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Rick Riordan – The Sword of Summer

March 7, 2016

Riordan, Rick - The Sword of Summer - 40076. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (2015)
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1

Length: 500 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Started: 13 November 2016
Finished: 20 November 2016

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? New Rick Riordan series!

When your dad’s a Norse
god, dying in battle is
a start, not the end.

Summary: 16-year-old Magnus Chase is homeless, since his mother died in mysterious circumstances two years prior. One day, his Uncle Randolph – a man he barely knows, and one his mother didn’t trust – lets slip that Magnus’s father is actually a Norse god, and that he needs to find the lost Sword of Summer before anyone else can. However, Randolph isn’t the only one searching for the sword; Magnus gets into a confrontation with a fire giant on a Boston bridge. Magnus dies in the confrontation, and is carried to Hotel Valhalla by the valkyrie Samirah, a daughter of Loki, and therefore generally considered untrustworthy. But when a prophecy surfaces that hints that Magnus is not worthy of the hero’s afterlife, Sam is exiled. But Magnus is determined to prove himself by finding the Sword, assisted by two of his homeless friends (who turn out to be a dwarf and an elf) and Sam, and they’ll trek across each of the Nine Worlds if that’s what it takes to find the sword, keep Fenris Wolf from being freed, and thereby preventing Ragnarok – the end of the world.

Review: I had about as much fun with this book as I expected – which is to say, a lot! I was really excited when I found out that Riordan was doing a series based around Norse mythology, which I know better than Egyptian mythology (although not nearly as well as Greek/Roman mythology). But, in his usual style, Riordan explains stuff well enough that I never felt lost (it’s not like Magnus knows all that much about the Norse gods to start out with, either), plus I get that little thrill of recognition whenever I did catch some deeper significance. This book can be read completely independently of Riordan’s other books, although there are some threads that tie them together (Magnus is Annabeth Chase’s cousin, for example). I was also really impressed that Riordan killed off his protagonist so soon into the book – it makes sense in retrospect (How else are you going to get him to Valhalla?) but at the time, I was very much “Wait a minute! You can’t do that! Can you? He didn’t really just die, did he?” The story, like all of Riordan’s books, is fast paced and funny and featuring an interesting (and diverse) supporting cast, and I’m excited to see where else this series goes. (Although I may brush up on my Norse mythology basics in the meantime.) 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you like Riordan’s other books, or Norse mythology with a modern twist, then this is definitely a series you should check out.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 7, 2016 8:21 pm

    I really need to read some Rick Riordan. I have read a few but it was a while ago.

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