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
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."