free International shipping) The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions | I also have a Booktube channel Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing! My Patrons: Alfred, Andrew, Amanda, Annabeth, Ben, Blaise, Diana, Dylan, Edward, Elias, Ellen, Ellis, Gary, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Luis, Lufi, Melinda, Meryl, Mike, Miracle, Neeraja, Nicholas, Oliver, Reno, Samantha, Samuel, Sarah, Sarah, Scott, Shawna, Xero, Wendy, Wick, Zoe.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews

    Another masterpiece by John Gwynne. Perhaps the best "middle book in a trilogy" released this decade. Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book. Hunger of the Gods somehow improves upon Shadow of the Gods which I didn't think would be possible. Some of the fun of fantasy books is exploring a world for the first time, but Gwynne finds a way to keep this world interesting even after it was properly made cle Another masterpiece by John Gwynne. Perhaps the best "middle book in a trilogy" released this decade. Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book. Hunger of the Gods somehow improves upon Shadow of the Gods which I didn't think would be possible. Some of the fun of fantasy books is exploring a world for the first time, but Gwynne finds a way to keep this world interesting even after it was properly made clear in the first book. The pacing is wonderful, with frequent high-energy sequences that do not feel forced. There are multiple extra POVs in this book, which was welcomed as they give the perspective of some of the "baddies". This creates a much more appreciated aspect of "morally grey" characters all around, whereas the first book felt more black and white. There is also a more epic feel to this book as compared to the first one. The first one ended on an epic scale, but it took some working towards that goal. This book started there and ramped it up to 11. Without spoiling anything, it also ends on a note that makes me want to pick up Book 3 yesterday. Also, I need to mention that other fantasy writers need to take note from what John Gwynne has done in the beginning of this book. Not only does he have a character listing giving a brief description of everyone in the book, but he has a "what happened in book 1" section that makes it so you don't have to go read the first book again to get right back into the series. I wish every author did these two things -- it makes the experience so much more enjoyable. This is yet another incredible book from John Gwynne, and for me cements him as the best active fantasy author. Every one of his books is a 5/5 for me, which is not true for any other fantasy author. It's frequent for the middle book in a series to be the worst one (looking at you Mistborn), but thankfully this book breaks from that trend. I was provided with an advanced copy of this book, so I could give an honest review. Thank you NetGalley for this opportunity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    4.5 Stars Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  4. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Holy moly that was some viking-inspired madness. The vaesen, the trolls, the shields, the louse-ridden beards! What an amazing tale. I love this world like Svik loves cheese. You guys are in for a treat. I love this book more than words can say and I absolutely love the world in which the Bloodsworn live and thrive.

  5. 4 out of 5

    William Gwynne

    I reread The Hunger of the Gods as it was released a few weeks ago, but this time tried it out in an audiobook format. I loved it! I preferred it over The Shadow of the Gods, which was basically perfect! Colin Mace does a really great job narrating this, and he gets across that build of tension to a great crescendo of an ending. Read this if you have not already! *** If you want to see a video featuring goats, biscuits, vikings and The Hunger of the Gods, click here - The Brothers Gwynne - Goats & I reread The Hunger of the Gods as it was released a few weeks ago, but this time tried it out in an audiobook format. I loved it! I preferred it over The Shadow of the Gods, which was basically perfect! Colin Mace does a really great job narrating this, and he gets across that build of tension to a great crescendo of an ending. Read this if you have not already! *** If you want to see a video featuring goats, biscuits, vikings and The Hunger of the Gods, click here - The Brothers Gwynne - Goats & Vikings with The Hunger of the Gods *** Being his son, I had the privilege to dive in to The Battle Plains again. Awesome to be reunited with The Bloodsworn and the rest of the cast in another instalment of horror, torment, loss, and most importantly, friendship.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews

    Another masterpiece by John Gwynne. Perhaps the best "middle book in a trilogy" released this decade. Hunger of the Gods somehow improves upon Shadow of the Gods which I didn't think would be possible. Some of the fun of fantasy books is exploring a world for the first time, but Gwynne finds a way to keep this world interesting even after it was properly made clear in the first book. The pacing is wonderful, with frequent high-energy sequences that do not feel forced. There are multiple extra POVs Another masterpiece by John Gwynne. Perhaps the best "middle book in a trilogy" released this decade. Hunger of the Gods somehow improves upon Shadow of the Gods which I didn't think would be possible. Some of the fun of fantasy books is exploring a world for the first time, but Gwynne finds a way to keep this world interesting even after it was properly made clear in the first book. The pacing is wonderful, with frequent high-energy sequences that do not feel forced. There are multiple extra POVs in this book, which was welcomed as they give the perspective of some of the "baddies". This creates a much more appreciated aspect of "morally grey" characters all around, whereas the first book felt more black and white. There is also a more epic feel to this book as compared to the first one. The first one ended on an epic scale, but it took some working towards that goal. This book started there and ramped it up to 11. Without spoiling anything, it also ends on a note that makes me want to pick up Book 3 yesterday. Also, I need to mention that other fantasy writers need to take note from what John Gwynne has done in the beginning of this book. Not only does he have a character listing giving a brief description of everyone in the book, but he has a "what happened in book 1" section that makes it so you don't have to go read the first book again to get right back into the series. I wish every author did these two things -- it makes the experience so much more enjoyable. This is yet another incredible book from John Gwynne, and for me cements him as the best active fantasy author. Every one of his books is a 5/5 for me, which is not true for any other fantasy author. It's frequent for the middle book in a series to be the worst one (looking at you Mistborn), but thankfully this book breaks from that trend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    My thanks to Orbit books, John Gwynne and Netgalley. I'm not even sure just what to say! I never properly review a book. If I ever did, then I'd surely skip on this one! There is so much going on! Which really just makes it my kind of story. I love all the different perspectives! This second book was nowhere as gung -ho, stones to the wall as the first book. What it did, "I think" was build up the characters and the world more. " Not that we needed another excuse to love them! " Or hate them too My thanks to Orbit books, John Gwynne and Netgalley. I'm not even sure just what to say! I never properly review a book. If I ever did, then I'd surely skip on this one! There is so much going on! Which really just makes it my kind of story. I love all the different perspectives! This second book was nowhere as gung -ho, stones to the wall as the first book. What it did, "I think" was build up the characters and the world more. " Not that we needed another excuse to love them! " Or hate them too! But it also managed to make this world and all its various inhabitants more real. This book was slower then the first. Don't let that dissuade you, because while it may have been slower, I managed to laugh out loud. Chuckle, snicker, smirk 😏 and just be generally amused! Gah! Oh, yeah. I really do adore these people! I will confess that as much as I'm looking forward to the final book, I'm also scared silly. I know how these things go. Sadly, many will die, and I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. Also, can Vesli come live with me?

