Reading roundup 19/05/21

I had great fun with a really entertaining book this week! As it was long, I haven’t had enough time to finish another, so it’s just one I am writing about.

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

After two exciting series set in the same “world”, this is the opening book of a trilogy which takes place in a totally new setting: The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne (#01 The Bloodsworn Saga). This is the blurb:

This is the age of storm and murder.

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

Now, power-hungry jarls carve out petty kingdoms, and monsters stalk the shadow-haunted woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power, promising fame and fortune for those brave – or desperate – enough to seek them out.

As whispers of war echo over the plains and across the fjords, fate follows the footsteps of three people: a huntress searching for her missing son, a jarl’s daughter who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who has cast off his chains and now fights alongside the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world, as it once more teeters on the edge of chaos.”

And here is the review that I posted on the Goodreads website:

The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga, #1)The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whoooooop! Another exciting, pulse raising, heart pounding, sword and axe raising blood-fest! When you are beset by worries, this is just the kind of book you need to take your mind away from them.

Here, three different characters take inter-woven journeys in a fantasy Viking universe. This first book in the series really sets the scene of a brutal world with heroic characters and evil villains, hacking their way across the sea and land towards….

…. well I am sure we will find out in subsequent volumes!

I am fast becoming a fanatical follower of John Gwynne’s work as I love his ability to create such immersing worlds, characters and plots. I can’t wait until the next book!

One small niggle (and why I didn’t award the full five stars). The repetition of certain phrases does occasionally get on my nerves e.g. the belt holding the weight of the chain mail. There were several others like this, repeated so often throughout the book – just not necessary!

On the other hand, I am so pleased by the balance of strong female and male characters. This is, in my experience of fantasy writing, quite unusual. So, well done!

What do you and your children recommend I read to fill in the time before your next book, John?

View all my reviews

Also, I must confess that I was rather excited when John Gwynne himself “liked” this review! Whilst waiting until I can enjoy his next book, I have to keep myself busy and entertained, so I have chosen my next book: The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden (#01 Athenian series). I will let you know how I get on in next week’s Reading Roundup.

The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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