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The Shadow of the Gods

(Bloodsworn Saga #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  18,835 ratings  ·  3,134 reviews
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.

After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.

Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk t
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 6th 2021 by Orbit (first published May 4th 2021)
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John Gwynne Hi Egor, great to hear from you. To answer your question, no, this new series, The Bloodworn Saga, is not set in the same world as the Faithful and th…moreHi Egor, great to hear from you. To answer your question, no, this new series, The Bloodworn Saga, is not set in the same world as the Faithful and the Fallen. It is a new world inspired by Beowulf and Ragnarok, filled with monster-hunting mercenary bands, dragon-prowed longships and creatures that hunt with tooth and claw. I hope you will join me as I begin this new journey following the Bloodsworn as they carve a bloody path across Vigrid, the Battle-Plain ⚔️(less)

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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  18,835 ratings  ·  3,134 reviews

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Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

Reading The Shadow of the Gods is equivalent to witnessing a new brilliant legendary Norse-inspired epic fantasy series in the making.

“Sometimes there are no choices. We are swept along in a current not of our own choosing… I will be the current. I will be the course.”

By this point, does it still come as a shock that I ended up loving this? I’ve re
John Gwynne
Feb 23, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: fantasy
*** THE SHADOW OF THE GODS was published in the UK yesterday, 6th May ***

I'm so happy to see the Bloodsworn let loose in the world. I hope you will enjoy following them as they carve a bloody path across the Battle-Plain.



Here's the cover-art for THE SHADOW OF THE GODS...

I hope you love it as much as I do 😁🐉⚔️🐺🛡


I hope you like it.
Book 1 of The Bloodsworn Saga is f
Robin Hobb
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
First, the usual caveat: I received a free Advance Reading Copy of this book from the publisher. I do not think that affects my review of this book.

First book in a trilogy

This is a world I would love to step into. It's dangerous, wondrous and populated with strange creatures, some possibly loyal allies and others vicious antagonists. The backdrop of the tale is stunning in its scale; I don't think it's a spoiler to say that a city may grow within the skull of a fallen god. The magic and power of
Mark Lawrence
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've read quite a few of John's books now, and liked each one a bit more than the last.

This is a fine read, and if you've read any of his other work then you'll find this to be very definitely a Gwynne book with all the stuff you liked from the other books, only more.

We follow three point-of-view characters on journeys that stay separate for most of the book. The setting is ... well, it's very Viking. The pseudo Vikings are firmly grounded in Gwynne's own fascination with the subject, with what
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread 2022

Bloody hell!! I was going to go with 4.5 stars because of some things but for shits sake, ORKA! Just ORKA people!! She’s one of my new favorite characters!!

My son, if you are here, I will find you. And anyone who stands in my way
will wish they hadn’t.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books as soon as I finish the book.

A mind-blowingly epic book introducing an entirely new universe from John Gwynne - it doesn't get much better than this!

The Shadow of the Gods is a brand new world for John Gwynne, who previously has written 7 books set in the same world in the two series The Faithful and the Fallen and Of Blood and Bone. That story is done, and if you haven't read it yet I urge you to go give
William Gwynne
Shadow of the Gods just hit 10,000 ratings!

Before the release of The Hunger of the Gods, I decided to listen to the beginning of The Bloodsworn Saga in the audiobook format for the first time. Colin Mace is great! A voice full of gravitas, with excellent narration that really effectively builds the tone and atmosphere. It is just so, SO AWESOME.

A glossary guide to the terminology used in The Shadow of the Gods - Shadow of the Gods Glossary Guide

Relaxed interview with John (Papa) Gwynne - J
Mar 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy, 2021
Since this is a new series by John Gwynne, The Shadow of the Gods was one of my most anticipated book releases this year. I’ve been eyeing Malice since 2016 but didn’t get the chance to read it. Considering the hype and praise surrounding Gwynne in the fantasy community, I was ecstatic that I got approved for an arc. I’m not a fast reader but books rarely take me over a week to finish. Especially arcs. The Shadow of the Gods took me 10 days even though it wasn’t particularly long. I wanted to lo ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Mar 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure how I felt about this book for a while.

The world was interesting, although I still wonder how anyone makes it to adulthood alive, the writing was fine, although it's one of those Fantasy book where half the words make you look at the glossary, and the characters were fine, although I didn't find myself that attached to them...

