Book Review: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

15724396The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Published by Disney Hyperion on October 6, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Children’s, Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 528 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

5/5 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 . . .

Rick Riordan’s next saga, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, starts off with a bang in The Sword of Summer. Let’s be real here: I absolutely adore his previous work and this new one was no different. Magnus discovers all too quickly that he is not a normal homeless teenager. He’s forced into a perilous journey to save the world, all while trying to discover who he really is, even after death.

Being a history nerd, I love mythology. A lot of focus is always put on the myths of Greece and Rome and Riordan has explored those in depth, so I was happy for the change to the Nordic tradition. I enjoyed exploring more then the basics I’ve learned from Marvel’s comics. From the cosmological tree Yggdrasil to the apocalyptic tones of Ragnarok, The Sword of Summer delves deeper into the Norse gods and goddesses and the Nine Worlds.

The characters as always in Riordan’s work are absolutely wonderful. Magnus Chase is the reluctant hero; confused, no clue what he’s doing but has great friends to rely on. Samirah Al Abbas, daughter of Loki and a Valkyrie, Blitzen, a dwarf, and Hearthstone, a deaf light elf, are there to help Magnus along. I was thoroughly impressed with the diverse cast of characters and the intriguing storylines they provided. Even the depiction of the deities was spot on.

Right from the very start I was reminded of how funny Riordan’s work is. Laugh out loud jokes, tons of snark, hilarity ensues, etc. It doesn’t take away from the life and death stakes of the story though. Magnus uses humor as a survival mechanism. Being thrust into an entirely outrageous situation, he copes by making sarcastic comments and reacting in jest. This book will certainly bring a smile to your face even when you want to cry.

Overall The Sword of Summer was an excellent start to Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. I loved it from start to finish and it kept me laughing and smiling the whole way through. The story and quest was full of adventure, trials, and a good deal of suffering. Everyone needs to read this book at once and then read the rest of Riordan’s work. I love it so much!!!!

Favorite Quotes

  1. “You missed a pedestrian,” I said. “You want to go back and hit her?”
  2. “Because Anno Domini, in the Year of Our Lord, is fine for Christians, but Thor gets a little upset. He still holds a grudge that Jesus never showed up for that duel he challenged him to.
  3. People tended to spell it Mangus, rhymes with Angus. I always corrected them. No, it’s Magnus, rhymes with swag-ness. At which point they would stare at me blankly.
  4. “The thing about fate Magnus: even if we can’t change the big picture, our choices can alter the details. That’ how we rebel against destiny, how we make our mark. What will you choose to do?”
  5. “The point is, this rope is even better! I call it Andskoti, the Adversary. It is woven with the most powerful paradoxes in the Nine Worlds–Wi-Fi with no lag, a politician’s sincerity, a printer that prints, healthy deep-fried food, and an interesting grammar lecture!”

Have you read The Sword of Summer? Did you enjoy the switch to Norse mythology? What’s your favorite Rick Riordan book? Let me know in the comments below!


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