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Wrath by John Gwynne Review

Title: Wrath

Author: John Gwynne

First published November 17, 2016

720 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781447259688 (ISBN10: 1447259688)

Rating: 4.5


The Banished Lands are in turmoil, as the war rages on with no end in sight. King Nathair has seized control of the fortress at Drassil and has already claimed three of the Seven Treasures.

His sights are firmly set on obtaining the remaining treasures, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. If he succeeds, he will open a portal to the Otherworld, allowing Asroth and his demon-horde to wreak havoc on the Banished Lands.

Meanwhile, Corban finds himself a prisoner of the Jotun, fierce giants who ride into battle on the backs of bears. His warband has been scattered, leaving him vulnerable and alone.

In order to survive, Corban must forge alliances with warring factions of giants, but can he overcome their differences and unite them against Nathair’s forces? The fate of the Banished Lands hangs in the balance, and Corban’s life is on the line.

Will he be able to stop Nathair and prevent the demon-horde from breaking through into their world?

About the Author

Hello! I’m the writer behind the epic fantasy series The Faithful and the Fallen, Of Blood and Bone, and The Bloodsworn Saga. When I’m not busy crafting tales of adventure and magic, I love to participate in Viking re-enactments.

In fact, I often find myself standing in the shield wall with my three sons, who share my passion for swords and axes (although it’s not always easy in my cumbersome coat of mail).

My home is on the south coast of the UK, where I live with my lovely wife, three sons, and daughter. We also have a variety of furry and feathered friends, including three dogs, a horse, and a lamb who seems to believe she’s one of the pups.

My dogs, however, tend to think that I’m their personal servant.

My debut novel, Malice, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2012 and went on to win the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Debut of 2012. This was a dream come true for me, as David Gemmell is one of my personal heroes and a significant influence on my writing.

The next three books in the series – Valour, Ruin, and Wrath – were all nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novels of 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2017, my book Wrath won the BookNest Awards for Best Traditionally Published Novel.

My second series, Of Blood and Bone, takes place in the same world as my first series, the Banished Lands. Book 1, A Time of Dread, takes place 130 years after the events of the first series.

Book 3 of Blood and Bone, A Time of Courage, even made the Spiegel Bestseller’s List in Germany!

My latest book, The Shadow of the Gods, is the first book in the Bloodsworn Saga, and it will be published in May of 2021. This book is inspired by Norse mythology, Beowulf, and Ragnarök.

I am represented by the wonderful Julie Crisp.

Editoral Review

John Gwynne’s Wrath is a stunning conclusion to his epic fantasy quartet, The Faithful and the Fallen. Published in 2016, the book offers readers a thrilling conclusion to the epic story of good versus evil, set in the breathtaking world of the Banished Lands.

The novel showcases Gwynne’s expertise as a master storyteller and his ability to create richly detailed worlds and memorable characters.

Wrath picks up where the previous book, Ruin, left off, as the armies of the Ben-Elim, led by the Archangel Nathair, descend upon the Banished Lands in a final battle against the followers of Asroth, the dark god of the Kadoshim.

The novel seamlessly weaves together numerous storylines, as different characters struggle to survive, overcome fear, and take a stand for what they believe in.

Throughout the series, Gwynne has created a vast cast of characters, both human and non-human, each with their own unique personality and backstory.

In Wrath, these characters are brought to their fully realized potential as they face impossible choices, unexpected betrayals, and brutal skirmishes. Gwynne’s vivid characters and the world he shaped showcase his love for classic high fantasy, with its intricate worldbuilding, complex moral dilemmas, and thrilling action sequences.

Gwynne’s writing style is fluid and evocative, bringing each scene to life with detail and nuance. He has crafted a world rooted in European mythology, drawing inspiration from Arthurian legends, Norse sagas, and Roman epics, while still maintaining a uniquely fresh perspective that keeps readers engaged.

Besides delivering fantastical beings and worlds, Gwynne also tackles themes of redemption, sacrifice, political intrigue, and family dynamics.

Wrath is a perfect end to the quartet, providing readers with an emotionally satisfying and action-packed conclusion.

While the book may not be as fast-paced as some readers may expect, the steady build-up of suspense, tension, and conflict leads to a breathtaking climax. Although the book features a large ensemble cast of characters, Gwynne skillfully balances their storylines, so each perspective feels essential and contributes to the greater story.

However, Wrath is not without its limitations. While Gwynne’s writing is beautiful, it can be overly descriptive at times, slowing down the pace of the novel.

Additionally, the sheer number of characters may be overwhelming to some readers, and those who have not read the previous installments of the series will find it hard to follow the story.

For fans of epic fantasy and world building, Wrath is a must-read.

Gwynne brilliantly builds upon the world, characters, and themes he introduced in the previous installments of the quartet. While the book has its flaws, it ultimately delivers a satisfying conclusion and will leave readers eagerly anticipating Gwynne’s next series.

Overall, Wrath is a book that will appeal to fans of George R. R.

Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss. With its stunning worldbuilding, complex characters, and exhilarating action, Wrath proves that John Gwynne is one of the genre’s true rising stars.

Washington Post recommends this book to those who love the epic fantasy genre as it is a masterpiece of the genre.