There's definitely a lot of hype surrounding it and while I'm not as crazy as everyone else about it, the ending was great and I'm excited to learn more about
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites

The greatest book I have ever read (not even slightly biased). Absolutely amazing viking-fantasy full of norse creatures, intense and bloody fights and a story that did not let up from the first page. I need the next one now!
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
John Gwynne's most inventive touch is his storytelling and character building. Mix the two and you have epic fantasy perfection. So, should you read it? Here is my answer! All the pros, cons, and my first impressions discussed in this video -> https://youtu.be/peGsbqw0J9I ...more
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Living in the shadow of dead Gods isn’t easy. In a world shattered by divine anger and jealousy, it takes everything you have to survive. And to thrive? Well, that takes a hell of a lot more. A will to win. The skills to kill and not be killed. Plus a war band of extremely dangerous friends so you never have to tackle bloody murder and life’s mayhem alone. When the high stakes competition for relics, money, and power means that you’re up against other highly-trained mercs, short of nothing but g ...more
Books with Brittany
Jun 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I think 4.75 ⭐️
Absolutely in shock how much I enjoyed this book. It is - by far - the best start to a new fantasy series that I have read this year.
Wow I loved this.
Mike's Book Reviews
Full Video Review Here: https://youtu.be/BscxDMH2BJQ

I received an ARC from Orbit in exchange for an honest review.

With The Faithful and the Fallen firmly entrenched into my Top 10 fantasy series of all time, John Gwynne stepping out of the Banished Lands for the first time was kind of bittersweet. As my second favorite working modern fantasy author today, I'm all aboard when it comes to Ol' Vicious Pen starting up a new series. But would it just make me long for Corban and the gang again?

Not eve
LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"
Oct 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Re-read in February 2022..Still fantastic! Thank you Orbit books for the arc on book #2

My thanks to Orbit books, John Gwynne and Netgalley. I haven't even the words to describe what a standout this story is! For me, the book cover best describes my thoughts! That little person, standing on the mound against the big bad! That's how this felt! This was pure adrenaline. I never read much Viking stuff. Love the show! This is based on Nordic mythology. But even more. This book made me tense. It is gr
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

The Shadow of the Gods is the new benchmark in Norse mythology-inspired stories. This is the fantasy I’ve been waiting for.

In all honesty, this book had as good a chance as possible of becoming a favourite of mine, for I am without a doubt an ardent reader and supporter of John Gwynne and his books, having read and loved all of his previous works. Both The Faithful and the Fallen and Of Blood and Bone are masterpieces in my est
Anthony Ryan
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
John Gwynne's 'The Shadow of the Gods' sees three warriors driven by vengeance and ambition navigate different paths through a land riven by dark conspiracies and arcane threats. A masterfully crafted, brutally compelling Norse-inspired epic. ...more
James Tivendale
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freecopy, fantasy
I received an uncorrected proof copy of The Shadow of the Gods in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to John Gwynne and Orbit Books.

The Shadow of the Gods is a gritty and violent Norse mythology-inspired tale that features monsters, magic, vengeance, warbands, and shield walls. It takes place approximately 300-years after the Gods of Vigrið fought and battled themselves to annihilation and follows three distinct point of view perspectives as they traverse Gwynne's well-realised dark fantas
Dec 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, buddy-read, fantasy, own
This book deserves a longer and more praised review!

**But here’s the thing. It’s the end of the year and I’m soooooo tired.** 🤷🏼‍♀️🤣😂

The Shadow of the Gods is the first book in a new series by John Gwynne called Bloodsworn Saga.

It’s fantastic, it’s bloody, and it's violent. It has everything that I want in a fantasy book.

**In my opinion, this book should have won the fantasy category on Goodreads. shaking my damn head**

Here's a list of all the fantastic things in this book:

✔️ Amazing cha
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“Fear is no bad thing,” Orka said. “How can you be brave if you do not feel fear?”

In the past six months I have read almost everything by Gwynne (except for Malice which I read a year ago) and I enjoyed all of these. In fact, TFATF became my favorite quartet of all time. I was ecstatic when I was approved for an ARC of this because it means I could continue this journey (Thanks for the publisher who approved me through Netgalle
Deborah Obida
Buddy read with Ikenna

“Life is for the living, happiness for the taking.”