  8. 5 out of 5

    William Gwynne

    Woah, woah, woah! Dead Gods Rising (placeholder name) is in one word, INTENSE. The Shadow of the Gods, the first instalment of The Bloodsworn, is released publicly next month, so I can't say too much. One of the many privileges of being John Gwynne's son is getting access to the first draft of his works. Ed and I have like wolves pounced on this second instalment the second it was finished, and we loved it! I am probably biased, being his son, but I genuinely adore this series. The characters are Woah, woah, woah! Dead Gods Rising (placeholder name) is in one word, INTENSE. The Shadow of the Gods, the first instalment of The Bloodsworn, is released publicly next month, so I can't say too much. One of the many privileges of being John Gwynne's son is getting access to the first draft of his works. Ed and I have like wolves pounced on this second instalment the second it was finished, and we loved it! I am probably biased, being his son, but I genuinely adore this series. The characters are household names, so it almost feels as if they are real, and thus the trials, tribulations and torment they are put through just wrenches my heart. This is one rollercoaster of emotions, and I cannot wait to see it edited and released for everyone to see. It is a story of loss, torment, vengeance, and that of friendship. But first The Shadow of the Gods released May 4th in the US, and May 6th in the UK.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    Absolutely amazing! 5 glorious and epic worthy stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I was not able to put this book down for the last 100-150 pages. John Gwynne delivers another fantastic addition to The Bloodsworn Saga series. The Hunger of the Gods is the second book in the series and just as brilliant as the first book. It has epic fights, great characterization, and descriptive creatures causing mayhem. It has a well developed and immersive Viking world that feels real and much better then a TV show could ever produ Absolutely amazing! 5 glorious and epic worthy stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I was not able to put this book down for the last 100-150 pages. John Gwynne delivers another fantastic addition to The Bloodsworn Saga series. The Hunger of the Gods is the second book in the series and just as brilliant as the first book. It has epic fights, great characterization, and descriptive creatures causing mayhem. It has a well developed and immersive Viking world that feels real and much better then a TV show could ever produce. Gwynne is a master at character development and gory, savage battles that will live on in infamy. He’s just one of the best at the fantasy genre and this book and series resembles that statement. I am so looking forward to the third book in this series with that cliffhanger of an ending! Gwynne, you are an evil and brilliant man with that ending. I’m preordering the next book as soon as I can! 🤣😂

  10. 5 out of 5

    Library of a Viking

    THIS BOOK SAVED ME FROM A READING SLUMP The Hunger of the Gods is one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. I loved The Shadow of the Gods and gave it 4.5 stars, and was therefore excited when I received an e-arc of this book. Moreover, the cover art for this series is incredible. Before I start reviewing this book, I have to mention that this book includes a detailed “story so far” section, a glossary and a character list! I am so glad to see more books, including a recap in their sequels, bec THIS BOOK SAVED ME FROM A READING SLUMP The Hunger of the Gods is one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. I loved The Shadow of the Gods and gave it 4.5 stars, and was therefore excited when I received an e-arc of this book. Moreover, the cover art for this series is incredible. Before I start reviewing this book, I have to mention that this book includes a detailed “story so far” section, a glossary and a character list! I am so glad to see more books, including a recap in their sequels, because it can be incredibly challenging to remember all the different plotlines, character names etc. I was planning on rereading The Shadow of the Gods before picking up this book, but that was not necessary due to a recap being included, so thank you, Orbit! ! So, did this book live up to the hype? Firstly, this series continuously integrates Norse-inspired elements such as lore, legends and using Norse languages, making this book feel like a real Norse epic fantasy! All the spells are spoken in a language that sounds very familiar to my mother tongue, Faroese. I am guessing it is Icelandic, but I couldn’t say for certain. However, the use of language added another layer of enjoyment to this book that most readers will unfortunately not experience. However, Gwynne always explains what the spells mean or their effects! The Hunger of the Gods is definitely one of my favourite reads of 2022. There are so many things that made this such a memorable and enjoyable read! Firstly, I felt much more invested in the characters in this book! This book follows Orka, Elvar and Varg after the events of the first book. Consequently, Gwynne has added two additional POVs! I enjoyed following every POV in this book! I remember that I didn’t feel as invested in Elvar’s plotline in the first book, but that was not a problem in The Hunger of the Gods. All the characters, and even the side characters, are complex and compelling! Even the new POVs were enjoyable to follow and helped add higher stakes and depth to the world of Vigrið! I also need to talk about Orka. In my review for The Shadow of the Gods, I mentioned that Orka had “the potential to become one of my all-time favourite characters”, and I can firmly say that she has entered my hall of fame! Orka continues to be fierce, compassionate, compelling and complex. Orka’s sheer will and determination to fight for her loved ones is awe-inspiring. Fantasy books need more badass mothers! As always, John Gwynne is able to write some of the most vivid and thrilling action sequences. The battles are epic, cinematic, intense and riveting! There are few authors that are able to write such great action scenes as Gwynne – and that is high praise coming from a reader who rarely enjoys battle scenes! Consequently, the themes of loyalty, determination, morality, family, courage and leadership are at the forefront in this book! John Gwynne has improved on everything that made The Shadow of the Gods great! The stakes are higher, the characters are more compelling, and the world is fleshed out more! However, this book does feel like a middle book in some ways. There is a lot of travelling in this book which does slow the pace of the story down a bit. However, the conclusion is incredible and heartbreaking! It is worth reading this book just to experience the last chapters of this book! Even though this book does have some slight pacing issues, Gwynne was able to make me enjoy and feel invested in this story throughout this 600+ page tome! I can imagine that my rating might lower the more I think about this book. However, I am giving this book five stars since I enjoyed every page of this book. The Bloodsworn Saga is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourite series. John Gwynne has once again been able to craft a cinematic, epic and compelling fantasy story! I can’t wait for book 3! 5 / 5 stars You can watch my review on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zp3o... I received an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Arundeepak J

