Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Time of Dread

(Of Blood and Bone #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  7,555 ratings  ·  958 reviews
A race of warrior angels, the Ben-Elim, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands, but their peace is brutally enforced.

In the south, hotheaded Riv is desperate to join the Ben-Elim's peacekeeping force, until she unearths a deadly secret.

In the west, the giantess Sig investigates demon sightings and discovers signs of an uprising and black mag
Hardcover, 463 pages
Published January 11th 2018 by Pan MacMillan (first published January 9th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Time of Dread, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
John Gwynne Hi Kaitlyn.

The answer to your question is yes and no. :)

It's not a sequel in the true sense of the word, though it is related to the first series.

A T…more
Hi Kaitlyn.

The answer to your question is yes and no. :)

It's not a sequel in the true sense of the word, though it is related to the first series.

A TIME OF DREAD is set in the Banished Lands, 130 years after the events that take place in WRATH, so all that happened in the Faithful and the Fallen is now the history of this new series. But I have written Of Blood and Bone as an entirely new series, with new characters and plot. There are references to the Faithful and the Fallen, but you do not need to have read it to understand or enjoy this new series.

The Banished Lands are my version of an alternative, mythological Europe. If The Faithful and the Fallen was inspired by the rise of Julius Caesar and his Gallic Wars, as well as Milton's Paradise Lost, this new series is inspired by Attila the Hun, the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Volsung Saga and the Book of Enoch. So, just as if you were reading a history book, you could read about the Fall of the Roman Empire without knowing all about Julius Caesar, but if you did, it would make the reading experience a little richer and deeper.

I hope that helps. :)


John Gwynne Hi Sarah,

Great to hear from you, and a great question.

I haven't approached this series with a main character in mind. There are four Points-Of-View in…more
Hi Sarah,

Great to hear from you, and a great question.

I haven't approached this series with a main character in mind. There are four Points-Of-View in A Time of Dread. Drem, Riv, Bleda and Sig. I saw all of them as equal-ish, although I think Drem had more chapters than the others. Riv wasn't too far behind him.
I suppose you could say that Drem and Riv have the edge on page time, though the gap isn't huge.
In book 2, A Time of Blood, there are again four main Point-Of-View characters, though one is different from book 1 due to a character death - I won't divulge who for fear of spoilers :)

Hope that helps,
John (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,555 ratings  ·  958 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone, #1)
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by the publisher—Pan Macmillan—in exchange for an honest review.

A Time of Dread is a work conceived in the mind of a genius.

Simply amazing and almost impossible to put down, A Time of Dread is truly a masterful start to a trilogy which I envision will be crowned as one of the best series I’ve ever read by its end. John Gwynne has proven himself once again to be the constant harbinger of superlative epic fantasy that only the greatest of authors can achieve.

Let it be known that Gwy
Mark Lawrence
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Time Of Dread brings together all of the promise in John Gwynne's debut, Malice, and delivers a truly excellent read!

AToD is in many ways very similar to Malice, it's set in the same world a century later, but with a smaller cast list and greater focus it felt to me like a step up from that successful and highly acclaimed beginning.

The previous quartet of books provide a living history to the new series. You absolutely do not have to read those books to enjoy this one though. In the Lord of t
Robin Hobb
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last night, I finished reading A Time of Dread.

I add my standard Caveat. I received this book for free. I do not know John Gwynne.

There was a time when I could devour four or five paperbacks a weekend. Books were shorter then, true, but I think it had more to do with my enthusiasm for the genre. As a teen, I was consuming fantasy almost indiscriminately, reading in every slice of the genre.

Am I older and more jaded now? Perhaps. Certainly, it seems harder to find book that awaken that elusive '
James Tivendale
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, freecopy
I received an advanced copy of A Time of Dread in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank John Gwynne and Pan MacMillan for this opportunity.

The story places readers within the Land of the Faithful approximately 120 years after the conclusion of the novel Wrath, which was an epic, brutal, and fulfilling climax to one of my favourite ever fantasy series'. The angel-like Ben-Elim rule the land now from their base at the giant-erected fortress of Drassil. They've spent generations uni
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $2.99!Kindle US 8/8/22. I now have it on kindle, paperback and Audible!! And, I’ve read them all and love them!!! 😉


I never wrote a review for this book as I was still trying to get energy back from cancer treatment but I loved it so much!! It is on my favorites list. I might write a proper review later on. I have the second book and not sure if I want to do a reread before jumping into that one 🤔

Anyhoo, read it!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.

4.5 stars. A slow burn that leads into an absolutely wild ending.

While this was my lowest ever rating for John Gwynne book, the fact that his worst book is a 4.5 is an incredible thing for an author. I loved so much about this book, and the ending leaves me absolutely ravenous for the next book.

The problem for me was that the book took far too long to get really heated
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A Time of Dread is a breathtaking beginning to what will surely be another utterly brilliant series by John Gwynne.

