Thank you to Orbit and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway. Because I was a little late I also bought a finished copy and read that along
Book: The Hunger of the Gods (Bloodsworn 2) by John Gwynne
Release Date: April 14th 2022
Tags: Fantasy | Norse Mythology | Family | Mercenaries | Honor | Oath | Gods
Trigger/Content Warnings: Sexual Content | Rape | Torture | Slavery | Death | Gore | Child Abuse | Physical Abuse
Other books in this series I reviewed
The Shadow of the Gods
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.
Last year The Shadow of the Gods was one of my favorite reads and I’m fairly certain that The Hunger of the Gods will be at the top of my list for this year as well. It is a banger.
We move on fairly directly after the previous book with Elvar who has to deal with the aftermath of the rise of Lik-Rifa. The killing of her chief has left an immense gap in the band of mercenararies the Battle-Grim while the oath they gave to Ursa on finding her son might kill her. Orka in the mean time has met the Bloodsworn though as long as she does not have her son, she cannot find peace in any reuniting. Se has to journey on to find Breca. Varg in the mean time is finally finding his true place amongst the Bloodsworn.
Like I said above, it is a banger. Resurrecting Gods, chaining Gods to one self, Gods that have been in hiding popping in. It is not just the hunger of Lik-Rifa the title refers to though hers is the most obvious. And there are so many factions moving through each other and so many people wanting revenge that it is quite an intricate plot.
When it comes to our three main characters I think that Varg gets the least amount of growth in this installment. I think that is because the Bloodsworn are still more to the side of the whole epic battle in comparison to Orka and Elvar. He still is allowed to get somewhat comfortable and bind himself to the Bloodsworn, something you really see him doing. Orka and Elvar have a lot more god crap to deal with. Orka might me completely focused on getting her son back but we all know she has her heart in the right place. Elvar is idealistic in a way, despite the kind of father she had. Young, and the Battle-Grim are inspired by that. You can see it in the way they follow her.
We also follow two more characters this book. Bjorn, the traitor of the Battle-Grim and Elvars former lover, is our look into the following of Lik-Rifa. We get a better idea of why Bjorn did what he did in book 1. I’m not all of a sudden super sympathetic towards him but it does draw him away from just Bjorn the traitor. And then there is Gudvarr, the nephew to Jarl Sigrun and killer of the brother of Lif (the boy who travels with Orka). He gives us an insight into one of the big cities that has a link to Lik-Rifa. I hate Gudvarr but it was good to see some of the political scheming going on.
But most of all I loved the interactions between characters. Orka and Lif. Orka and the Bloodsworn. Orka and Elvar. Orka, Spert and Vesli. Elvar and her Battle-Grim. The Battle-Grim and Bloodsworn. The Bloodsworn and Battle-Grim with just their own. The jesting. The feelings. The learning. A lot of books can fall and stand with its characters and the relationships that are created, and I feel like this book continues doing that outstandingly.