I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1 The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 6th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Norse, Fantasy & Magic
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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 barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph 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 minute I saw April open the box containing Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer it was all I could do not to snatch the book right out of her hands right then and there as if I was Memphis and had just spotted the world’s last Twinkie. I had recently read through the Percy Jackson series within a matter of weeks and had been impatiently waiting for Magnus Chase to be released. I know Rick Riordan has other books that I could have been pawing through while I waited but Greek mythology and Norse mythology have always been an interest of mine. I guess when my Dad made me sit through “Clash of the Titans” and “Vikings” it had more of an impact on me than I thought; I can’t help it if Bubo just gets me. At any rate, I didn’t just want to read this book; I had to read this book.
So despite my excitement to read Magnus Chase, it took me a long time to get through. The pace of this book just seemed much slower than the Percy Jackson series. Despite the slow pace I really enjoyed the book. The action begins early on in the story and Rick Riordan does a great job, as always, developing the characters in a way that makes us truly care about them and become vested I the story.
Magnus Chase is a 16 year old demigod kid who found himself homeless after his mother was murdered by wolves. Yes, you read that correctly she was murdered (as in premeditated and done with intent) by wolves. After that Magnus went on the lamb and has been on the streets of Boston living off garbage and the occasional plate of charitable falafel. Lucky for Magnus he handles extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, like a champ thanks to some inherited family traits, so living on the streets during the brutal Boston winters haven’t had much effect on him. Living on the streets kind of suites Magnus though, he is a wild eyed rebellious teen who does whatever he wants and has adopted his own “family” of hobos. To be more specific Magnus has two homeless best friends that look out for him, their names are Blitz and Hearth. At first these two are somewhat peripheral characters but they end up growing on you and provide some much needed humor as well as warmth throughout the story.
So what’s the story here? Well I have to be upfront and honest and tell you that Magnus Chase dies. Stop yelling Spoiler Alert! I wouldn’t give too much away that easily, the first chapter is “Good Morning! You’re Going to Die” so really, I’m not giving anything away. This is a story based on Norse mythology! The Vikings! Anything is possible! So yes Magnus Chase dies but it’s only a minor setback and an important plot point because his death not only sets into motion the series of events that make the story, but it also introduces us to an extremely important character. For those of you that don’t know when a Viking warrior dies his soul is scooped up by a lady called a Valkyrie and taken to Valhalla. Enter Magnus’ Valkyrie Samirah Al-Abbas. This girl is awesome! She is extremely tenacious and has gone through a lot to be where she is and you will love her more and more with every page you read, she is our new Annabeth Chase, huh, Annabeth Chase and Magnus Chase, coincidence?
If you are like me you’re probably going to read this story while sitting next to a computer with Wikipedia loaded and ready to go. Norse mythology is messy, messier than Greek mythology and can be hard to follow so I really enjoyed looking up different creatures and places that are mentioned in the story and I think that made it even more fun because it was a mythology class mixed into a story. I think Rick Riordan does a great job of developing stories and staying true to the mythology which is awesome because throughout the book I kept getting pulled into the mythology, maybe that’s why it took so long to read.
I am willing to bet that you want to know the plot of the story though right? Well here it is, some stuff is going happen that makes everyone worried that Ragnarok is going to start (the Viking version of the apocalypse) and Magnus Chase and his band of misfits need to stop that from happening or it’s bye bye Midgard and all the other realms. We get to tag along as Magnus, Blitz, Hearth and Samirah battle giant squirrels, aquatic bag ladies, a snake so big it wraps around the earth (a.k.a – my fear landscape) and many more. This was a fantastic story that really kept me interested, maybe it took me so long to read because I didn’t want it to end? All I can say is that if you haven’t picked up your copy of Magnus Chase yet then get up and get it right now! I would have to give this book 4 stars though “but Josh why only 4 stars?” because I only see this series getting better and I need some room for it to grow!
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