    5/5 The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne is a brilliantly crafted tale of Vengeance and Chaos. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have trouble putting into words what I feel. But I'm gonna try my best.😅 It's gonna take a little more time for me to get back to normal after finishing this book. The book is just tooooooo good. First of all huge thanks to the publisher and author for approving my request on NetGalley and it goes without saying that this is my unbiased review/opinion. Lik-Rifa, the deagon god i 5/5 The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne is a brilliantly crafted tale of Vengeance and Chaos. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have trouble putting into words what I feel. But I'm gonna try my best.😅 It's gonna take a little more time for me to get back to normal after finishing this book. The book is just tooooooo good. First of all huge thanks to the publisher and author for approving my request on NetGalley and it goes without saying that this is my unbiased review/opinion. Lik-Rifa, the deagon god is freed from her prison by the Dragon-Born. Orka's search for her son Brecca continues. Varg and the Bloodsworn begins their hunt for Skalk, who had abducted Vol, the cheif's wife and finally, Elvar and Battle Grim proceeds to fulfill their blood oath made to Uspa by rescuing her husband and son. WHAT WORKED FOR ME IN THIS BOOK Characters: Orka, Varg and Elvar are back. But this time they are not the only POV characters. There are few more additional POV characters from the antagonist's side which will give you an idea about their reasoning and what they are upto. it's a delight to read from all the POVs. John Gwynne has done a fantastic job in giving a distinct personality and much depth to each character, even the secondary characters that you cannot help but relate with them. I had a little trouble with Elvar's POV in The Shadow of the Gods but that's not the case in this one. I liked her POV almost as much as Orka's and the others but Varg's POV still remains my favourite (I'm a sucker for found family and brotherhood in the band trope 😅). Pacing: I felt that the pacing of this book is little faster than TSOTG but I wouldn't say its breakneck. Its effective in implying the urgency of the situation and the last 150 pages... Whew... it went like that... it's an explosive finale to say the least. The strakes were high and i was turning the pages in a feverish manner 😅😅. Battle Sequences: One of the many reasons why John Gwynne is among my favourite authors is that his detailed/descriptive writing of battle sequences where I can easily track what is happening on the battlefield. So shocking no one, the battle/action sequences in this book were just pure brilliant. SHIELD WAAAALLLL !!! And also, the character interaction especially the conversation between the main characters were handled wonderfully and I would love to read more of other characters reaction when they find out Orka is the Skullsplitter. WHAT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME IN THIS BOOK Absolutely nothing.... Maybe I'm a little biased when it comes to John Gwynne but I honestly couldn't find anything wrong with this book. If I have to complaint, only thing I can thing of right now is that there is no book 3. I need it ASAP 😬 FINAL WORLD: The Hunger of the Gods is explosive, maddening, bloody and brilliant. In this book, John Gwynne achieved what he set out to do... Setting up for the epic clash which I'll be first in line to read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Piera

    Incredible sequel. Gwynne crafts incredible worlds with evocative action scenes and visceral landscapes. Big fan of the characters and excited to see where they go.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nick Borrelli

    Original review posted on my blog Out of This World SFF: https://outofthisworldrev.blogspot.co... John Gwynne's books are always difficult for me to review because so much happens, the characters are really complex (in a good way) and there's often a rich and detailed history to his tales that are hard to encapsulate in a short review. So I will do my best, although I feel like no matter what I come up with it won't come anywhere near doing this book or series justice. The second in Gwynne's Bloods Original review posted on my blog Out of This World SFF: https://outofthisworldrev.blogspot.co... John Gwynne's books are always difficult for me to review because so much happens, the characters are really complex (in a good way) and there's often a rich and detailed history to his tales that are hard to encapsulate in a short review. So I will do my best, although I feel like no matter what I come up with it won't come anywhere near doing this book or series justice. The second in Gwynne's Bloodsworn Saga picks up immediately following the events that concluded the first book. Orka is still desperately traversing the continent looking for those who tore apart her family, while hoping that it still isn't too late to save her son. Her rugged determination throughout this entire series is really what carries this story for me. I haven't come across a main character who I've immediately connected with quite like I have with Orka. To say she's a true badass would be an understatement. She has more than earned her moniker of Orka Skullsplitter, which is one of the cooler names in fantasy I have to admit. The POVs in this book are slightly expanded. In book one the focus was pretty much on three main characters, however we get a little bit of a wider scope in THE HUNGER OF THE GODS and this makes sense given that the story is expanding considerably as well. That being said, I didn't mind the fact that we experience some other characters' journeys and it wasn't confusing as their stories intersect with the main characters much of the time. So Gwynne has definitely given us a broader view of the players in book two and the results are spectacular. One thing in particular that I really loved about this book is that Gwynne peels back the curtain a bit further on the mythical aspect of this Norse-inspired fantasy epic. The gods begin to emerge more and it really takes this already engaging plot to another level entirely. No longer are we dealing with disputes and battles among humans, now ancient (and in some cases downright evil) gods are attempting to influence matters. Consequently, the magic that was only somewhat present in The Shadow of the Gods is considerably ramped up in this entry. I didn't think it was possible for me to be wowed by a John Gwynne book more than I already have leading up to this point. But he continues to amaze me with his ability to introduce unique compelling storylines, magnificent otherworldly creatures, interesting characters who you care about so deeply, and that trademark Gwynne writing that is always tight, witty, and filled with memorable quotes that you can't help but highlight and refer back to later. There's also an interesting dichotomy when dealing with a book like this. I wanted to savor every page and slow down to enjoy it more, but at the same time I couldn't help devouring it in huge marathon sessions because the story is just that great. So I finished fairly quickly for an almost 700-page doorstopper and now I am quite sad that I will have yet another long wait for the next one. But that's also the joy of reading amazing books, that anticipation for something that is potentially even greater down the road. And I can say without hesitation that this series fits the bill. If you are looking for one of the best Norse-inspired epic fantasy stories, then you really must pick up this series. John Gwynne has certainly done his homework and created one of the greatest escape reads I've ever come across. Resurrected gods, warring clans, perilous quests, mesmerizing magic, a landscape that transports you to an amazing new place, and a sense of wonder that attracts us all to fantasy books in the first place. As far as I'm concerned Gwynne has only further cemented his place among the very best writers in the genre. Just run and get your copy the moment it hits the shelves, you will not be disappointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maurice Africh

