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The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga) Paperback – 27 Jan. 2022
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'A masterfully crafted, brutally compelling Norse-inspired epic' Anthony Ryan
THE GREATEST SAGAS ARE WRITTEN IN BLOOD.
A century has passed since the gods fought and drove themselves to extinction. Now only their bones remain, promising great power to those brave enough to seek them out.
As whispers of war echo across the land of Vigrið, fate follows in the footsteps of three warriors: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman pursuing battle fame, and a thrall seeking vengeance among the mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.
All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods.
Set in a brand-new, Norse-inspired world, and packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance, The Shadow of the Gods begins an epic new fantasy saga from bestselling author John Gwynne.
Further praise for The Shadow of the Gods
'Visceral, heart-breaking and unputdownable' Jay Kristoff
'A satisfying and riveting read. The well-realised characters move against a backdrop of a world stunning in its immensity. It's everything I've come to expect from a John Gwynne book' Robin Hobb
'A masterclass in storytelling . . . epic, gritty fantasy with an uncompromising amount of heart' FanFiAddict
'Quintessential Gwynne honed to perfection . . . The Shadow of the Gods is absolutely stunning, one hell of an epic series opener and a spectacular dose of Viking-flavoured fantasy' The Tattooed Book Geek
'Reminds me of all that I love in the fantasy genre. The Shadow of the Gods is an action-packed cinematic read' Fantasy Hive
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From the Publisher
A satisfying and riveting read. The well-realised characters move against a backdrop of a world stunning in its immensity. It's everything I've come to expect from a John Gwynne book ― Robin Hobb
Visceral, heart-breaking and unputdownable ― Jay Kristoff, NYT bestselling author of Empire of the Vampire
A duly exciting start to the series ― Publishers Weekly
A masterclass in storytelling. It is epic, gritty fantasy with an uncompromising amount of heart. A near-perfect combination of Vikings and Cornwell's The Last Kingdom, but with a fantastical flare that Gwynne executes flawlessly ― FanFiAddict
Quintessential Gwynne honed to perfection, sharpened to a deadly edge and it does NOT disappoint. For new readers enjoy your first time experiencing Gwynne as he is a magnificent storyteller of gritty and grim fantasy that is full of heart. For old and new readers alike, simply, you are in for a treat as The Shadow of the Gods is absolutely stunning, one hell of an epic series opener and a spectacular dose of Viking-flavoured fantasy. ― The Tattooed Book Geek
Reminds me of all that I love in the fantasy genre. The Shadow of the Gods is an action packed cinematic read. It feels historically authentic, Viking-esque, yet wonderfully fantastical too. A tale of monsters and magic, Gods and legends, friendship and oaths, blood and vengeance - Gwynne has certainly done it again, if not raised the bar even higher ― Fantasy Hive
John Gwynne has written another classic and easily one of the best books of the year ― Under the Radar SFF Books
A brilliant Norse-influenced fantasy that grabs you from the first page and never lets go. Another dazzling epic story from a true master ― Out of This World SFF Reviews
This engaging tale is full of battles, blood, friendship, and epic fame to be sung for ages. I can't rave about it enough. After finishing this, you will be left breathless, hungering for more. I will immediately be reading every book ever written by John Gwynne ― BookNest
The world is wonderfully rendered with attention paid to what makes the Norse sagas entertaining . . . The three characters are swept up in this larger plot in different ways, which just makes the story richer. The many layers provide a lavish feast for any reader. A great companion to Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology ― Booklist
A merciless and brutal series filled with graphic action, impeccable world-building and an ever-growing ensemble of characters who straddle the lines of morality ― Polygon
John Gwynne writes some of the most blood-pumping battle scenes that I have ever read ― Fantasy Book Nerd
Wonderfully atmospheric, and readers looking for a Nordic flavored fantasy adventure will find plenty to love ― Fantasy Book Critic
John Gwynne is the closest we have to an inheritor of David Gemmell's mantle as master of heroic fantasy with grit and heart ― Mark Lawrence
The best book I've read this year ― Miles Cameron
- Publisher : Orbit (27 Jan. 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0356514218
- ISBN-13 : 978-0356514215
- Dimensions : 12.6 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 June 2021
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Shadow of the gods is a Norse inspired fantasy epic boasting a large cast of characters. It filled the absence of looking forward to watching Vikings, which I am abating with Assassins creed Valhalla. Now I have another tale to enjoy over the forthcoming years. I have to mention the cover is just incredible, showing how I always imagined a dragon.
I will avoid spoilers, and the description of the book gives a good overview already. One aspect stood out more than any other; the action is awesome. It will appeal to everyone. Worldbuilding and character development are sublime, with monsters so good I was rooting for them at times. Dead gods bones and blood are melded into the world, breathing life into the backstory and setting the scene for the Novel.
I love how John blends humour into the tale, enhancing the adventure and raising it to another level. Strong female protagonists complement the saga with some brilliant plotlines. At one point, I felt I was reading a Viking take on the film Taken, a savage hunt by a parent for their child. Character-wise, the protagonist Varg was my favourite.
John manages to evoke a world that feels real, that you sink softly into without realising as the shadowy tendrils of the worldbuilding wrap around you. Suddenly something will jar you out of a waking dream; breaking the hypnotic tales spell, you realise just how quickly you lost track of time. It is fantastic writing, the best book I have read this year. I was satisfied with how the book ended, though there is a cliffhanger. Luckily book two is written according to the internets rumour mill.
I've given a lot of books five stars because I enjoyed them. Rarely an exception comes along, one which reminds me what a truly great book is. The Shadow of the gods is one such book. I liked the book enough to purchase a copy after reviewing it. I'm simultaneously annoyed that I have to wait for the next book and happy since I haven't read any of his previous work. If you like a fantasy book, buy this now, it's a must-read. It is an Epic; I did not find any weak spots, a strong candidate for book of the year. Buy this now.
The characters feel so rewl it's like being in the shield wall with them.
The story pace is fast and at times intertwine. You are there for the emotion, the ride of heart aching anger, the joys of victory and sorrows of losses felt as though it was your warband and your shield-kin around you.
Already chomping at the bit to jion the bloodsworn on the battle plain again.