Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Sword of Summer Review: Magnus

Book: The Sword of Summer

Author: Rick Riordan

Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Standing: Book 1

POV: 1st person by Magnus, past tense

Setting: Boston/Midgard, and other realms (present day)

Genre: Children's fantasy, mythology

Source: Physical copy

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Pages: 528

Release: October 6th, 2015

Rating: 4 stars

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 . . .



I finished it! YES!

Magnus Chase is Rick Riordan's newest series, about Norse mythology. Yes, we're talking about the gods like Thor and Loki, but no, we're not talking about Chris Hemsworth or Tom Middleson (though they are fantastic in playing those roles).

Magnus Chase is very different from Percy Jackson. To start off, the beginning of the book is Magnus' 16th birthday, which technically puts this under the YA section. But it's a litte different, so I still lump it under children's literature. But Magnus is a little rougher in the beginning than Percy ever was (there's an age difference, as mentioned before), and his humour was drier, more wry, and a bit angrier than any of Riordan's other protagonists. I found the change quite enjoyable, and it really did suit Magnus' character and upbringing. Nevertheless, Magnus' character growth is on par with Percy's, and he grows in wisdom.

Maybe I should have resented him, but I didn't. After losing my mother, I didn't have the patience for grudges. My years on the street had taught me that it was pointless to whine and moan about what you could've had--what you deserved, what was fair. I was just happy to have this moment.

What I particularly liked about this book was the fact that the major characters present are part of the minority of the world. You have Sam, who is an amazing Muslin girl living a double life as a one of the fiercest Valkyries around (she uses tutoring as a cover story to explain her absences). She's loyal, true to her heart, and isn't afraid to push her boundaries to help her friends. Then we have Blitz, someone who is constantly being shamed for his desire to start his own fashion line instead of forging weapons like dwarves are expected to. But Blitz sticks with Magnus, willing to sacrifice his life for him. And then we have my favourite, Hearth, an elf, who's family hates him because he was born deaf. But to be honest, I enjoyed the sign language conversations he had with everyone, especially since it added an additional sense of humour to the storryline. And as we find out, when it comes to magical creatures, sometimes being deaf is actually an advantage. All these characters were fantastic, and they all have huge dreams, and you can't help but cheer them on!

There isn't really much romance in this book, but I didn't expect there to be any. However, I also would like to take this moment to officially announce that I ship Blitz and Hearth, and desperately hope to see them grow closer in the next books! Blitzhearth for the win!

As some of you already have guessed, Magnus is in fact related to Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series. It's because of this that there are some jokes that are hilarious because of the irony due to their indirect mention of Percy Jackson. For example, chapter 48's title is Hearthstone Passes Out Even More Than Jason Grace (Though I Have No Idea Who That Is). Annabeth also makes 3 cameos in this book, and it's hinted near the end that we'll be seeing her again in the next books to help Magnus out.

"Could you do a glamour and turn into something smaller? [...] Something pocket-size and innocuous. A pen, maybe?"

The sword pulsed, almost like it was laughing. I imagined it saying, A pen sword. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

I was not disappointed in the modern world building and creativity. Boston was explained to be the centre of the World Tree of Midgard, and Midgard being accused of copying other worlds' music and city designs. My favourite would have to be the introduction of a new type of weapon other than Celestial Bronze and Imperial Gold, affective against monsters and anything not quite of the human world: bone steel. After all, I figure it might be easier to get my hands on bone steel than Celestial Bronze and Imperial Gold.

"Forged correctly," Blitz said, "bone steel can cut down supernatural creatures, even giants and gods."

In terms of characters and humour, they were absolutely on point. I only wished that the plot was a little more gripping, and for a bit more action on Magnus' part. But all in all, another great start to another great mythological series!


  1. I'm really excited about this book! I don't really know much about Norse mythology (except for Loki, Thor and Odin) so I'm really happy when Rick wrote this book because his books gave so much knowledge about mythology. I also think his books has the most diverse characters (Nico, Carter, Hazel, Sam, Blitz, Hearth, Frank). I was sort of envy the Chase family. I mean they're able to attract Greek Goddess and Norse God! Anyways, can't wait to read this! Great review! :)

    Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    1. Thank you! I am completely onboard with you, I absolutely love how Riordan has his diverse characters! They're amazing!

  2. I'm not a MG reader, but I do want to try out Percy Jackson--so maybe this one will wind up on my list too! Nice review!

    1. Ahh, you should definitely give Percy Jackson a try! I think it's a classic, for both young and old! :)

  3. Omg, I am so jelly you got to read rick's new series!!! >_< I've been so busy lately and I've comitted to going to the library now for books cause I was always broke from buying books, so no new releases will come by me soon unless I get a pdf version (which I'll probably do). So anyways Magnus Chase sounds amazing so far and yeah I wouldn't be that surprized that theres not much romance in the first book right now. In my opinion, I think like the Percy Jackson books, the author will just slowly ease in the romance like he did in the pj books. I mean it helps the readers connect and feel more attached to the characters anyways! :D & ahaha I can imagine Percy just laughing at that quote about a sword glamored into a pen! xD

    1. I know, right? I'm sure Riptide is having a field day with that comment about a pen sword being lame! It's not lame! It's about the coolest thing ever!
      Hopefully you get this book soon, it's really good! :D

  4. Want. To. Read. Must. Wait. Though. Agh!

    Nice review though! (I skimmed it to not be spoiled ^-^ )

  5. Can you believe I still haven't read anything by Rick Riordan? I know, it's shocking! This one sounds really good though. I'm fascinated by Norse Mythology so I'm definitely interested in reading this! Great review :)

    1. This puts a completely different and fun spin on norse mythology! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have! :)