    This is an incredible followup to what is fast becoming one of my favorite series of all time. John Gwynne is a master of his craft, and his characters in this story are (in my opinion) the best he's ever created. We get a lot more of the Bloodsworn here, which I loved. Though some characters, like Svik and Einar, took more of a supporting role/backseat in this installment. I connected a lot with Elvar, and her story feels...sort of villainous? As the fair-fame band of trappers and slavers, they w This is an incredible followup to what is fast becoming one of my favorite series of all time. John Gwynne is a master of his craft, and his characters in this story are (in my opinion) the best he's ever created. We get a lot more of the Bloodsworn here, which I loved. Though some characters, like Svik and Einar, took more of a supporting role/backseat in this installment. I connected a lot with Elvar, and her story feels...sort of villainous? As the fair-fame band of trappers and slavers, they were already a bit murky and unlikable, but it's interesting to see their side of things. I think their primary path in this installment is positively rooted, so they become more sympathetic...maybe? Idk. I'm excited to follow the Battle-Grim further into the abyss. You also get some new perspectives. I really enjoyed seeing through Biorr's eyes. His insight into the world and the Gods is interesting. So, he's another grey character that is incredibly complex and fun to read. I absolutely loathe Guđvarr, which I guess serves a purpose, too. He was masterfully written...but I still hate him. But, in the end, the heart of this story was and is Orka. There's no getting around it. As much as I love the Bloodsworn, Orka's chapters and story arc are my favorite. She's always doing something reckless and unexpected. She's so damn good-natured and warm-hearted, despite having a stony and fierce demeanor. I root for anyone even in close proximity to her. And her tagalongs in this book added so much to her story and character. All said, I think her story was the live wire of The Hunger of the Gods. And THAT ENDING!? No spoilers, but I can't wait to see what happens next. . . . Oh. I almost forgot! I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    “The world is cruel and full of pain and dark deeds.” I’m still not quite sure how it was possible for Gwynne to add even more depth, or build on to his already fantastic realm of Vigrid, and amazing group of characters… but he did. I’ve never been so instantly connected to such a large group of characters in a book or series. Everyone loves Orka & Brecca, she’s honestly one of my all time favorite characters. But I found myself waiting for Elvar, and Varg’s POV chapters. I adored the dynamic bet “The world is cruel and full of pain and dark deeds.” I’m still not quite sure how it was possible for Gwynne to add even more depth, or build on to his already fantastic realm of Vigrid, and amazing group of characters… but he did. I’ve never been so instantly connected to such a large group of characters in a book or series. Everyone loves Orka & Brecca, she’s honestly one of my all time favorite characters. But I found myself waiting for Elvar, and Varg’s POV chapters. I adored the dynamic between Røkia, Svik (my favorite), and Varg! Their humor and camaraderie brought so much light into this rather dark world. If Varg & Røkia don’t end up together, I will riot. Also notable mention to the creepy, yet adorable Vesli and Spert. Never would’ve thought I’d enjoy a tooth crunching little flying monster or a water scorpion??? But here we are. “And the lamb is not made to rule the wolf.” The element of slavery or “thralls” instantly fills me with rage, and from the first book I’ve been hoping for an uprising or revolution. I had no idea where that plot line would go but I’m so excited to see it pan out. “Real courage is to feel fear, but to stand and face it, not run from it.” I think what sets Gwynne’s writing apart (aside from mind blowing world building), would be his incredible way of portraying exceptional characters. How they honor their family, friends, responsibilities, own up to their mistakes, find humor, strength, and love in the darkest times, and how the best people look out for those being mistreated. Ohh and his epic bloody battles, shield walls, and my personal favorite… revenge. “Harm her and your screams will fill the world.” Even though I’d prefer to have the next installment of The Bloodsworn Saga in my hands right now, I have a new favorite author, and I plan on reading his ENTIRE backlist while waiting for the next book. Thank you to John Gwynne and Orbit Books for the opportunity to read this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Obida

    Buddy read with Ikenna The Hunger of the gods is the second book in The Bloodsworn Saga and though it pains me to say it, I have to say this book didn’t live up to expectations, it was still a great book though 4/5 stars but I expected more. “Real courage is to feel fear, but to stand and face it, not run from it.” The plot progression was slow, the book felt like a preparation to the final book, almost everything that happened here felt like a prelude to what will happen in the next and final Buddy read with Ikenna The Hunger of the gods is the second book in The Bloodsworn Saga and though it pains me to say it, I have to say this book didn’t live up to expectations, it was still a great book though 4/5 stars but I expected more. “Real courage is to feel fear, but to stand and face it, not run from it.” The plot progression was slow, the book felt like a preparation to the final book, almost everything that happened here felt like a prelude to what will happen in the next and final book in the series. Despite the above, this book was action packed, there were lots of fight scenes that were well depicted, the world building was awesome, I love the world and the way the author depicted it made it look like a movie in my mind. Characters My favourite character is still Orka though she didn’t develop more, I expected a little back story about her past but there was none, I have to admit, I love the way she fights, it shows she has experience. Varg is finally getting used to life as a free man, he is also learning how to fight and how better to use his powers, his POV was always refreshing. I was skeptical about Elvar in book 1, I couldn’t decide whether she was good or evil, now I’ve accepted that there’s no black and white here, she’s a selfish, power and fame obsessed woman and I love that, she knows what she wants and she goes for it, she did some awesome things in this book. There were two new POVs in this book, that of Biorr and Gudvarr. Biorr’s POV was enlightening, it tells the readers what’s happening where he is, I actually feel bad for him, he can’t decide whether he is on the right side, he has to make a decision soon. Then there’s Gudvarr who is a morally ambiguous character, he leans more towards villainy than goodness, the only person he loves apart from himself is his aunt, I bet he can screw her over if his life is on the line. “We can all say brave words when the danger is passed. I should know, that is my speciality. ” Plot minor spoilers from book 1 Elvar got what she wanted, fame and money that she couldn’t spend in one lifetime but things didn’t exactly go according to plan now she needs to get things in order before she can enjoy the life she wants. Biorr is back with his people but things isn’t as expected, he doesn’t feel as great as he should. Varg and the Bloodsworn are on the hunt for Skalk who betrayed them and took Vol away. Orka’s POV didn’t progress much, she’s still on her search for her son who got taken in book 1.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Erickson

