The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Publisher: Disney Hyperion on October 6th 2015
Genre(s): Mythology (YA)
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.
The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.
Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .
Anyone that knows me knows I love Percy Jackson so you should know that I jump at the chance to read any of Rick Riordan’s books.
This book was no exception. I was excited to get into this one because I know nothing about Norse mythology. I only know Odin, Thor and Loki from the Marvel movies and that is in no way an accurate representation of the mythical gods.
Magnus Chase is a homeless street punk. He’s been homeless since his mom died. He’s had some friends, Blitz and Hearth, help him alone the way. Until his 16th birthday when nothing can help him against a guy that can throw fire. So naturally, he dies (that’s not a spoiler! It’s in the summary!).
This is not the end of the story for our hero, after death Magnus becomes an einherjar. Or someone that enters Valhalla. And he still has to try and stop Ragnorak (aka Viking end of the world). He’s not exactly welcomed with open arms, either. He gets greeted with a strange prophecy that makes the powers that be question his worthiness of being a warrior in Vahalla (Hotel Valhalla to be exact. Which made me chuckle). Plus, we’ve got the standard gods interfering and causing more trouble by trying to get Magnus to pick their side. Though not as much of the underhanded trickery of the Greek Gods but we’ve got a whole series to go.
Mr. Riordan struck gold with Percy Jackson, a snarky yet loveable teenage boy that grows tremendously as a character and has a cast of strong secondary characters. Magnus Chase doesn’t have that. Magnus was a bit well…dumb. He was sarcastic at times and he made me laugh but overall he kind of felt like a big oaf to me (but with the possibility to grow into a lovable oaf).
Sam, Magnus’s Valkyrie, is a much more well-rounded character in my opinion. A smart, strong female (Rick seems great at those, would be nice if they weren’t side characters). She’s Muslim, struggling to keep her old-fashioned grandparents happy, while trying to keep her life as a Valkyrie secret. I really liked her and would have liked a bigger glimpse of her. I’m sure we’ll get her POV eventually, but I’d rather sooner than later!
I didn’t really care for Blitz and Hearth. Not that I didn’t like them but just that felt nothing in particular for them. The plot was pretty typical for these books, nothing special. Not that that is a horrible thing, I like Riordan’s books for a reason and they ARE middle grade books. But this did feel like a Percy-knock off. That won’t stop me from continuing the series of course. I can only hope they get better!
I think you have a deep love of mythology and Riordan’s work I definitely think you should give this book a shot.