The Shadow of the gods is a Norse book set in a world where the gods battled and kill themselves some hundreds of years ago, the world now lives in the shadow of what happened. The descendants of the gods and anyone that have magic are kept are slaves and most of their masters threat them badly which is sad. All the gods are dead except one who is a dragon and was imprisoned by the other gods before they died. They are
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Rating: 10/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Shadow of the Gods is 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.

I didn’t know a perfect book existed until I
Library of a Viking
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Death is our constant companion, a whisper in our ear, but when you see a friend fall…nothing prepares us for it, even though we’ve waded through a river of the dead.”

The Shadow of the Gods is set in Vigrid, a Norse-inspired world, and is the first book in the Bloodsword Saga.

Let me first start by saying that I am from a small Nordic country called the Faroe Islands, and I know how to speak Faroese, Danish, and I can read Swedish and Norwegian. Furthermore, I have grown up hearing about Nordic
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

John Gwynne is one of those special types of authors, an author who makes you remember why you originally fell in love with a specific genre and then further solidifies that love you have. He is one of my favourite fantasy authors, his The Faithful and the Fallen series is incredible and my all-time favourite fantasy series and his subsequent follow-up trilogy the Of Blood and Bone
Nils | nilsreviewsit
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
5 stars isn’t enough!

Fantasy fans, John Gwynne is back and this time he’s brought all the monsters with him.

The Shadow of the Gods is the first book in The Bloodsworn saga, a Norse inspired tale of blood and vengeance. In a world where gods have fought and died and in their wake opened a pit unleashing monsters of land, sea and sky, surviving is no easy task to say the least. The lands of Vigrið and the Battle-Plain are a perilous place to call a home, it is a place where Jarls plot t
Nick Borrelli
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
John Gwynne has long been a favorite author of mine. I've mentioned before that I've never given a single book of his anything less than a five-star rating. No other author carries that distinction. When I heard that his latest book THE SHADOW OF THE GODS was going to be heavily influenced by Norse mythology and Viking lore, it was as if my two favorite things were coming together to create a story written just for me. I recently received an advance copy from publisher Orbit (thank you) and a me ...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Sep 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4.0 Stars
This was a solid, well written fantasy story inspired by Norse mythology. The story was easy to follow with the author's strong  yet straightforward writing style. 

For me, the strengths and weaknesses of this story stemmed from the character perspectives. My favourite character was Orka. As the fierce female warrior and mother, she was instantly likeable. Upon reread, I also fell in love with Varg who was both. nasty and hilarious

Overall, I enjoyed this one. The story was fast paced and
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
All the stars!

Sometimes, fate lines up and you receive an advanced reader copy of a novel that is one of your most anticipated books of the year. And sometimes, fate has it, that you realize as you read the words that form sentences and paragraphs that transform into an unforgettable story, that the book you hold in your hands is one of the best ones ever written.

John Gwynne’s new novel, The Shadow of The Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) is an epic fantasy set in a Norse-inspired world filled with
Dannii Elle
This is the first instalment in The Bloodsworn Saga series.

The gods once ruled this world but they fought each other into extinction and now man takes charge. Humans prove, again and again however, that they are not the species that should be ruling, as disputes over power, wealth, slaves, and land brings war to be once again glimpsed on the horizon.

Everybody will be tested, with fight, flight, or death being the only possible outcomes for them. The three individuals who centre in this story hav
Maja Ingrid
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book, I like it.

Just when you think John Gwynne can't get any better, he proves you wrong and slaps another amazing book in your face. It's Viking inspired which made my inner Viking excited and because it's John Gwynne it's also bloody and brutal which also made me excited.

Also talking creatures. And horse sized talking ravens. I LOVE THEM!

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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

Bloodsworn Saga (3 books)
  • The Hunger of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga, #2)
  • Untitled (The Bloodsworn Saga, #3)

Articles featuring this book

For those of us on the nerdier end of the book-person spectrum, nothing satisfies quite like epic fantasy. There’s something about the grand...
145 likes · 72 comments
“Death is a part of life.” 9 likes
“When Gods go to war, it is no small thing.” 6 likes
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