    This book was determined to be a 4 star until the last 30 pages or so. So it gets 4.5. Hunger of the Gods was my most anticipated book of the year, after absolutely loving Shadow of the Gods last year. I was so psyched to get an ARC of it, and it bounced right to the top of my TBR. And it is really good. We got even more in depth worldbuilding, more time with the characters I loved in SotG, the mythology of the first book is expanded. Gwynne remains excellent at writing combat, and developing char This book was determined to be a 4 star until the last 30 pages or so. So it gets 4.5. Hunger of the Gods was my most anticipated book of the year, after absolutely loving Shadow of the Gods last year. I was so psyched to get an ARC of it, and it bounced right to the top of my TBR. And it is really good. We got even more in depth worldbuilding, more time with the characters I loved in SotG, the mythology of the first book is expanded. Gwynne remains excellent at writing combat, and developing characters that you root for. Gwynne added two new POVs that gave us perspective on the villains and this added a lot to the brewing conflict. The ending of this book was incredible, even better than book 1! Unfortunately, this book did feel like a step down to me from SotG. It felt very much like a middle book. Tons of traveling, doing a task, travelling, doing a task. At one point all of the POVs are travelling at the same time to different places and I'm like this is ludacrious haha. Also, there is so many blood feuds in this book. You need a chart to keep track of all the people who have vowed to kill each other. There are moments of this book I absolutely loved, and I really enjoy this world and these characters, so even a step down is still fantastic. I cannot wait for book three after that amazing ending. 9/10

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex Nieves

    Warning for people that are unfamiliar with me. 3 stars means exactly what Goodreads says it does, which means I liked this book. Didn't love it and it certainly doesn't mean I hated it. ANYWAY. This was mostly enjoyable and does a lot of what I love in Gwynnes writing which is balancing multiple POVs well, creating compelling characters and kickass combat. It also meandered a lot for me in the middle sections of the book and felt a little bit bloated though and ultimately I didn't enjoy it as m Warning for people that are unfamiliar with me. 3 stars means exactly what Goodreads says it does, which means I liked this book. Didn't love it and it certainly doesn't mean I hated it. ANYWAY. This was mostly enjoyable and does a lot of what I love in Gwynnes writing which is balancing multiple POVs well, creating compelling characters and kickass combat. It also meandered a lot for me in the middle sections of the book and felt a little bit bloated though and ultimately I didn't enjoy it as much as Shadow of the Gods. Overall it was good but has some noticeable flaws and I still want to see this story to its conclusion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    The Shadow of the Gods ★★★★ The Hunger of the Gods ★★★★★ Book #54 for the year and MY FIRST 5 STARS READ FOR 2022!!!!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mike Shackle

    This book is everything I loved about The Shadow of the Gods turned up to maximum. Orka is still the stand out but Varg and Elvar are really growing on me as they grow into their new lives. And the new POVs are wonderful too. I even grew to like a certain-snot nosed, would-be tough guy. This series is a master at work, expertly weaving his saga tale. Go read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

    There is no mercy found in these pages. “I learned to fight in the streets of Svelgarth,” Huld snarled, “against men and women who would cut your throat just to warm their hands on your blood, not in some privileged weapons court with thralls all about me to mop my brow when I broke a sweat.” The Hunger of The Gods, The Bloodsworn II is one amazing sequel, and it comes in with all the deep, bellowing rumble of emotions and vengeance, possible. It is one of the best and most visceral Nordic tal There is no mercy found in these pages. “I learned to fight in the streets of Svelgarth,” Huld snarled, “against men and women who would cut your throat just to warm their hands on your blood, not in some privileged weapons court with thralls all about me to mop my brow when I broke a sweat.” The Hunger of The Gods, The Bloodsworn II is one amazing sequel, and it comes in with all the deep, bellowing rumble of emotions and vengeance, possible. It is one of the best and most visceral Nordic tales I have ever read. Gwynne’s imaginative storytelling hurls the characters into a mash of myth and folklore creating one outstanding fantasy. As The Shadow of The Gods has paved the way with unforgettable and well fleshed out individuals in the story against the backdrop of an amazing landscape with ties to gods and creatures, this novel dives deeper, becomes more visceral, and accelerates to a crashing crescendo that will tear you apart. I have enjoyed Gwynne’s writing in the past, but I want to say he outdid himself with his one. Many of the scenes were uncompromisingly brutal with a realness to them that hit hard. Dialogues were on point and thought cage moments lend relevance to the depth of different perspectives. Told in changing points of view, the plight of the characters in the aftermath of the previous novel takes up a good first third of the novel to regroup with them, regain an understanding of alliances and foes, as well as establish the motivational factors behind them. This was done so well. I don’t want to give away spoilers, because you want to get to know your favorite characters the way it was done here. Orka Skullsplitter continues as one of my favorites throughout this book. Her dedication to finding her son Breca and avenging the death of her husband Thorkel knows no bounds. She remains the staple of fear for a lot of other characters in this novel with her fierce, no-nonsense attitude and the strength that rages inside her. “Wait. Soon, she told the wolf again, even as she felt the change happening, time slowing, a sharpening of her senses between one heartbeat and the next. The anger that always bubbled away beneath the surface changed within her, like forge fire moving from red flames to white incandescence. A flush of strength flooded her muscles. Orka looked down at the ground, closing her eyes.” Elvar Fire-Fist of the Battle Grim is another character who receives a great amount of attention in this story. Though I liked her previously, she claims her agency over the course of this novel and I must say, she grew on me in this book more so than in the last. Some of the most visceral chapters and scenes found here go to Gudvarr…but he is not alone. Accompanied by Skalk and his inner, mostly witty dialogue and the terrible, flesh boring hyrndor creatures, it had me turning the pages with my breath held. Yikes….so good and sooo scary! Other touching stories I connected with involved Bjarn Beraksson, abducted by Ilska and the Raven Feeders, as well as Breca Thorkelsson, Orka’s son. With that, the story of the abducted children was another component of the novel I enjoyed. In terms of the setting and the magic, hold on to your seat. For one, as naturally and unforced as the story starts, it sort of snowballs into this epic crescendo of all the factions. The ties of the characters to the gods and the awakening of different creatures, and summoned ones were mind-boggling. I enjoyed the blood ties and ancestral history of the characters a lot. I am not an expert so I can’t tell how much of it finds its roots in the mythology as we know it, but it is easy to see that Gwynne is and he has a plan. He has spun, awoken, and called upon the most fascinating creatures in a Nordic setting that feels real to grasp and experience. As a sucker for descriptive writing, it hit all the notes for me. Oh, the creepy crawly creatures in the woods and the giants in the skies and below the earth, nothing remained safe! I do not know how he will tie this all together. I just know, I want more of it. This novel was superb. My only digress was some intrigue I felt like I wasn’t keeping up with as well for a little while after the middle. In its defense, there are a lot of characters and alliances and backstabbery to keep track of and a reread should do it for me. Overall, there is so much shock and awe in this book, it is consuming. In one instance, there was a torture scene that actually made my tummy squeezy. As I had said, there is no mercy found within these pages…and the end made me want to weep. If that isn’t a good book, then I don’t know what is. Such an immensely innovative Nordic tale. I loved it and highly recommend it. I received an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you. More of my reviews here: Through Novel Time & Distance The Fantasy Hive

