Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard) by Rick Riordan

Posted November 6, 2015 by @Angelized_1st in 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 2 Comments

Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard) by Rick RiordanThe Sword of Summer (The Special Limited Edition) by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard,
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 20th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Norse, Action & Adventure, General
Pages: 512
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9781484718711
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

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 an uncle he's never met-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle 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 . . .This limited edition is numbered and signed by the author. It comes in a full-color case and has specially designed endpapers and a full-color frontispiece.

“My name is Magnus Chase. I’m sixteen years old. This is the story of how my life went downhill after I got myself killed.” ― Rick RiordanThe Sword of Summer

With that quote author Rick Riordan takes fans on yet another fun-filled, fantasy ride with his latest novel, The Sword of Summer. In the past Riordan delved into Greek (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) and Egyptian (The Kane Chronicles) mythology, but this time takes a turn at Norse mythology. All the major players are there: Odin, Thor, and Loki, and this time we also get to meet some minor Norse gods. The hero of the story is Magnus Chase, a young homeless orphan who discovers he’s a demigod, and must save the world. True, this may sound familiar, but Riordan uses the popularity of the Norse mythology and culture resurgence to breathe new life into a tried and true plot device.

After getting killed, Magnus finds himself in Valhalla, the warrior afterlife, and quickly sets out on a quest to stop Ragnarok (Armageddon) from taking place. He’s joined on his quest by three friends who each have different talents to help him along the way. As the quartet wander Midgard and the other nine realms, they meet all kids of supernatural beings. As you can imagine, some are friends, and others are foe, but no matter what the way is met with difficulty.

“Wrongly chosen, wrongly slain, A hero Valhalla cannot contain. Nine days hence the sun must go east, Ere Sword of Summer unbinds the beast.” ― Rick RiordanThe Sword of Summer

Like in Riordan’s previous series, the hero is told a confusing prophesy that isn’t made clear to him, or us, until the very end of the story. This prophesy is the impetus that propels Magnus on his quest. The Sword of Summer is the first novel in Riordan’s new Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, but I believe it will have more in common with his previous series than just the prophesies. While the main story of The Sword of Summer concluded by the end of the novel, threads of future mysteries and quests were eloquently woven throughout the story. How they are resolved will be something fans will have to discover with each additional book.

“The thing about fate, Magnus: even if we can’t change the big picture, our choices can alter the details.That’s how we rebel against destiny, how we make our mark. What will you choose to do?” ― Rick RiordanThe Sword of Summer

One of the aspects of the novel I really enjoyed was Magnus’ tounge-in-cheek snarky banter. He was hilarious, and that only added to my enjoyment. Everything that happened to him: being orphaned and homeless has imbued him with a relaxed frame of mind, that served as a great counterpoint to his situation. His friends were also entertaining, and I can’t wait to see what adventures await them in future installments. While I wasn’t a fan of The Red Pyramid, and DNF’d The Kane Chronicles, The Sword of Summer reminded me why Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors, and left me feeling as if the author got his mojo back. If you are a fan of Riordan’s Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series, then you will definitely enjoy The Sword of Summer. 

Rating Report
Overall: 4.5

About Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, the Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. While teaching in San Antonio, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.

While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children’s fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.

Today over forty million copies of his Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus books are in print in the United States, and rights have been sold into more than 37 countries. Rick is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller.

Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.


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2 responses to “Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard) by Rick Riordan

  1. I can’t wait to dive into this series. I love that the Asgard Gods are in the picture this time. Apart from the famous movies of Thor and Loki we don’t see much of them.

    • @Angelized_1st

      That’s what made me so excited for them. Norse mythology is really cool, but doesn’t get as much play as Greek. A nice departure from Percy Jackson.

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