It is no secret that John Gwynne’s debut series, The Faithful & the Fallen, is one of my all time favourite reads. I regularly recommend it to anyone looking for a great read and I have marked him down as a permanent entry on my list of auto-buy authors. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I was MORE than excited to get an early chance to read his latest book, A Time of
Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
If you've been following my reviews for the past year, you know I'm a huge fan of John Gwynne and the world he created in his original series "The Faithful and the Fallen."

I breezed through all 4 of those books earlier this year, thanks in large part to the memorable characters and the epic thread of action that runs through the heart of Gwynne's storytelling. When I found out that he had a new series coming out, I pretty much begged whoever I could find was lucky enough to get a physical ARC f
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“Sometimes the only answer is blood and steel”

Malice ★★★★ 1/4
Valour ★★★★ 3/4
Ruin ★★★★★
Wrath ★★★★★

A Time of Dread ★★★★ 1/2

I always thought that this series was a prequel to the first series for some reason and it turns out that I was wrong and that it is actually a sequel. This series can be read without reading the first series but I would not recommend that at all and that’s why I added my ratings of The Faithful and the Fallen
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd read
4.5 stars

Original spoiler-free review. No spoilers from the Faithful and the Fallen series.
The quotes in this review are taken from the ARC edition and may change in the published book.

Dear John Gwynne, you will never fail to surprise me, and your stories will never fail to make me cry!

Of Blood and Bone is a new trilogy taking place roughly 130 years after the last events of Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4). And things have significantly changed in the Banished Lands. The l
Sebastien Castell
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A Time of Dread is that rare sort of epic fantasy that not only appeals to fans of the genre, but also embraces new readers. The world is rich and complex, but you never feel lost or find yourself desperately reaching for a map. The four main characters have the nuance and troublesome qualities we expect from modern fantasy novels, and yet they retain just enough of the classic heroism that got so many of us into the genre in the first place. The plot twists and turns in unpredictable ways, and ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: This is on sale as the Kindle Daily Deal 07Apr20 $2.99

“Sometimes the only answer is blood and steel”

I haven’t read the Faithful and the Fallen series, but after reading this book I’m very much a fan of John Gwynne’s writing and I’ll have to go back and read the original series set in this world 120 years before the events in this book. That said I don’t feel like I had to have read that series to enjoy this one since I completely enjoyed it.

A Time of Dread is just that.
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
With some of the most surprising and imaginative twists John Gwynne has taken in this first book to the sequel series of the banished lands, A Time of Dread may feel largely familiar to its predecessors, but just thinking of the hours upon hours of chaos and carnage that each book in this trilogy is going to produce makes me giddy.
Luna. ✨
Jul 31, 2017 marked it as to-read
Finally a cover!

It's so freaking BADASS I feel like crying over its beauty.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc, fantasy
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars. This is how you write fantasy.

The plot opens with a blood feud battle between two clans, several years before the main bulk of our story. It's full of vigour, great descriptions of the action, and sucked me straight in with the mixture of violence and brutality on an epic scale.

The main events of the story start several years later, where the majestic angels, the Ben-Elim, rule the majority of the land from their fortre
TS Chan
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-owned
We shall never forget.

And how could I ever forget? A Time of Dread served as a brutal and stunning reminder that Gwynne is one of the greatest modern fantasy writers.

The Faithful and The Fallen ("TFaTF") was a superb epic fantasy series with one of the most well-written stories about prophecies and good vs evil that I've read in a very long time. And judging from what I've read in this book, I believe Gwynne is on track to surpass what he did in the earlier series. AToD is the stam
James Islington
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read A Time of Dread a little over a month ago, and was waiting for some time to put together a more thorough review... which thanks to both Christmas and a new baby in the house(!), never eventuated. But with it being released today in the UK, I wanted to add at least some quick thoughts / a recommendation on what I felt was a great read.

Much of what I wanted to say, thankfully, has already been said – see Sebastien de Castell’s and Mark Lawrence’s reviews as pretty reflective of my thoughts
Spencer Orey
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good warrior fantasy. I haven't read the series that comes before it, but there was more than enough info sprinkled along as legend and lore to catch me up. At the end, I was a little let down that this is clearly just the start to a longer series. But when it was over I wanted to keep reading, so it worked!

And the fighting is good. Lots of tense battle scenes with swords and axes and wings.

As for the wings, the dynamic between the angels and demons was a real highlight for me. One side is very
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

“Sometimes the only answer is blood and steel.”

I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I loved getting to revisit the Banished Lands, which is among by favorite fantasy worlds. On the other, seeing the way this world has changed in the over a century since the events of The Faithful and the Fallen (TFatF) was painful. But that’s part of the point.