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nils | nilsreviewsit

    This review will contain spoilers for The Shadow of the Gods. “To kill a god, we need a god.” The Bloodsworn saga continues in The Hunger of the Gods, John Gwynne’s superbly epic follow up to The Shadow of the Gods. At the end of the first book I was left in a state of awe, conjuring up many ways in which Orka, Elva and Varg’s stories would continue. I knew the next instalment in the saga would be one of vengeance, of found families, of saving those you love, and I knew Gwynne would inject plenty This review will contain spoilers for The Shadow of the Gods. “To kill a god, we need a god.” The Bloodsworn saga continues in The Hunger of the Gods, John Gwynne’s superbly epic follow up to The Shadow of the Gods. At the end of the first book I was left in a state of awe, conjuring up many ways in which Orka, Elva and Varg’s stories would continue. I knew the next instalment in the saga would be one of vengeance, of found families, of saving those you love, and I knew Gwynne would inject plenty of his signature cinematic battle-scenes, but never once did I imagine he could leave me gasping and shaking even after I closed the very last page. The Hunger of the Gods is simply breathtaking, a ruthlessly brutal Norse mythological tale from a truly masterful storyteller. The dead gods have risen and in their wake vengeance is fought with tooth and claw, and the tremors of war are felt throughout the lands of Vigrið. Lik-Rifa the great and terrible dragon god is free, and after an eternity of being held prisoner her wrath knows no bounds. Our characters may all be living through a legendary saga quite like no other, but glory, fame and to be remembered in song is no longer as desirable as it once seemed. As Orka single handedly carves a violent path to find her son, Breca, Glornir, chief of the Bloodsworn, also seeks to find his Vol by any means necessary, and as the Bloodsworn head south, Varg also discovers vengeance burns within his blood too. Elvar, feeling the confines of her blood oath to Uspa, is on a path that unfortunately leads her and the Battle-Grim directly to Lik-Rifa and the Dragonborn. Though she must first gather a formidable army, she must unite forces, and knowing that even that may not be enough, she looks to dark magic. It will be no surprise to anyone who remains my favourite character. Orka Skullsplitter, once legendary chief of the Bloodsworn, a fierce warrior, a one woman army, a mother desperately seeking her son. Orka’s plan of action is to kill any who stand in her way to finding Breca and avenging Thorkel, although she may save one, you know… for information. However strong Orka appears, throughout this book we see that she is in a world of pain, stricken by grief, guilt, and heartbreak. Moments of thinking of Breca, remembering his touch, his kindness to creatures, his gentle soul, Orka’s love permeated and in turn my heart longed for her reunion. This is what makes Gwynne’s characters so compelling, they are always simultaneously fierce and vulnerable, they fight for love. I was glad to see that now Orka had been reunited with her Bloodsworn, and was in the company of Lif, Vesli and Spert—two fantastic Vaesen creatures—she needn’t continue completely alone. “Here everything seemed to slow, the noise of the world, the anger and terror that raged through her, all stilled for a moment, frozen and languid in this mountain's heart- water. Her chest began to burn, aching for a breath, pressure building in her head, and still she waited, grateful for this respite from the world above.” Once again, Gwynne completely captured me with his battle scenes. Although we get his familiar shield walls and warriors battling with spears, swords and seax’s, this time around there is an animalistic quality to the fighting. With the Bloodsworn and in particular Orka now revealed as Tainted, their powers truly begin to surface. The feral wolf blood of Ulfrir runs through Orka and helps her to fight with forecity. She may have these powers honed to a degree, but the wolf rage is always bubbling inside her, always seeking to be released. In all honesty this made her action sequences not only extremely thrilling but also highly unpredictable, you never quite knew when or how she would strike next! Whereas our more inexperienced Varg, having only just discovered he is Tainted, has to learn to control his inner wolf, and more importantly hide the signs lest he end up with a thrall collar around his neck. Having now settled into life with the Bloodsworn, it was warming to see Varg finally feel he belonged, that these infamous warriors are his family. His sister still may be in the forefront of his mind, but he no longer bares the burden alone. Varg’s narrative leads him through dark paths, but scenes where Svik and Røkia train him, or Einar and Røkia play with the orphaned children whilst Varg amusingly watches, or where Svik and Røkia banter with him, were moments of lightheartedness that I felt effectively cut through the overall bleakness. In fact in this instalment the humour really was fantastic and more often than not had me in fits of laughter. Some of my favourite scenes included Vesli collecting and eating teeth whilst Varg looked on with disgust, Varg’s bouts of seasickness and also when my beloved Svik told all of the Bloodsworn and the children a story about a trapped troll. It is these inclusions which make the characters feel like the perfect found family, even when they are ruthless killers. “Together we are more. But I am the chief, the jarl, the pack-leader, and you the wolf are bound to me, like an oathsworn warrior. Oathsworn obey. He sucked in a deep breath, held it, felt its effect on the wolf in his veins.” As much as Orka and Varg develop throughout The Hunger of the Gods, it is Elvar who grows the most. Her narrative in The Shadow of the Gods showed us a young woman running from her father, desperate to prove her worth, to survive. Yet in the aftermath of Lik-Rifa’s resurrection and her promise and blood-oath to Uspa, a Seiðr witch, Elvar must now show she can be a leader. Gwynne really pushes her character throughout, increasing her responsibilities and her role in the overall plot. Much relies on Elvar’s success, and much will be destroyed should she fail. Gwynne also includes two new perspectives in this sequel, that of Guðvarr and Biórr, who gave us much needed knowledge of what the villains were up to. Yet in true fashion to Gwynne’s previous books, these characters have reasons, more to the point justifiable reasons for the choices they have made and the sides they are on. Biorr understandably bears anger for himself and his fellow Tainted. Those who are gifted with the power of the gods, those who should be respected but instead are collared, put into slavery and abused. Is it any wonder he should seek revenge? And Guðvarr is a character who learns the truth of ‘be careful what you wish for’. He begins wanting nothing more than battle fame, to earn his aunt’s respect, in a cruel unforgiving world she is the only woman to ever have shown him kindness. Yet he ends up in the clutches of Skalk, a character who you never want to cross paths with. Guðvarr’s inner monologues were immensely hilarious to read, his boisterous claims coupled with his inner fears were well contrasted and made us understand his character all the more. As an aside, I’d like to thank John Gwynne for including both a glossary of Norse terms and a “what has gone before” section. These were both such useful additions and I have the highest of praise for any author who makes things easier for their readers! The sheer joy and thrill I get from reading Gwynne’s books never ceases to amaze me; his characters may always be well-crafted, his worldbuilding exceptionally detailed and his stories captivating, but this is an author who still manages to surprise me, even after all these years. Reading a book by John Gwynne always feels like reading a modern classic. Sure, they are dark, violent, heartbreaking and always pulse-racing, yet there is also a nostalgic element to his prose, a sense of “old school fantasy” and I always manage to find comfort in them. In my review for The Shadow of the Gods I said it ‘reminded me of all that I love in the fantasy genre’, and now that I’ve finished The Hunger of the Gods this still holds true. “Life is a knife's edge, and all can change with the thrust of a blade." ARC provided by Nazia at Orbit Books UK. Thank you for the copy! The Hunger of the Gods is out now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zoranne

