Book: The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard 3) by Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 3rd 2017
Tags: Norse Mythology / Young Adult / LGBTQ+ / Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn’t naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus and his crew must sail to the farthest borders of Jotunheim and Niflheim in pursuit of Asgard’s greatest threat. Will they succeed in their perilous journey, or is Ragnarok lurking on the horizon?
Magnus Chase’s adventure started two years ago to us as the start into Norse mythology. While I was entertained by him to a point I wasn’t quite as emotionally invested in him as the main character. This however changed.
From the start of this book Magnus showed us a more vulnerable side to him I felt. He was insecure. While he always downplayed his own strengths in the other books, I felt this time he was earnestly questioning himself and the outcome of everything. With the end of the world on the line that is of course not so strange. His insecurity made him more relatable to me. His kindness also struck more out at me in this book. And finally I was emotionally invested in Magnus completely. I’m sorry that it took 3 books. You are awesome Magnus. I just needed some time to warm up to you.
I also could appreciate how this book gave everyone a role to play. It wasn’t just Magnus, Samirah or Alex who did all the great deeds. It was a collective act together where even TJ, Gunderson and Mallory had their part in. To show their strengths. To be a hero. Magnus strength has never been fighting. He is not that coordinated. But the others are. Other things that I really loved was how we were given so many visuals to see how the sign language actually looked like. A lot of the times books just write they signed instead of explaining the sign here and there.
In this book Samirah is in the middle of Ramadan. I think most of this is well explained. However I do have one bit of a beef with this. And that is that on two occasions Samirah was described as a good Muslima for following all the rules of Ramadan and as a Muslima in general. I’m not a Muslima, but to me that felt incredibly judgey and it made me feel awkward. I felt it was even weirder as it came from Magnus who is an atheist.
Other than that I flew through this book. I just got swept in the story. Perhaps there wasn’t any true surprising element in the story, but to be honest I wasn’t expecting one. I was just pleased to see everyone get their attention. And it felt as a satisfying ending to the trilogy. There is also clearly a hinting at a continuation of the Magnus Chase story and I am curious to see when that will be announced. Let us be real. There can’t be a year without two Rick Riordan books.