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 Hunger of the Gods is the second in John Gwynne’s Bloodsworn Trilogy, and one of the most anticipated fantasy releases of 2022. I loved the first book (read my review of The Shadow of the Gods), so I was looking forward to reading this one, as well. Let there be no doubt – it did not disappoint.
What I loved most about the first book continues to be true about the second: the storytelling is out of this world. Everything from the descriptive language to the back-and-forth on perspectives to the precise word choices: it all fits perfectly. The author is so meticulous that nothing is out of place. I would happily sit down at Gwynne’s fire as he plays the part of bard and listen to stories about the Old Gods any night.
“Wait a moment, what are you all talking about? Raising dead gods, fighting the dragon… we are here for the treasure…”
Of course, the bread-and-butter of this book is the way it takes the story elements to the next level. Gwynne does a great job of both zooming in and zooming out at the same time. The plot gets more grandiose with higher stakes. I am loving the idea of the Tainted, who have traits relating to their dead God and how that connection manifests (particularly with Lik-Rifa and Ulfrir). I like the direction that narrative is taking, too. The reader also gets an up close look at more of the setting as the characters move around the map, and I find the setting to be much more significant in this series than others. There are some great moments inside previously-hidden caves and lairs that got my heart racing and became real staples of the story.
The one thing that did not sit as well with me was Gudvarr’s running internal monologue. This felt out of place to me and did not match the tone of the rest of the book.
“Aye, this is all going to end in blood.”
No quote is more true than that. If you know Gwynne, you know it is not a spoiler to say the story ends in quite an emotional way on all accounts. The last 50 pages are a riot, and everything is set up perfectly for an epic finale.
The Hunger of the Gods is worth the hype. It is phenomenally-written, with a story that is exciting and dramatic and character ARCs that hit your heartstrings in just the right places. I love this book, and I am really excited to see how everything goes down in the final book of the trilogy. Definite recommend for fantasy readers.