    Thank you Orbit Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. PULL OUT YOUR WALLETS EVERYONE BECAUSE YOU'RE GONNA WANT TO BUY THIS ONE WHEN IT COMES OUT. I genuinely feel like i've been stabbed with a seax. The Hunger of the Gods had me in a chokehold from page one. Seriously. This books picks up right where TSOTG left off and doesn't let up for 625 pages. Sometimes I feel like second book in series has sequelitis and spends too much time setting up for the third book but Thank you Orbit Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. PULL OUT YOUR WALLETS EVERYONE BECAUSE YOU'RE GONNA WANT TO BUY THIS ONE WHEN IT COMES OUT. I genuinely feel like i've been stabbed with a seax. The Hunger of the Gods had me in a chokehold from page one. Seriously. This books picks up right where TSOTG left off and doesn't let up for 625 pages. Sometimes I feel like second book in series has sequelitis and spends too much time setting up for the third book but that's not the case here. HOTG is an intense read. It's full of Gwynne's tried and true and incredible written battle scenes. I came to love our main characters even more. Especially Elvar. She became more fleshed out and was the shining star right next to Orka. AND ORKA. OH MY GOD ORKA I LOVE YOU I WOULD GO TO BATTLE FOR YOU. I loved the addition of two more POVs. It added an extra layer to the narrative and they were just as enjoyable as our main characters's POVs. The Hunger of the Gods was a satisfying stopping point but I'd be lying if I said I didn't need book 3 YESTERDAY. You're gonna want this one. John Gwynne doesn't miss!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelsy Hatfield

    - Received this ARC via Dudley’s Bookstore - Wow John loses no time jumping right into the story where SotG left off. There’s no slow bits. Just instant wonderful adventure, magic, heartbreak, and incredible story telling. This is one of those books where suddenly you realize there is not enough pages left for all the answers you need. John leaves you on an incredible cliffhanger. 10/10

  26. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    What can I say that hasn't already been said. This is such a good fantasy story, with such a rich world peopled by amazing characters. Just as with this author's other series, I get so invested that I can't put it down. I can't wait to find out how this trilogy concludes. 5.0/5.0 stars. What can I say that hasn't already been said. This is such a good fantasy story, with such a rich world peopled by amazing characters. Just as with this author's other series, I get so invested that I can't put it down. I can't wait to find out how this trilogy concludes. 5.0/5.0 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Frizzle

    This book has a lot of plot, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Here is my video review: https://youtu.be/bqJ33eMl384?t=299 A whole lot of plot leads to a fast paced book, which is a advantage for a lot of people. In that same vein, there are a lot of action scenes in this book. They are well crafted, with immersive details and short, snappy sentences. However, the large amount of plot is part of what made me not love this book. Each POV character has their own quest and cast of side cha This book has a lot of plot, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Here is my video review: https://youtu.be/bqJ33eMl384?t=299 A whole lot of plot leads to a fast paced book, which is a advantage for a lot of people. In that same vein, there are a lot of action scenes in this book. They are well crafted, with immersive details and short, snappy sentences. However, the large amount of plot is part of what made me not love this book. Each POV character has their own quest and cast of side characters to help them, and it grew very difficult to keep track of them all. That difficultly of keeping track of them led to me struggling to emotionally connect to the characters. My biggest complaint about this book is in the characters. They all have strong motivations, and this book helps us to understand intellectually what their goals and needs are. However, this book does not seem concerned with helping us feel what the characters are feeling. Many of the characters have revenge quests that should feel emotionally charged, and yet the book prioritized the action of the plot over those emotions. The chapters for this book are very short. For me, this made it even harder to connect to the characters. We rarely got to spend much time with one before switching to another. I was delighted by the beginning of the book, which included a character list and a summary of book 1. Very helpful! Thanks to Orbit and NetGalley for a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen ⚜Mess⚜

