The Shadow of the Gods and The Hunger of the Gods (Orbit, 2021-22). Covers by Marcus Whinney
As we head into the the holidays, prime reading season, I’m in the market for a good adventure saga. John Gwynne’s Bloodsworn Saga looks like it could fit the bill. It’s got Saga right there in the title, and big-ass monsters front and center on the covers. The universe doesn’t usually serve me stuff on a platter but, I dunno, maybe this is just one of those times.
These books are popular, and that’s not a bad sign either. The Shadow of the Gods has a whopping 19,231 ratings, and a stellar 4.29 score on Goodreads, barely a year and a half after release. It’s popular with critics, too. Medium proclaims it “Magnificent… Gwynne shows why he’s one of the genre’s best,” and Publishers Weekly calls it a “jam-packed epic… [with] blood-soaked battles against trolls and frost-spiders.”
Trolls and frost-spiders! That’s exactly what I’m talking about right there. But the review that really caught my attention was at Vulture, who included it in their Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the Year last year.
Here’s an excerpt from that Vulture piece.
Set in a Norse-inspired world where the gods once ruled — but now their human descendants are hunted down — The Shadow of the Gods is a commanding start to Gwynne’s new series. The expansive scope of the world is quickly established, as the story vacillates between three main characters: Orka, a retired warrior who is forced to take up arms once again to save her son; Varg, an escaped slave who finds purpose in the famed mercenary band the Bloodsworn; and Elvar, a young warrior seeking to make her own name among the war band the Battle-Grim…. As tension mounts with each passing page, Gwynne delivers exhilarating fights and gruesome battles with such vivid prose the choreography jumps off the page.
The Shadow of the Gods was published in trade paperback by Orbit last May; the sequel arrived in April of this year. No word on the closing volume yet, but I have faith.
Here’s the details.
The Shadow of the Gods (Orbit, 528 pages, $16.99 trade paperback/$9.99 digital, May 6, 2021) — cover by Marcus Whinney
The Hunger of the Gods (Orbit, 672 pages, $17.99 trade paperback/$9.99 digital, April 14, 2022) — cover by Marcus Whinney
We previously covered the first two novels in Of Blood & Bone, the second series in The Faithful and the Fallen universe.
A Time of Blood, Book 2 of Of Blood and Bone, by John Gwynne
See all our coverage of the best new fantasy series here.