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.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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“Life is a knife’s edge, and all can change with the thrust of a blade.”
(4.5 / 5) We are back in this Norse-inspired world of Gwynne’s creation. Gods are being resurrected, deaths are being challenged and many are thralled (controlled by another through spells and a metal collar).
As with book 1, Gwynne enthralled me again with his storytelling. He started off the book with a detailed summary of the previous book, characters and definitions. I love this! Because he dips so deep into Viking lore, sometimes I need those definitions to carry me through. I found them to be helpful and it made the story feel more authentic.
These characters. Wow. They are written so well. I feel like I know them personally. There are the initial three POV from book 1 of Varg, Elvar and Orka. Gwynne timed it out well so once I felt familiar enough with each of them, two more POV’s were added. Oh, Biorre and Gudvarr added so much to the story! Normally I am hesitant to add more POV but they just accentuated the story and added more intrigue.
These characters love deep, they fight hard and they live rough. There is so much weight and story behind that sentence. To understand it, you just have to experience it. It is a world of vengeance, blood feuds, notoriety in the form of songs sung about your exploits, and deep loyalty.
“Real courage is to feel fear, but to stand and face it, not run from it.”
One aspect that had me reeling was each person’s motivation. Because we hear from multiple POV’s, their stories start to overlap. But when the overlapping involves blood feuds and revenge, it’s hard to pick a side. Each feels justified. Each feels important. Who is right? They are sworn to uphold their vows which often relate to what I will call blood revenge; If any family member or friend is killed in a way someone deems unjust, that person swears this blood revenge and doesn’t stop until they kill them. Sometimes these vows take years to accomplish but it is their way of life and deemed almost more important than anything. Their loyalty runs deep. So as I said before, they love deep, they fight hard and they live rough. It is a way of life that is fascinating to experience.
General content summary: Little language, previous child abduction, previous murders, very bloody, gore, battles and wounds, creatures attacking, blood oaths and spells, slaves and mistreatment of slaves, corpses and conditions of corpses, spousal physical abuse, physical torture, intimacy (no details). This author is once again great for very little language and intimacy but is very high on the details in violence.
Thank you to Orbit Books for the gifted copy!
The book releases April 12, 2022.
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