    We got a cover! I got the ARC!! I'm on FIRE! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Holy shit, John Gwynne hit this one out of the ball park. Bloody brilliant! Fantastic! Better than the first book. This a world, a story, a life I would want to live. The characters are painted with a bold brush. They are everything you want in a hero, or a villain. I was kept on the edge of my seat. A rollercoaster ride all the way through! John Gwynne, hats off to you sir! And THANK YOU for writing an EPIC fantasy! You jus We got a cover! I got the ARC!! I'm on FIRE! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Holy shit, John Gwynne hit this one out of the ball park. Bloody brilliant! Fantastic! Better than the first book. This a world, a story, a life I would want to live. The characters are painted with a bold brush. They are everything you want in a hero, or a villain. I was kept on the edge of my seat. A rollercoaster ride all the way through! John Gwynne, hats off to you sir! And THANK YOU for writing an EPIC fantasy! You just set a higher standard for other people to follow. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book, so I could give an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    Rating: Absolutely Loved It/All-Time Favorite, 5 stars This book was among my most anticipated for the year. It is by my favorite author, and I was really excited to get back to the world of the Bloodsworn. This is book 2, and while I really loved the first book, it was difficult for me to get through. This is mostly because it came out during one of the busiest months for my job (same for this one), and I was in a massive slump. However, I had a MUCH better reading experience with The Hunger of Rating: Absolutely Loved It/All-Time Favorite, 5 stars This book was among my most anticipated for the year. It is by my favorite author, and I was really excited to get back to the world of the Bloodsworn. This is book 2, and while I really loved the first book, it was difficult for me to get through. This is mostly because it came out during one of the busiest months for my job (same for this one), and I was in a massive slump. However, I had a MUCH better reading experience with The Hunger of the Gods than with Shadow. While second books can sometimes feel like they suffer from middle-book syndrome, this one did not, and I really enjoyed it. First thing's first: John Gwynne included a fantastic "the story so far" type section, which was really helpful, and every fantasy series should include these. We pick up pretty much immediately after the events of Shadow. That was a pretty intense place to pick up, but I felt like this book did an excellent job of easing off the throttle but still keeping everything going. Something that really bothers me in multi-POV stories is when the POVs don't seem like they're really connected or will intersect. We got an intersection right at the end of Shadow, and this continues into Hunger. Something that I actually really appreciated was the way that POVs came together and separated as they went through the story. But you can see how it will all eventually come together in a very epic way. We continue with our three main POVs from Shadow in Hunger. We also get two new ones. I think Varg is still my favorite because I like the cast of characters with him the best. However, Elvar was not one that I particularly enjoyed in Shadow, and she got much better in Hunger. Orka is still Orka and still pursuing her goal with the single-mindedness of Liam Neeson in Taken, and I love that. The two new ones that we get are pretty interesting. We have Gudvar, easily my least favorite perspective. He actually reminds me a tiny bit of Glokta from the First Law with the way his inner monologue is written, and I wasn't the biggest fan of First Law. We also Biorr, who I actually really loved and who goes with the Raven Feeders. These give us insights into the goings on in other parts of the world, but they still have the intersections with the other POVs that just give me joy. A lot of this book consisted of traveling here and there as the various characters searched for someone, sought vengeance, or went to war. Usually I'm not a huge fan of road trip sections in books, but despite that being the majority of this book, I really didn't mind it. I think that the multiple POVs were really helpful in this aspect. When one was getting rather slow and full of traveling and training, the next chapter put us right back in the thick of the action. I would say that the first 10% and the last 10% were probably the most compulsively readable, but I still really enjoyed the middle. I think that this is a really dark world, but a really interesting one. I love the Tainted, and while I don't really understand the magic of the world, I LOVE the gods of the world and all the lore behind them. The Tainted in this series, did what I was really hoping that The Tiger and the Wolf would do for me, and it scratched that Redwall itch (even though it didn't quite fill that hole, it's the closest any series has really come in forever!). I love the themes of family, comraderie, loyalty, and grief that are explored in this. Even though it is a dark and rather disgustingly brutal world at times, it never crosses the line into feeling crass and gross. My only complaint about this book is the continued use of the term "thought-cage." I don't know why but that phrase just makes me so uncomfortable. I have weird phrases or things that I just cannot stand and physically shy away from, and that just happens to be one of them. That is a me=problem though, so really I have no complaints about this book. I do think that the original working title of Dead Gods Rising would have been so incredibly epic. I see that they are trying to keep the pattern going though, but I do think that would have been an excellent alternative title. This is an incredible example of the gods walking among us trope, and I am HERE for it. We end on quite the cliffhanger for several of our POV characters, and I"m so looking forward to continuing on in this world whenever we are able to experience that. At this point, I am just rambling, but I loved this book and enjoyed it even more than the first. Thank you to Orbit and to NetGalley for early access to an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Hunger of the Gods releases on 4/12/22.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tyra Leann

    5/5 stars. A big thanks to the publisher, Orbit for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Full review at FanFiAddict: https://fanfiaddict.com/review-the-hu... This is an incredible sequel and I cannot understate that enough. Everything that was great about book one somehow only improved in book two. My time with Orka, Varg, and Elvar remains a treasure. 5/5 stars. A big thanks to the publisher, Orbit for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Full review at FanFiAddict: https://fanfiaddict.com/review-the-hu... This is an incredible sequel and I cannot understate that enough. Everything that was great about book one somehow only improved in book two. My time with Orka, Varg, and Elvar remains a treasure.

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