Published by Penguin Publishing Group on October 6th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Friendship, Mythology, Young Adult
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My name is Magnus Chase. I'm orphaned and living rough on the streets of Boston. And things are about to get much worse. My day started out normally enough. I was sleeping under a bridge when some guy kicked me awake and said, 'They're after you.' Next thing I know, I'm reunited with my obnoxious uncle, who casually informs me that my long-lost father is a Norse god. Nothing normal about that. And it turns out the gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Apparently, if I can't find the sword my father lost two thousand years ago, there will be doom. Doomsday, to be precise. A fire giant attacking the city?Immortal warriors hacking each other to pieces?Unkillable wolves with glowing eyes?It's all coming up.But first I'm going to die.This is the story of how my life goes downhill from there . . .
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer. Rick Riordan has a wonderful touch when it comes to mixing ancient mythology and the modern day world. Magnus Chase is his newest series which combines Norse legends with a teenage boy just trying to get by.
Sword of Summer begins on the day Magnus dies. Instead of that being the end for him, it’s only the beginning of his story as he finds out his father is a Norse god and it is Magnus’ destiny to stop evil forces from starting the end of the world. No pressure, right?
I adore Norse myths and I’m so glad that Riordan decided to feature them in this series. Magnus is a great character to follow as he discovers his father’s world and a different take on demigods. But I think what I liked most about the mythos he used was how he integrated it with the Roman and Greek legends he has used in his previous series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus. There are cameos by characters from Camp Half-Blood as well as the occasional tongue-in-cheek reference to moments from the other series. This is a book which both adds to the universe as a whole as well as working perfectly as a standalone series opener.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Sword of Summer is how funny it is. There is a touch of the ridiculous to the proceedings which only seem to add to the hilarity. His two best friends, a magical elf Heath and a fashion conscious dwarf Blitz, help Magnus navigate the new world he’s been thrown into. They are great sidekicks to have and reminded me of the Blues Brothers for some reason. Samirah al-Abbas is a Valkyrie who works alongside Magnus on his mission but her motives are not entirely clear. I loved Sam and her interactions with Magnus and the rest of the cast. She’s resourceful and down to earth. She’s also one of the few Muslim characters I’ve read about in YA fantasy. Her ethnicity was a part of her and not just a play at creating ethnicity diversity. We need more characters like Sam in books! I also enjoyed the flow of the book. I had problems with the first few Percy Jackson books as they read young and I felt disconnected from them. That was not the case with Sword of Summer. This book is one of those great YA quest novels which will appeal to all ages.
I loved meeting the gods and goddesses of Norse myths as Magnus met them. Much like with Percy Jackson, these deities are not quite how we may have imagined them and yet it all works so well. I’d never even considered how a goddess may become like a bag lady of the sea but it just makes so much sense to me now. And then there’s Magnus himself. Being thrust into the mythological world like he was after living on the streets for a few years, Magnus is a different kind of hero. He’s got street smarts and is incredibly humble compared to Percy. I felt he was a lot more down to earth and reasonable – just one of the reasons why I enjoyed this book so much! Magnus is a character I wanted to follow as he embarked on impossible quests and tried to outsmart gods in the hope of saving the world.
There is so much happening in Sword of Summer. It’s full of action and adventure with never a dull moment. There are a lot of little side adventures on the way to completing the main quest and I enjoyed where those little treks would take Magnus’ odd crew of characters. I can not wait for the next book in this series.
IF you have ever wanted to see what all the fuss concerning Rick Riordan is about – check out this book. Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is fun and silly but also one of those books which will entertain young and older readers alike.
Many thanks to Penguin Australia for the review copy.