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The Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynn Guidebook

The Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynn comprises the following books:

  1. The Shadow of the Gods
  2. The Hunger of the Gods
  3. The Fury of the Gods

The Saga is a fantasy series set in a world of magic, battles and revenge inspired by Norse mythology.

The book is set on a continent called Vigrid. The battlefield of the last battle of the gods, Guðfalla (The gods-fall).

Vigri_World_Map_from_Saga of the Bloodsuckers

The world John Gwynn describes is very dark and full of dangerous creatures.

The area is ruled by many nobles who offer protection to farmers and craftsmen.

Jarl – Norse nobleman. He has his own subordinates and sword-trained warriors called drengr.


Vigrid (Vigrið) – continent

Iskidan – neighboring continent of Vigrid

Oskutred – the place where the Great Ash Tree is located. This is where the fiercest battle in the War of the Gods took place, in which the gods Ulfir, Orna, Rotta and Berser fell. Their mortal remains and battle equipment can be found there.

Snakavik – the city in the skull of the god Snaka.

Gods in The Bloodsworn Saga

Snaka – the father of the gods, the eldest took the form of a dragon. He was slain on the day of Gudfalla. With his fall he reshaped the world, destroyed the earth’s crust and the sea entered and formed the fjord. The land rose up and formed the Boneback Mountains, a mountain range that traces the outline of his skeleton and runs through the entire continent of Vigrid. The city of Snakavik is located in his skull.

Children of Snaka:

  1. Orna – Eagle. Orna and Ulfir find their first-born daughter killed and her wings cut off by her sister Lyk-Rifa. In revenge, they hunt down and kill all their heirs.
  2. Berser – Bear
  3. Ulfrir – Wolf – was chained with runes and filled with seidrmagic by Lyk-Rifa and killed on the last day. The remains of the chains were later discovered and used to subjugate the tainted.
  4. Lik-Rifa – dragon. She suspects her sister Orna of plotting to kill her, and her suspicions are confirmed by their brother Rotta. She kills Orna’s daughter and creates the Vaesens to destroy her. Her sister discovers her treachery and outwits her, chains her up and imprisons her under the roots of Oscutred.
  5. Hundur – Hound
  6. Rotta – Rat – Because of his treachery, Orna has banished him to eternal torment in the chambers of Frang Falls. He is chained to a rock where enchanted snakes crawl on him and their poison burns his flesh. Orna used a spell from The Raudskinna, Rotta’s Galdrabok, carved into the bloodied skin of Orna’s daughter to keep him alive forever.
  7. Refur – Fox
  8. Bull
  9. Hawk

Races and Creatures

The Tainted: men, heirs of the gods. Depending on the god whose blood flows through their veins, they have different supernatural gifts. When they are under severe stress or threat, these characteristics become visible: they change the color of their eyes and have sharp claws and teeth.

  1. Hundur – strong sense of smell
  2. Berserkir – amber eyes, sharp teeth, predatory claws and huge stature
  3. Seiðr-Witch (Seiðr-witch) – descendants of Snaka. They possess dark magic with which they can banish the Vaesen. They use their magic by writing runes, chants or ritual words.
  4. Úlfhéðnar – heirs of the wolf.
  5. Dragon-born – considered extinct. Heirs of the dragon.

Galdurman – their magic is taught by sages, by scholars. They undergo years of training, unlike that of the seidr-withes, who are heirs of the god Snaka.

Bloodsworn – an elite mercenary fighting group.

Battle-Grim – a mercenary troop that hunts the tainted and sells them as slaves.

The Raven Feeders – a non-military group led by the warrior Ilska.


In Norse mythology, this is a common name for mystical beings responsible for natural phenomena and accidents. In books, they are evil creatures that feed on humans, harvest human parts and are enemies of humans.

  1. Tennur (Tennúr) – loves human teeth, collects them from corpses and living people. He has sharp black, large black eyes and deep black veins on his body that are visible through his translucent skin. It has arms and legs with pointed claws for fingers and wings as thin as parchment. The antennae have two rows of teeth. The first is sharp and the second is blunt and chewing.
  2. Spert (Spert) – has a human face with bulging eyes, with gray, sagging skin and sharp teeth. It has a chitinous, segmented body that is as long as a human arm and as thick as a tree trunk. They have many legs. It has a sharp, poisonous stinger at the end.
  3. Troll (Troll) – Huge, human-like and territorial creatures. They love human flesh. They have branched, sharp horns on their skulls. Tusks protrude from their lower jaw. Trolls have thick, scaly skin covered in lichen.
  4. Skrelling – human-like creatures with strong, muscular bodies. They walk bent over touching the ground with their long arms.
  5. Froa spirit – the spirit of the Ash Tree, guardian of the forest. It takes the form of a woman carved from wood and has long, thick hair made of branches and leaves.
  6. Sjavarorm – snake-like body with a scaly head and a mouth full of sharp teeth.
  7. Neken – life in the water. Human-like creature with reed-like hair, dark eyes, disproportionately large eyes and mouth and needle-like teeth. They have greenish colored skin. They use a melody to lure their victims and lull them to sleep.
  8. Frost spiders

Magic in The Bloodsworn Saga

Relics of the gods give their owners power and protection. If a bone of a dead god is hung on the doorstep of a house, it wards off the Vaesens.

Runes protect against the Vaesens. The runes are used by the Seidr witch and the Galdurman.

The powers of the tainted are tamed when magical collars are placed on them. They are kept as slaves by the powerful Jarls. Many of them have fighting forces made up entirely of the tainted.

  1. The first book, Shadow of the Gods, marks the beginning of the saga.

The story begins with myths, magic and bloody revenge. Three warriors – a huntress on a dangerous mission, a noblewoman in search of martial glory and a slave in search of revenge – decide the fate of the world that lies in the shadow of the gods.

  1. The Hunger of the Gods

The dead gods are brought back to life and Lic-Rifa, the dragon god, plays a key role in this epic continuation of the saga.

  1. The Fury of the Gods (to be published in 2024)

The gripping final installment promises more epic battles, divine intrigue and powerful


Hello, my name is Todora, but now also known as Dochka or Docheto. I have two wonderful dragons at home (boys ages 5 and 7) that I am trying to raise in the love of books. I was quite a chatterbox as a kid when I had required reading in school, and now I am trying to make up for it. I love reading fantasy, sweet endings are not my "thing". I love it when there are struggles, intrigue, and surprises in a book that shake you to your core. If I fell into paranoia that all the characters were traitors, my rating would be 5 stars. In short, I love to read and if one day I find a way to make this my sole occupation and get paid for it :D, I will have stumbled into heaven.

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