TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS WITH BLACK, WHITE, AND RED ON THE COVER

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. I love Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is BOOKS WITH [BLANK] ON THE COVER. I’m choosing to do covers that are BLACK, WHITE, AND RED.

What’s your favorite black, white, and red cover? It’s been an extremely popular color scheme as of late, so I know I missed some books out there! Link your TTT post below and I’ll check it out!

TOP TEN TUESDAY- FREEBIE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is A FREEBIE. Therefore, I’m choosing to do BOOKS WITH A FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER.

I love seeing female characters kick ass. I love watching them grow, and learn, and be real people, rather than figureheads to be fridged. There are some badass women on this list, and some of my absolute favorite characters in fantasy.

  • SANCIA and BERENICE, from the Founders Trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • SABRIEL and LIRAEL, from the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
  • ORKA and ELVAR, from the Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynne
  • GIDEON and HARROW, from the Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir
  • VIN, from the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  • EAD and QUEEN SABRAN, from the Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • DIANA, and YSABEAU, from the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • ADDIE LARUE, from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
  • FEYRE, MOR, and AMREN, from ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas
  • ALINA, GENYA, and ZOYA from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Who are your favorite female lead characters? Did I list them?

ARC REVIEW: THE HUNGER OF THE GODS BY JOHN GWYNNE

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you to Netgalley and Orbit Books for providing an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS

The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance.

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.

The Hunger of the Gods is just as entertaining, just as atmospheric, and awe-inspiring as the first book in this series, The Shadow of the Gods. It’s rare that a second book will live up to the first — I can think of maybe three off the top of my head — and it’s even rarer that the second book is better.

The Hunger of the Gods picks up literally RIGHT after TSOTG finishes. Seriously, there’s not even like…a day time-jump. Just bam, right back where we left off. Which is good, because some serious stuff had gone down. I didn’t want to skip ANY OF IT, so I’m glad there wasn’t a big leap forward. We’re left in a world where a “dead” god has been released from her prison, and is ready and eager for revenge. Lik-Rifa, the dragon god, has risen to power again. The world is not ready for her, and her unimaginable cruelty. She is terrifying.

I’m not going to give away any huge spoilers, because it would ruin the book for too many people. I’m just going to say this — whatever action you liked from the first book will be once again seen in this one. Not as a rehashing, but in addition to. It’s not repetitive or boring. Not at all. It’s non-stop action from cover to cover in the best way.

What is different in THOTG is that we get two new POV characters, both villains. This helps immensely in rounding out the feel of the book. Instead of just seeing what’s going on through the “good” characters, now we see more motivation and reasoning behind the villains’ actions. All the original POV characters return. We see Elvar grow into herself, and become who she is absolutely supposed to be. Varg realizes he does have a place in the Bloodsworn, and that he belongs there. Orka continues to be the absolute coolest woman in the novel. She deals with some supreme guilt and loneliness, and she too comes to some revelations as well.

The end of the book is a massive cliffhanger and I am NOT OKAY WITH IT AT ALL, JOHN GWYNNE. How dare you.

The Hunger of the Gods comes out April 12, 2022.

Preorder at your local indie bookstore, or at the following links:

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE

BOOK REVIEW: THE SHADOW OF THE GODS BY JOHN GWYNNE

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best fantasy novels I have read in a long, long time. It’s not particularly unique or mind-blowing in any way, but it is so engrossing and well-written that I cannot stop raving about it to anyone who asks.

The Shadow of the Gods takes place in a HEAVILY Norse-inspired world where the gods are all dead after battling amongst each other in a Rangarok-style event. These gods had children, and these children are known as the Tainted amongst humans. Tainted people have similar powers to their god parent. The wolf-gods children howl, grow sharp teeth and claws, and are good at hunting. The bear-gods children go berserk, and are known as berserkirs. The fox-gods children are good-looking and cunning, etc. The Tainted are hunted, and treated as second-class citizens. Its not a good thing to be Tainted.

There are three POV characters in this book, and each one was so well-rounded and interesting that I was thoroughly engrossed in all three storylines. My favorite of the bunch, however, was Orka. Orka is a complete badass. She and her husband have a son, Breca, who ends up being stolen towards the beginning of the novel. She spends the rest of the book trying to find him, and kicks some major ass while doing so. I couldn’t help but picture her as Lagertha from Vikings the entire book.

John Gwynne’s writing is so atmospheric and detailed that you can see the book taking place in your head. This world is bleak, but beautiful. There’s no shortage of action, and some serious violence. Each POV character is a fighter, and the violence pretty much doesn’t end. However, it doesn’t feel gratuitous. It’s just a part of the world that this book takes place in. It’s a violent, bloody world, and we see the reasons behind it. The book moves along at a decent pace, and at no point was I bored. The ending of this book is phenomenal.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the next book in the Bloodsworn Saga, The Hunger of the Gods. I’ll be moving right onto it next, because I cannot wait to find out what happens to these characters.

MONTHLY TBR – MARCH

So I only got around to two of the books on my February TBR, but that’s because I ended up receiving a LOT more ARCs than I ever thought I would. Almost all the books on my TBR for March are ARCs or the first book in a series that I got an ARC for. I am very, very excited to read the Shadow of the Gods, as I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about it.

Have you read any of these? Which do you recommend? Or, alternatively, are you looking forward to any of these books?