Norse mythology is filled with many stories and it has inspired countless novels. The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne is a gritty, violent novel that follows three protagonist that are in search for revenge and something more in a world where death is always around the corner. Keep reading to find out why this series should be the one you read next!
The Shadow of the Gods Summary
All the gods were killed or imprisoned 300 years ago and their descendants are being hunted as punishment for destroying the world in a brutal war. Vigrio is now run by jarls that rise to the top of the pack and lead their battle-warriors against any opposing forces. But an unknowing force is killing people and stealing children from all parts.
The novel follows three characters: Varg, Elvar, and Orka. They try to navigate in the world of Vigrio that John Gwynne has created. Varg is a runaway slave that is being pursued for killing his former master. He wants to avenge his sister’s death and that leads him to trying out to join a Bloodsworn.
Orka lives a quiet life with her husband and child in the back skirts of the mountain but everything changes when she discovers her neighbors murdered and their child kidnapped. The trio try to get to the bottom of the mystery but get pulled into it when their house is suddenly attacked.
Elvar has earned her rank in her Bloodsworn and is trusted by her jarl. An encounter with a berserker changes the lives of her and her friends as they are pursue a legend that Elvar believed to be only a myth.
The writing by John Gwynne is incredible and I was hooked instantly. The gritty storytelling is top-notch and the world building slowly opens up throughout the course of the novel. Some novels flood you with too much about their world (looking at you The Eye of the World) but this novel paces itself incredibly well.
Besides the world building, the character building is also top-notch. All three protagonists are interesting and while I will admit Elvar’s story starts off the slowest, it picks up later on. That is mostly because Okra and Varg have major events take place early on whereas Elvar’s story kicks into gear later on.
The unique monsters and the mythos that author creates is beautifully haunting. Everything comes together smoothly and makes the three different narrations work well. There are times when something big happens and you want to know what happens next but the narration changes and you are left on a short cliffhanger.
I haven’t enjoyed a novel this much in a long time and can’t wait to read the next installment in the Bloodsworn Sage series. Have you read this novel or plan to read it anytime soon?