Title: The Hunger of the Gods
Author: John Gwynne
Published: April 14, 2022
Format: e-ARC through Netgalley, Thank you @ Orbit!
“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 fulfill 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 very first thing I want to talk about was the recap! Honestly, I wish everyone would do this. It was very informative and gives great recaps of each of the characters’ journeys from book one. There’s also a glossary and character list. It was brilliant and VERY appreciated! Honestly, it just put me in such a good mood starting out this book!
Now, I’m giving you a fair warning, this is going to be a hot mess of a review. I loved this book so much and it made me feel so many things that I’m still wrapping my head around it. I will admit, this was a bit intimidating for me. I can get overwhelmed when it’s lengthy and the second book in a series. There’s always that fear of the “second book syndrome.” My friends, this book does not suffer from this. There’s so much action and I never had an issue with the pacing. I enjoyed this book more than the first book!
The characters in this series are just so rich, deep, and memorable. I went to Twitter stating, Orka is becoming one of my favorite characters of all time. I do not say this lightly. She is such a force. Her POV and journey is the one that I’m the most invested in. She’s such a complex character and just brilliantly written. Her inner thoughts add an extra layer to a scene and her character. I have impatiently waited a whole year for this book because I wanted to see where she ended up next. Towards the end, it was so gripping that I could barely stand it. My poor broken heart. I was having physical reactions to her chapters, and I can’t say anymore. I’m just glad my child was asleep, and my husband was at work. He would have thought something was wrong with me. lol
“Real courage is to feel fear, but to stand and face it, not run from it.”
There are additional POV’s in this book that I enjoyed. We get to see the side of some of the not so “good” characters and it was fascinating. I remember not liking a couple of characters as much in the first book, but they have become much more interesting in this book. There are so many different characters, but they all seem to stand out. I’m in love with so many of the smaller supporting characters that I have to hold my breath during each action scene. Svik and his cheese!! haha, I loved this book as much as Svik loves his cheese!
Along with the fascinating world are the amazing action/battle scenes. They are really intense, but the vivid detail is great. There is a lot of plot in this book and I really don’t know what to say without giving things away. Gwynne manages to have heartfelt and even funny bits throughout to help with the intensity. There’s a lot more of the gods language in this book and I just glazed over them. I don’t think it really gives or takes anything away.
There are a few things that happen in this book that are really triggering if you do not like bugs. Also, if you are creeped out by anything related to parasites. I had to stop for the night when I got to one scene because I was so grossed out. I do not like bugs. I get why it’s in there and how it came full circle was great, but I wish I could forget that scene.
Overall, this was one of best second books (in a series) I’ve read in a long time. I loved it more than the first book and I’m pretty much shattered at that ending. I will now be jumping into his backlist books to get me through the next year. I cannot wait to see where these characters end up. I’m not sure why the books I love are the hardest to write reviews for. If you get anything from this, just know that it was a brilliant continuation to Shadow of the Gods!
Thank you to Orbit and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinions! 🙂