The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne
Title: The Hunger of the Gods
Author: John Gwynne
Publisher: Orbit, Little, Brown Book Group UK
Published Date: April 14th 2022
Length: 656 pages
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adult Fantasy, Epic Fantasy.
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.
The Shadow of the Gods was my first ever book from John Gwynne and I knew that I was gonna definitely continue with the series and will most likely read all the books written by him. The Hunger of the Gods further cemented that thought. I absolutely loved this one and it did not suffer from the second book syndrome, if anything, it escalated the stakes for me. I can’t wait for the third book!
One of the best things this book has is a recap of what happened in the previous book, along with the character guide and Norse terminologies. That was a godsend because I wasn’t sure if I could actually get to re-read the first book before I could get to this one. Another great thing about this series is the covers, the first book was absolutely brilliant and the second is just as gorgeous and ominous! Now, onto the actual book itself.
It starts off where the first ended and we are met with Elvar, Orka and Varg. It was a bloody aftermath of the events that happened at the end of book one. While the first book had this anticipation of all three main POVs meeting up in an explosive way, they didn’t really have any interaction with each other till the near end of the book. In this one, we see that isn’t the case. Their missions are still their end goals but now they have more in common in a way. The found family aspect is still here and I am so glad of it. I am even more glad that the author included a certain someone’s POV to see how things felt the same and yet changed for that character. It was good to read because it showed that this person wasn’t completely black and white, that this person wasn’t left unaffected by the recent past.
I had really loved Orka’s story and how it developed over the course of the first book and the second installment only made me love her more. Sure, she didn’t have a lot of character development but the thing is, the second book made her more real and settled in the world for me so that’s a great plus in my eyes. As for Varg, I am a bit disappointed by the lack of action, or rather not as much action as Orka’s POV had. But! It was still great on its own, there were moments of intense emotions and those were great. I think mostly I saw the found family aspect of the book with Varg than with anyone else and that’s almost always a weakness of mine. So, of course, I ended up loving it too. As for Elvar, I think her importance to the plot increased in this book and with it, her character development and that made me more interested in how it’s gonna unfold for her in the upcoming book. The Battle-Grim and Elvar had such a great story to tell and I am mostly happy with what I got.
I think there’s something that might not sit well with some people and it’s slightly repetitive scenes and slight pacing issues. That might stop people from enjoying the book fully. For me, the battle scenes and the magic systems/gods made me love the book even more. It’s brutal and it’s bloody, there’s no doubt about it but it’s also so well-written. So, yeah, I ended up giving this one five stars despite having few little quibbles with it.