Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan


The Sword of Summer
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Author: Rick Riordan
Published October 6th 2015 by Puffin

Goodreads Synopsis
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 an uncle he's never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle 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 . . .

I ordered this book way back in October, when it came out, and for some reason it's been gathering dust on my shelf ever since. Rick Riordan is one of my favourite authors, and I adore his Percy Jackson series, especially since it is really faithful to the source material, and I'm a classics student. I did a module on the Vikings last semester, and became really interested in the Norse mythology, especially the whole idea of Ragnarok.

The Sword of Summer is about Magnus Chase (yes, that surname is familiar, he's Annabeth's cousin!) who after living on the streets for the past 2 years following the death of his mother, dies, in battle with a mythical Norse giant. Just your everyday occurrence. Because his death was heroic, and in battle, he was chosen by Samirah, a Valkyrie, to got to Valhalla and join the ranks of those training for the final battle. To top it all off, he's not just a mortal who committed a heroic action, but also is the son of the god Frey, and has to reclaim the legendary Sword of Summer before it triggers the start of Ragnarok - the end of the world.

The characters were this amazing! I loved Magnus! I had seen a lot of people saying he was extremely similar to Percy, as if they had the same voice, but I didn't find that. Rather, I thought he was his own person. He was dorky, and self-depreciating, and more mature, having had to deal with his grief and having grown up on the streets. Yes, there may have been similarities between Percy and Magnus, but the differences were more than enough for me.

Samirah (also called Sam) was a breath of fresh air. She had that sort of air about her that Annabeth had in the earlier PJO books, where she just wouldn't put up with any of Percy's crap. In this case, Sam is punished for picking Magnus to join the ranks in Valhalla, and she joins forces with him to recover the Sword to show that her decision was valid. Also, she was a diverse character, but not in your face diverse, added for the sake of diverstiy alone. She was Muslim, and wore a magical hijab that she'd fashioned from the material all Valkyries are given as a sort of invisibility cloak. She was also a descendent of Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rāšid ibn Hammād, who, if you know anything about Vikings and whatnot, wrote one of the earliest accounts of the Rus people (eastern Vikings living around the region of the Volga). I had to study his work last semester for my exams, and I loved how this was incorporated into the story.

The other characters, Blitz and Hearth, had been caring for Magnus when he was on the streets, and turn out to be from the Norse world too (a giant and a dwarf). We see all the characters have their own plot lines that all converge from time to time, and everything single part seemed necessary to the story.

We even get a little cameo from Annabeth, and the way her's and Magnus' relationship develops, I'm think she may be around more in the future too (hopefully with Percy this time.)

The plot line was a usual faced paced as you would expect from Riordan, and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2, The Hammer of Thor. If you've enjoyed any of Rick's books in the past, check this out, you won't regret it.

Dates Read:
May 4-5, 2016

4 Stars

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