Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer is the first book in Rick Riordan’s series about Norse mythology. I powered through the book over the last few days; it’s super good.
Magnus Chase is the cousin of Annabeth Chase, she is one of the Greek demigods who was first introduced in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. On his 16th birthday, he dies. Don’t worry, that’s absolutely not a spoiler, the first page of the book opens with some dramatic line along the lines of “this is the day I died” or “the day was ok until I died”. I was confused too because I wasn’t sure how all of this was going to work if the character who the book was named after was dead, that would be like if Harry died in one of the Harry Potter books.
Let me back track a little bit, Magnus Chase is a demigod like Annabeth, Percy and the other demigods from Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus, so we’re back to that after having two magicians for main characters in the Kane Chronicles. If you aren’t familiar with the Marvel comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Norse mythology, then I’ll let you know that the Gods of Asgard is a reference to Norse gods and Norse mythology. I am actually pretty stoked that Rick Riordan is introducing Norse mythology because, aside from what I know through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, my knowledge is pretty limited to maybe a few other references.
Much like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus and the Kane Chronicles series, the forces of evil in Norse mythology are stirring and Magnus Chase is going to play a huge part in saving the world. Yes, he’s dead, but you can rest assured that the Norse afterworld is making this a totally manageable feat in ways that the Greek, Roman and Egyptian afterlives don’t really permit. I was actually really confused about this at first and had to check Google because I kind of thought being dead would throw a pretty serious hurdle into the plot, I thought maybe he’d be resurrected some how and I was feeling really impatient but even Google was pretty vague on the details (good job people), but I’m really interested in how it worked out (I won’t spoil it further!)
I am happy to see Annabeth Chase being reintroduced into this series as Magnus’s cousin, even though I was also pretty glad to have a temporary break from the original characters while I read the Kane Chronicles. I am pretty stoked to see where Rick Riordan will take the Greek-Norse relationship. Hopefully, whatever he does, it won’t involve making up non-existent mythology (Riordan doesn’t seem to do that though).
The Sword of Summer got the series off to a great start and I can’t wait to jump into The Hammer of Thor (book 2, oh la la). The Hammer of Thor was released on October 4, 2016, so it’ll be a while before I can finish the series, but it also means I can get started on The Trial(s?) of Apollo next. I’m also starting to notice what a prolific writer Rick Riordan seems like, which is good because I love his books.
Title: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The sword of summer
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Published: October 6, 2015
Page count: 497
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy, Norse mythology