Book: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard 1) by Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 6th 2015
Reading Format and Edition: Hardcover released by Disney Hyperion Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 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 . . .
The Sword of Summer has to be one of the most anticipated releases of the Fall season. There has been such a buzz around this book since last year when we found out it would be released. That creates some expectations. Always those pesky expectations. So did it deliver? Partly. Now hear me out.
There are a lot of things about this book that I found interesting or that I wasn’t expecting. I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone at this point to say that Annabeth is indeed Magnus’ cousin. It was interesting to see her, but she was only in there a little. The state that Magnus’s life was in did come as a bit of a surprise. I was not expecting that or the glimpse into the Chase’s family problems. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of that in the next few books.
Magnus was a character I had to get used to. He’s sassy and reminds me of Percy. Having Magnus and Percy in the same room together will be Annabeth’s worst nightmare I’m sure. But it took me a long while to get used to him. His reactions to discovering that his father was a Norse god and so on, I found tame. He stepped over that fairly easily and just shot into action. I had a hard time finding that believable. But nearing the ending I had gotten used to him. I do hope that he continues to develop.
Sam was so blunt at the start that I was sure I wasn’t going to like her, but she softened quickly and I am so happy to see her diverse background plus being the daughter of freaking Loki, oh yeah. I found it interesting how the topic of arranged marriage was dealt with when it came up. Then there are Magnus’s homeless friends who are actually an elf and a dwarf. Yes, you read that right. They both had a lot of deepening. The elf is deaf and signs. I loved that addition. But I especially liked the dwarf, called Blitzen. I just can’t get over that name though. I just keep picturing a reindeer. A reindeer dwarf… Magnus’s hallmates were also pretty great, but we did not get to know them too well.
And then there are the Norse gods. Well they sure are interesting. I especially liked Loki, of course.
Let’s not forget the Sword of Summer. That one is sassy all in its own way.
As for the story, like all of Riordan’s books, he finds out he is a demi god, he get’s send on a quest, almost dies, and saves the day, for the moment. Well there is a small twist at the start of this book. I don’t mind that it is similar, as there are enough little twists and things to keep it interesting, but the book is incredibly long. Like 72 chapters and an epilogue long. And while the chapters are short, the story did start to drag a bit in the middle. There are just too many little quests that sidetrack the story.
There are little references to the other series which were funny, but I did not find the book overall as hilarious as the other series. But I am looking forward to reading the next installment and to get to know these characters even better.