While Gwynne’s original series set in the Banished Land had a lot of warring a
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, fantasy
This is my first time reading John Gwynne and I seriously debated whether or not to read the original trilogy before picking up a tale hundreds of years after the events there. It was a close thing, but I decided the strength of his writing would either wow me or it wouldn't.

As a matter of fact, his characterizations while not too varied or unusual for the fantasy genre at all, are still rather well done for all that. Time and effort are taken, drawing out familial relations and emotional impact
Deborah Obida
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

‘Only good Kadoshim is a dead Kadoshim.’

This book is my fifth by the author, not only did I rate them all 5 stars, they are all in my favourite books shelf, am glad for that. So I'll be optimistic and expect the best from him, I didn't even notice until Petrik mentioned it.

This book is a spin-off series of his initial Faithful and the Fallen book series. Just like its predecessors this book wowed me in all the areas. There was no boring moment in this, I was hooked from the beginning to th
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic, fantasy, review-copy
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/03/03/...

This was my first time reading John Gwynne, and wow, he is the real deal, folks. Now I wish I had jumped on board his Faithful and the Fallen series when I had the chance. However, I am glad I was able to read his new book, A Time of Dread, which is the start of a new trilogy called Of Blood and Bone.

Set in the same world as Gwynne’s previous series, this novel takes place approximately 120 years after Wrath, its concludin
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Ok, so when’s the next one out??????

Review to follow.
J.P. Ashman
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A super solid five stars from me (listened to this on Audible. Excellent narration, too).

I'm a fan of John's original series and was happy when I heard this new one was set in the same world, albeit it decades later. That latter works very well. Seeing what came of the struggles we lived and loved previously and how the descendants of those characters we came to know so well (as well as some who're still living!) deal with the aftermath of that terrible war is both intriguing and exciting.

John Gwynne
Jul 22, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
A TIME OF DREAD is available on Amazon Kindle Monthly Deal, for only £0.99! Here is the link...

A Time of Dread Kindle Deal
Karina Webster
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
First of all, a huge thank you to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for allowing me to read this in advance. It was brilliant. Exactly the kind of fantasy I live for.

Now before I get started, I must confess that this is my first John Gwynne novel. His debut, Malice , was next on my pile to read when I was approved for this beauty so I thought I’d start here. Although I don’t regret it, I do feel like I have missed a lot of cool references to characters of his first series, The Faithful and the Fal
Library of a Viking
May 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Sometimes age doesn’t mellow and soften, sometimes it twists and toughens, squeezing all the kindness out of a soul.”

I have been incredibly excited and nervous to start the Of Blood and Bone trilogy by John Gwynne. I was excited because it means that I am able to return to the Banished Lands. However, I thought the ending of The Faithful and the Fallen was near to perfect. Therefore, I was nervous that Gwynne wouldn’t make me invested in these new characters and potentially damage my depiction
Michael Britt
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating: 4.75

Full review to come later, after I process this awesome story!
Easily, 5/5 stars! What a privilege it is to be back in the Banished Lands again. I truly loved the first series, and knew that I would feel the same about this. Some of the characters from the first series are my favorites of all time, and now there are more to fall in love with again.

As for the story, it is truly epic fantasy at its best. Good vs evil on large scales, and on small scales, with twists and surprises abounding. Lots of great action, battle scenes and a fully realized world for i
Allen Walker
Jul 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

A fantastic start to a new trilogy with some definitely horror and mystery goings-on.

Full thoughts and discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_Wnw...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Pariah (Covenant of Steel #1)
  • The Martyr (Covenant of Steel, #2)
  • The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3)
  • Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #1)
  • Of Blood and Fire (The Bound and the Broken, #1)
  • A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1)
  • The Trouble with Peace (The Age of Madness, #2)
  • The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy, #3)
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1)
  • Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand, #1)
  • The Fires of Vengeance (The Burning, #2)
  • Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3)
  • An Echo of Things to Come (The Licanius Trilogy, #2)
  • Kings of Ash (Ash and Sand, #2)
  • Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #2)
  • The Justice of Kings (Empire of the Wolf, #1)
  • The Girl and the Moon (Book of the Ice, #3)
  • The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
I am the author of epic fantasy series The Faithful and the Fallen, Of Blood and Bone and The Bloodsworn Saga. I'm also a Viking re-enactor and enjoy nothing more than standing in the shield wall with my three sons, who are as passionate about swords and axes as I am (when I'm not stuck in my coat of mail; it's harder than it looks).
I live on the south coast of the UK with my beautiful wife, thre

Other books in the series

Of Blood and Bone (3 books)
  • A Time of Blood (Of Blood and Bone, #2)
  • A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone, #3)

News & Interviews

  With more than 5.7 million votes cast and counted, the 14th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards are now official. Launched in 2009,...
45 likes · 1 comments
“Fight me if you wish, but know this, I am old for a reason” 16 likes
“Sometimes the only answer is blood and steel” 16 likes
More quotes…